Grateful Dead Music Forum

A place to talk about the music of the Grateful Dead 

 #7922  by steve
 Tue Aug 08, 2006 12:21 pm
I'm not sure where to put this, so Think Tank it'll be. Check out Django Reinhardt. He was a quality gypsy jazz musician. His music is a lot of fun to play, but unless you have nylon strings, your fingers might be in a bit of pain

 #7923  by hesgone95
 Tue Aug 08, 2006 1:10 pm
the amazing thing about django is that he normally only used his index and middle fingers. his left hand was badly deformed in a fire at age 18. he fell asleep with a candle lit and burned down his caravan. so he could only use those two fingers and his pinky a bit, but the the majority of that amazing riffing is done with two fingers. i can't even do any of it with four. so i guess i'd have to agree, he was phenomenal... :cool:

 #7925  by steve
 Tue Aug 08, 2006 1:15 pm
quite amazing indeed that he overcame such a setback. i guess some django diehards actually tape their ring and pinky fingers together to attempt to play it just like him. kinda strange

 #7927  by wisedyes
 Tue Aug 08, 2006 4:26 pm
Gypsy Manouche guitars do not use nylon strings; they are steel, although the specialty strings for the style are wound differently from the norm.

Yes, many gypsy jazz gurus will tell you that the only way to sound authentic when doing Django songs is to figure out fingerings that make sense with only two fingers. So lots of slippy sliding around on one string is very usually the case. I took some lessons in this style for awhile; while I got fairly proficient at the rythm comping, the soloing was another story. At least I can say that I have a good understanding of what I am supposed to do with it, but actually pulling it off, well.....
 #12614  by Django
 Mon Feb 12, 2007 11:52 am
I guess you guys aren't talking about me.

There is some video around of Django from an old movie, I saw it somewhere else, not 'you tube', shoot I can't remember the name of that video site and I googled and nothing looked familiar. It is amazing watching him zip up and down the neck.

 #12660  by squire758
 Tue Feb 13, 2007 4:35 am
the thing i really like about Django is how he solos over chords so well. i made a post awhile ago asking if anyone knew a little more about how to do this. i think what it is, is changing his scales to the corresponding chord but he somehow can connect them and think fast enough to do it every second or so. before i made the post "Trey's Chordal Improvisation" i looked around a bit on the net and he said that Django was a huge influence in his playing. when i compare the two i see alot of Djangos style in Trey's but with a modernized rock kinda feel. i found a snip from an old guitar world when he tried explaining how it works, check it out ... ntral.html

 #12665  by wisedyes
 Tue Feb 13, 2007 5:54 am
If you want to solo like Djang, or any gypsy jazz guitarist, the single best advice is to learn the hell out of arpeggios, especially on the first three strings. Do it for all types of chords, especially minor 7ths and 6ths, and dominant 7ths. The Major chords will usually be Major 6ths.

Then, when you analyze chord progressions in a tune, you need to find connecting notes in between the arpeggios. Also, lots of vertical movement in your lines - up and down a couple of octaves at least.

 #12791  by cunamara
 Wed Feb 14, 2007 8:12 pm
Go check out Bireli Lagrene on YouTube. He's as close to Django as you will find in this life. You'll also find a number of other fine gypsy jazz players that way. Django basically invented the genre of gypsy jazz and influenced many major jazz and blues guitarists including BB King, Tal Farlow, Johnny Smith, etc. Jerry played Russian Lullabye in a gypsy-ish way.

Django's sound is unique and in part due to the insturments he played. Django played Selmer Macaferri guitars, sort of a hybrid flattop/archtop instrument with a very bright sound. These are usually strung with copper wound light gauge strings (.010s, called Argentines) and have a very long scale length (26.5", an inch longer than a Strat). They are played with a very heavy pick (6 mm thick) that is profiled and kind of scalloped for your thumb and index finger. These are wonderful instruments, my Saga copy of a Sel-Mac is my one of my two favorite acoustics and is very well suited to playing solos over Dead tunes. Jerry's clean mid-70s Wolf tone (e.g., One From the Vault) is quite similar.

If you listen to Django's stuff, you'll hear a lot of stuff that sounds like Jerry at times. He had that same fluid ability to shift from scale to scale and mode to mode. I have read in various books that Jerry listened to Django quite a bit.

 #12797  by steve
 Wed Feb 14, 2007 9:51 pm
i just watched the video of him at montreaux at age 13 on youtube. wow