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  1. #1

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    Hey players, I've had this DVD for quite awhile and with this Covid-19 crap keeping me indoors and all, I've decided to try to work though it. I think Frank made the DVD back in the early days of VHS video's in the early 1980's! It's a fun DVD in that it's a bit corny with the girls and all, reminds me of Big Time Wrestling!! That said, looks to have plenty of great exercises which really helps if you're mega slow on the fretboard like myself! Anyone ever work though this? Any comments?? I'm only on page 10 and I can already tell I'm in for some challenges!
    Attached Images Attached Images Frank Gambale Chop Builder DVD?-img_2903-jpg 

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    The Jazz Guitar Chord Dictionary
     
  3. #2

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    I'll be interested in hearing of your experiences with this. Gambale is a great player and this technique certainly works for him... but the snippets I've seen seem to highlight numerous rules to remember about whether there are an even or odd number of notes in the phrase, whether it starts on a downstroke or an upstroke, and that sort of thing. Seemed too complicated (for me) to want to try to do in real time. But maybe these techniques are something that you can feel naturally once mastered; maybe they just sound really complicated when you verbalize them.

    Like I said, let us know how it goes!

  4. #3

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    Quote Originally Posted by starjasmine
    I'll be interested in hearing of your experiences with this. Gambale is a great player and this technique certainly works for him... but the snippets I've seen seem to highlight numerous rules to remember about whether there are an even or odd number of notes in the phrase, whether it starts on a downstroke or an upstroke, and that sort of thing. Seemed too complicated (for me) to want to try to do in real time. But maybe these techniques are something that you can feel naturally once mastered; maybe they just sound really complicated when you verbalize them.

    Like I said, let us know how it goes!

    Most of the stuff he goes through in that vid is using alternate picking. It's a workout routine running through scales and arpeggios in the style of those '80s Jane Fonda exercise videos.

    I've gone through some of the pentatonic and triad arpeggio sections, but I've never tried going through the whole thing like a guided workout.


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    Last edited by FwLineberry; 10-29-2020 at 11:03 AM.

  5. #4

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  6. #5

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    Quote Originally Posted by starjasmine
    Gambale is a great player and this technique certainly works for him... but the snippets I've seen seem to highlight numerous rules to remember about whether there are an even or odd number of notes in the phrase, whether it starts on a downstroke or an upstroke, and that sort of thing. Seemed too complicated (for me) to want to try to do in real time.
    Thanks for clarifying, Kris. I have not seen the OP's vid. I was referring to a different Gambale vid that focuses on his sweep picking technique.

  7. #6

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    Of all the guitar "exercise" materials floating around there, I think this is the best one.

    But it's tough. I've never been able to play through the whole thing start to finish at tempo. Don't be afraid to slow it down.

  8. #7

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    Quote Originally Posted by dasein
    Of all the guitar "exercise" materials floating around there, I think this is the best one.
    But it's tough. I've never been able to play through the whole thing start to finish at tempo. Don't be afraid to slow it down.
    It's certainly one of the best, for sure! In the beginning it's easy but once you get to page twelve is where it gets a bit trickier! I'm mainly a rhythm guitar player so for a player like me who is interested in playing faster and alternate picking, it's been extremely helpful! I don't even look at the DVD anymore cause the tabs are on youtube now as someone above posted so I shift between the booklet that came with the DVD and youtube, works for me! In the beginning he starts out with triplets and 16th notes, some of it gets some getting used to as some are played pretty fast, luckily for me youtube has a slow down mode!

  9. #8

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    I worked with this for a little while, but as with all my other courses, never went to the end.

    It was amazing to me how I would lose concentration trying to repeat the same lick over and over and over. It showed me something about myself. I think my fingers would get tired, too.

    Now, I use "speeder-upper" software, which varies the tempo to higher and higher speeds over time. I have found that with this, I actually can repeat licks over and over and over.

    I am going to pull out that old book and have some fun with it tomorrow. And, see if I have advanced and can do it now, maybe.

    Thanks for bringing it up again.

  10. #9

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    Quote Originally Posted by AlsoRan
    I worked with this for a little while, but as with all my other courses, never went to the end.
    I am going to pull out that old book and have some fun with it tomorrow. And, see if I have advanced and can do it now, maybe.
    Yeah, I started on it a few years back but same as you I put it down. I don't know if I'll be able to complete the whole thing as it's a bit long, but for now I work on it from 15-30 minutes a day. While working on it, I don't look at the fretboard as I feel it will be to my benefit if I go through it blindly! I'm surprised more jazz players haven't gone through this guitar workout as I think it would definitely help with alternate picking! It's certainly gonna help me as I can already tell!

  11. #10

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    I've hit a wall, this guitar workout is pretty intense! I hope I have the motivation to stick with it, so far it's not a problem but going forward is gonna be a bitch! On page 14 it starts with combination triplets and 16th notes and every mix in between. I figure even if I just stick to the predictable exercises and I just work on those I will benefit but I gotta be honest! This is not easy for me at all. It may be easy for shredders but I'm not the one!

  12. #11

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    Just keep at it. We all hit plateaus; eventually, you'll break through - think how great that'll be!

    BTW, I assume you can turn Frank off and just play along with the rhythm track, right?

  13. #12

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    I just focused on a small section, especially ones that gave me trouble. I made it a part of my warm-up when I was doing it. Now, I warm-up on memorized lines.

  14. #13

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    Quote Originally Posted by starjasmine
    BTW, I assume you can turn Frank off and just play along with the rhythm track, right?

    This thing was shot on film back in the early '90s. It's just Frank and two stand-ins sitting in a living room, playing through the material, and you follow along or get left behind. Frank is the only one who's plugged in. The other two guys look like they can play most of the stuff, but if they flubbed, we'll never know.

    As I said in my earlier post, this was done like one of those exercise videos sold to housewives in the '80s. You're supposed to watch the beautiful people onscreen and follow along fantasizing about one day looking like them. In this case you have Frank, sporting a mullet, in sleeveless rock star attire, showing off his prodigious crop of arm hair and two half-way decent looking guys.... but whatever.

    That YouTube vid is somebody's home edit where they took screen grabs of the play-along booklet and grafted that over top of the soundtrack for the video.


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  15. #14

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    Quote Originally Posted by starjasmine
    Just keep at it. We all hit plateaus; eventually, you'll break through - think how great that'll be!

    BTW, I assume you can turn Frank off and just play along with the rhythm track, right?
    Yeah I appreciate the encouragement, I don't know about only the rhythm track! I don't use the dvd anymore, just the booklet and youtube linked! From page 12 to 17 it gets a bit tricky as Frank changes the script from going down the scale to going against the grain so to speak. A bit tricky for sure and the speed, I don't even try it that fast, I'm not a shredder at all! I slow it way down to make it more my speed! I just been playing with it a couple of weeks and I already see and feel improvement, works for me!


  16. #15

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    It is a great stuff for every guitarist!