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tim robinson

Gypsy Jazz Guitar

I first started on the guitar at the age of eleven. I had some lessons in classical guitar but never really got on with it (these days I love classical music and have even attempted to play a few pieces). What I really wanted was an electric guitar, which I got at the age of thirteen, a Jedson strat copy: (I don't remember it being as good as these look, so perhaps it wasn't a Jedson after all)

I was initially influenced by Hendrix (who isn't?) and various sundry other rock guitar gods. Punk rock also happened around this time so I had a brief flirtation with that, in a sort of middle-class boy in his bedroom sort of way. Have you ever tried to play the intro to
"Pretty Vacant"? Actually quite difficult.

A bit later I started getting into prog rock (
Robert Fripp still exerts quite an influence over me) and the English folky guitar players. I had an excellent guitar teacher around this time who introduced me to players like John Renbourn and John Martyn.

It wasn't until I left school that I started getting properly interested in jazz, and once I'd seen Gjon Mili's wonderful film
"Jammin' the Blues" that was it for me, I knew I had to learn how to play it! Around the same time a friend had a record of Django Reinhardt and I first heard his 1937 recording "Improvisation #1", three minutes of the most astonishing music I'd ever heard!

I'm pretty much self-taught in the Django style, there being no method books or video lessons around like there is these days, so I just had a cassette player and a rewind button.

That's it really, I've been playing Gypsy Jazz style for many years and have been lucky enough to play with many fine players in the genre. I'm still learning...