Travel by Public Transport.
The nearest train station to the venue is
with good links from Birmingham New Street
station. The bus (77), from Walsall to opposite St. Martin's
Church Hall (the workshop venue) are currently every half hour.
You would ask for The Longhorn Pub bus stop, Sutton
Road. This is directly opposite the church. Alternatively,
you could take a taxi from Walsall station which is approx £5.
Buses in Walsall are currently under review, with some number
changes etc so check before departing.
Birmingham New Street Station are approx £14.
are set up to help educate and inspire a
new generation of musicians and audiences though lectures,
performances and workshops in schools, colleges and youth
centres. The projects provide insight into Manouche Swing Jazz
and demonstrates how jazz improvisation is performed. The
workshop is well structured and Paul's aim is to keep the
presentation informal: Extensive parking available free.
The cost of the day is reasonable for such quality Tuition and
includes a booklet, chord charts, lunchtime snack and lots of
interesting additional material. The day will
be spent looking at the key ingredients that give Gypsy Jazz
Guitar its unique flavour, delivered by one of the top players
of the genre.
We will consider the techniques and expressive dynamics that
have been handed down as part of Django’s Legacy. Students will
be “supportively nudged” out of their comfort zone and equipped
with the advanced tools they need to significantly improve their playing and
with material to keep them passionately engaged with this
wonderful and unique music.
The abilities of students are quickly established in order to
focus on individual improvement agendas. Activities are designed
to enable you to work in a group, duo and individual formats.
Tuition provided is designed to challenge and will cover all of
the key elements of Gypsy Jazz. The course will not be heavily
theoretical and employs the ‘Gypsy Tradition’ of demonstration
and assimilation. The course will also appeal to those
acoustic guitarists who wish to enrich their playing,
irrespective of established style.
Essential elements are enthusiasm, love of music, fun, and a
real desire to improve your personal best.
Playing Gypsy Jazz is the driving force with plenty of time for
jamming and developing skills. The whole programme is based on
Paul’s own route to this music, which he invites you to follow –
many others already have.
is divided into 2 sessions within the
and Solo. Nick Mellor assists throughout the day and
all areas covered are clearly demonstrated.
The abilities of
individual students are quickly established in order to focus on
improvement agendas. Activities are designed to enable you to
work in group, duo and individual formats. Tuition provided is
designed to challenge and will cover all of the key elements of
Essential elements however, are enthusiasm, love of the music,
fun, and a real desire to improve your personal best! The
whole programme is based on Paul's own journey through this
unique music, which he invites you to follow! Paul and Nick will
perform a set during the lunch break. The workshops are a
regular feature of Paul's working year and are gaining in popularity to
the point where he is running additional sessions. The day is
overseen by Karen, Paul's wife, who welcomes you and ensures the
day runs smoothly.
For students yet to secure an 'Acoustic or Gypsy Guitar' there will be
several instruments available for you to play.
Paul - We
make it as 'hands on' as possible and supportively
students out of their comfort zone. They really enjoy the
challenge and learn a lot - go away with a lot, to improve their
future playing skills. Which is what it's all about.
Rhythm Guitar Techniques - Nick Mellor
Importance of rhythm guitar playing
- Chord Knowledge
- Chord Substitution
- Right Hand - technique/stroke variation
- Building Tension
- Chord Rolls
- Various strokes and development of the
rhythm hand, which will be demonstrated via various rhythms.
- Co-ordination of rhythm hand and solo
Solo Guitar Techniques - Paul Vernon Chester
Starts and Endings
Building a Solo.
Plectrum / Pick Grip and Technique.
How to play a solo within various
rhythms, using different pick techniques/strokes
Chosen for its fine live acoustics that
add to the ambience.
Hi Paul and Karen - Just a
note to say how much I enjoyed Saturday's workshop... as usual
with these things, I find that most of the work starts after the
event when I try to practise the moves I saw demonstrated....
but I am more determined than ever to keep practising :) I
promised to send Jacqui some references on Manouche Chords...
Once again, many thanks for a truly inspiring manouche workshop.
Paul, Nick and Karen. - just wanted to send a quick note
to say thanks for a great day on Saturday at the workshop.
It was really good fun and such a pleasure to be with other
people who share a passion for this music. It was really
useful to talk to Nick and gain a bit of an insight on the
nuances of the rhythm aspect of the music, and a special thank
you to Karen for all the grub. - Paul Staples
Walsall Workshop was excellent, worth every penny. Paul is not
only a superb musician but an excellent teacher (that is his day
job of course), Nick was brilliant also. I've plenty of chord
theory homework to do. Warren.
This is just a quick note to let you know how much I enjoyed
Saturday's workshop. I'm really enjoying
the new CD - Duets for Django'. Thanks to Paul, Nick and Karen
for a good day. - Malcolm.
Thanks for a wonderful Saturday. I thoroughly enjoyed myself.
I learned a lot again from yourself and Nick, but it’s more than
just that, it’s about being in the company of people who share
my massive interest in Gypsy Jazz and being able to talk with
them about the subject. I look forward to the next
workshop and hope to reflect more improvement. Thanks to
Karen for doing the food and looking after us. - John
Many thanks for your patience today. It was a sordid mixture
of pleasure and pain to be so far out of my comfort zone. A
healthy kick in the ribs to get me off my … and develop
the basics you so ably presented. Looking forward to next
year when’ I’ll be back’ to show you how much I’ve developed in
this style. - Overall an excellent day - Pete
adequate Parking Available and Overnight Accommodation can be
arranged for those that require it in Local Hotels.
Some 5 Acoustic Guitars are available for
those that wish to try other models and any who have yet to buy
or cannot bring their own Guitar for Luggage reasons.
Any acoustic guitar is fine to use, students don't particularly
need a Gypsy Model.
The number of places
will be limited to 15 students per Workshop and an
overspill date for those that fail to register
early enough. This will be arranged as soon as sufficient numbers permit..
Food - Light Refreshments
are included and those that are Vegetarians
should advise us of their preferences in advance.
Paul likes to talk with committed applicants individually to
gain insight as to their interest and current level of ability.
Booking forms will be issued and settlement is by cheque payable
in advance of the Workshop Date.
Duets for Django
Students Should Study
Intently This Unique Live Album
The first Live Album release date was 6th June 07 - CD Day
'Duets for Django'
Concert Jazz In Thame
on 14/03/07 (Paul's Birthday). This celebration may account for
the Manouche Magic captured by
at this Concert Jazz Venue in Oxfordshire.
This High Quality
Production gives great insight to Paul's compositions, faultless
technique and ability to improvise inventively on a chord
structure and his tender treatment of .slow tempo compositions.
The attentive listening audience were so enraptured that their
presence is only apparent in the enthusiastic applause at the
end of each number. A must for Manoucheries - This is
professional stuff - no Bootleg productions - all worthy of Paul
Vernon Chester's Highest Standards.
Paul's Observations to Jake Kirkpatrick - Sound Engineer.
.Just to let you know how delighted we
are with the final product. As anticipated the recording
quality is top notch and the packaging looks great. Love
the colour scheme. Nick's guitar works well for the tweaked
volume. Notwithstanding the CD works really well. Many thanks
for your hard work Jake and I feel we have a recording that
truly reflects our performance ideals. It's only when you hear
the audience at the end of each track you realise this is a live
recording! I feel the same tension that I felt at the gig!
well done mate, you know your stuff. - Paul.
Track Listings are
Lady Be Good
St Louis Blues
line CD Purchase