Django Reinhardt Resources

This is a revision of a page I (Warren) published years ago. It’s almost laughable now, how thin the list originally was. In the intervening time, a Gypsy Jazz Explosion has occurred world-wide, and there are many Django Reinhardt resources available for free or pay, with Django festivals and workshops going on all over the world. Here are links to a “curated” set of resources for learning and enjoying – feel free to send more for inclusion in future posts via our Contact page.

YouTube

Nothing beats personal instruction – after all, only a live teacher who really knows what she/he is doing can observe your playing and make observations (the effect can be multiplied if you take lessons from someone you regularly jam with, as they have many opportunities to observe you).  However, there are many parts of the world where GJ instruction is hard to find.

There are so many free lessons on YouTube that it may be hard to know which ones to watch first. Many of the free lessons are “teasers” for paid products, but they often have much value. I would especially recommend checking out free videos by Christiaan Von Hemert, Joscho Stephan, Paulus Schaefer, Robin Nolan, Denis Chang, and Yaakov Hoter, and also visiting the web sites of your favorites to check out their for-sale lessons. The competition is kind of fierce, so the quality is often quite high!

Facebook Groups

I highly recommend Gypsy Swing NYC (although NYC-centric, there are many guitar players from throughout the world there).

Festivals/Workshops

The mother of all Django festivals is the renowned Festival Django Reinhardt, held less than an hour south of Paris in late June of every year. The “real” action is in the campgrounds, primarily at Samoreau, where many true gypsy players jam all night, every night.

Django In June is held on the Smith College campus in Northhampton, MA every June, and is typically attended by several hundred guitarists from all around the world. If you are in the eastern US, you must stop here!

Djangofest Northwest, another institution that has been around for quite awhile, is another key stop on the Django world tour.

Other Resources

Try a Google search for “Ben Givan transcriptions” – he has transcribed quite a few Django solos!

 

A Site For Beginning Guitarists and Uke-ists (Ukelists? Ukelelists?)

Hi,

I know a lot of the posts here on slowgold.com are for kind of advanced players, but if you’re kind of new to the  world of guitars (or ukuleles), let me commend you to https://coustii.com, where you will find a lot of information geared to you: How to pick an instrument, basic chords, some easy songs and the like. Enjoy!

–Warren

Fix For Windows Setting Issue: SlowGold 8 Improperly Pitch-Shifts Playback Under Windows

If SlowGold 8 plays audio at too high a speed, even if Transform is unchecked, this is due to a Windows setting.

The easiest way to fix this is the following, which will work on many systems:

Open SlowGold, and, under the Audio menu, choose Preferences. If there is a “DirectSound” choice available for “audio device type”, choosing that may fix the problem . If not you might be able to choose “Advanced Settings” and experiment with the “sample rate” drop-down – try changing it to 44100 Hz, as shown in the following diagram:

 

If that doesn’t work, try the following:

First close SlowGold. Then go to Control Panel\Hardware and Sound\Sound and right-click the device you’re listening on (in the Windows 7 image below, that’s “Speakers/Headphones”). Select Properties, and choose the Advanced tab. Under Default Format, you probably have 48000 Hz selected.

Change the setting in the dropdown to 16 bit, 44100 Hz (CD Quality), and then click the Apply or OK button at the bottom of the dialog. When you restart SlowGold, playback should be normal.

Using iTunes to Convert Audio Formats

Sometimes you have a .wav or .aiff file, and you want it in .mp3 format. SlowGold, for instance, exports audio in these formats if you choose to save a slowed-down song or a segment of such a song. SlowGold does not, however, write mp3 files because of the prohibitive license costs for doing this directly (it reads and plays mp3s perfectly well, of course).

Apple, however, is not constrained the way we are when it comes to mp3 writing, and iTunes can convert between formats, although the functionality is somewhat hidden.

The current instructions for the conversions are at https://support.apple.com/en-us/HT204310. Enjoy!