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What is this progression? Help

AmundLauritzenAmundLauritzen ✭✭✭✭
edited June 2013 in Licks and Patterns Posts: 236
My path of learning this style of music has mostly been learning solos note for note, but I'm working on improvising a lot these days, and I have encountered a progression that I find in several tunes.
Djangos Tiger: D, D#dim, A, F#7
Them There Eyes: G,G#dim,D,B7
I Can't Give You Anything But Love: C,C#dim,G,E7

And in dozens more songs.

To learn to improvise over this I try to watch videos of other players and steal their licks to figure it out. However, I'm also trying to figure out the nuts and bolts of this so I can come up with my own stuff. I already know quite a bit of music theory, so that's not the problem. The problem is approaching it in a way that sounds authentic gypsy jazz, which theory on its own can't do.

For Djangos Tiger, that part is after the modulation to D major. So I think like this:
For D major chord I just play standard major idea around the chord tones, I already have tons of vocab for this.

For the D# dim I usually grab the dim arpeggio. However, it does get old when I do that every chorus. Is there a different approach?

The A major chord is regular major idea. Then for the F#7 I usually go into the standard gypsy jazz dominant position.

Theoretically approaching this is one thing. But the gist about that progression is that it is so important at that point in the tune that a line must have integrity from beginning to end. Copy pasting ideas will not work unless the line has a strong identity.
So I wanted to ask the other players here how they go about playing over this. Maybe someone have a few ideas for me to get more ways to navigate it?
It's so important to keep the momentum and drive at that place in the tune.

Thanks!
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Comments

  • BonesBones Moderator
    Posts: 2,724
    Yes, that's a very common progression and at 1 measure per chord in an up tempo tune it is very challenging to play over the changes.

    I'm not an accomplished lead player but coincidentally I recently asked that very same question to a friend and great violin player and he said, yes we all struggle with that and it takes a lot of practice.

    Not that that helps a lot but I think that the message is that there is no 'silver bullet'. He did suggest hearing and transcribing like you are doing as a good start. I'm always amazed when I transcribe a Django or Bireli, etc. passage over some changes like that and sure enough they are nailing the changes! My plan is to hopefully get enough of those phrases under my fingers and with enough practice start to develop my own ideas.

    I hope that helps.
  • AmundLauritzenAmundLauritzen ✭✭✭✭
    Posts: 236
    Bones wrote:
    Yes, that's a very common progression and at 1 measure per chord in an up tempo tune it is very challenging to play over the changes.

    I'm not an accomplished lead player but coincidentally I recently asked that very same question to a friend and great violin player and he said, yes we all struggle with that and it takes a lot of practice.

    Not that that helps a lot but I think that the message is that there is no 'silver bullet'. He did suggest hearing and transcribing like you are doing as a good start. I'm always amazed when I transcribe a Django or Bireli, etc. passage over some changes like that and sure enough they are nailing the changes! My plan is to hopefully get enough of those phrases under my fingers and with enough practice start to develop my own ideas.

    I hope that helps.
    Thanks for your insight. Yeah, it is usually as we fear: buckle up and do the hard work! Today I've been working with the DVD "In The Style Of Stochelo Rosenberg" and I've been taking phrases from the solos where that progression occurrs. Then I've been applying said phrases to every song I know with that progression: Django's Tiger, Them There Eyes, I can't give you anything but love, Shine, etcetra.
    This is how I've worked since I started learning this style. I started when Rosenberg Academy opened, and I've learned every song on the site each month since I was there from the beginning. Can't play it anywhere near Stochelos speed, but I am starting to make connections between licks and see similarities in songs. So it's not that I lack a specific method, because what I'm doing works wonders(I supplement with licks from "In the style of Stochelo Rosenberg" and the Gonzalo book + lessons from Denis Changs site). It's just that particular progression where you have to be so specific with the chords and your ideas have to perfectly outline them.

    I noticed Stochelo often plays octave ideas over those chords, so I've stolen one lick I now work into my playing.

    Great to see that you asked that question as well. Maybe some people can chime in and share some ideas for that progression which we can both benefit from.
    As I said for me the theory and method is not the problem, just coming up with ideas for that progression so I am happy for any licks that are shared!
  • Kal-ELKal-EL New
    Posts: 10
    hello, been playing and lurking a few years, feel just about ready to make a decent contribution to this great forum :D

    The believe that progression is called a 'christophe' - do a search there should be lots out there.

    This turnaround sorts the men from the boy with this music - the changes are often fast and theres no catch all diatonic phrase to cover it. As stated needs a fairly methodical practice regime - linking arpegios and various inversions around the entire fretboard

    One thing that helped me with it was linking arpegios horizontally up the neck - i.e for djangos tiger, start with D in first position, move up slightly for the d#dim, and so on till the end of the section. the patern and structure makes it easy to remember, alter and transpose!

    hope that helps
  • BonesBones Moderator
    Posts: 2,724
    Another variation on that progression is in Hungaria. Check that one out as well.
  • Bill Da Costa WilliamsBill Da Costa Williams Barreiro, Portugal✭✭✭ Mateos
    Posts: 191
    I couldn’t find anything about the Christophe apart from an indirect reference in French here:
    http://www.guitweb.com/page6/anatole2.php

    Again I’m not an expert either but in the standards from the 40s this progression almost always has a similar function: IV leading back to the tonic then to the 5th of the II min or II7 of a II V movement back to the tonic again.

    Taking the example you give of “Them there eyes” in D as an example, I tend to negotiate it with a G phrase, add a G# note (plus diminished run to taste), back to tonic (D) and then a V phrase leading to Em or E7 (as appropriate) and finish with an A7 cadence back home to the tonic D.

    Right now I'm going to check the Stochelo DVD too. Have you transcribed any examples form there you can share?
  • Kal-ELKal-EL New
    Posts: 10
    just realised hes playing a minor in the second chord. so adjust minor 3rd for the dininished sound
  • Denis Chang's dvd (vol 2) has a pretty good exploration of these, which the you tube video player is playing.
  • spatzospatzo Virtuoso
    Posts: 701
    This well known sequence is called "The Rag" as it comes from the third part of Tiger Rag...

    It starts on IV (sub dominant) goes throught IV#° to I (tonic) and then to VI7 to II7 to V7 and finally to I

    The christophe is instead I I7 IV IVm...
  • Kal-ELKal-EL New
    Posts: 10
    spatzo wrote:
    This well known sequence is called "The Rag" as it comes from the third part of Tiger Rag...

    It starts on IV (sub dominant) goes throught IV#° to I (tonic) and then to VI7 to II7 to V7 and finally to I

    The christophe is instead I I7 IV IVm...


    not sure this is correct - I found an explanation by denis on another thread

    "Anatole and christophe are basic chord progressions that are found in lots of early jazz tunes...

    Anatole is actually french for turn around (I VI II V , ie C Am Dm G7, or C A7 Dm7 G7, etc...)

    Christophe is a variation on the turnaround that involves IV IVm I like F Fm C.... or even IV #IV dim7 F F#dim C...

    Turnarounds are in practically every tune in different format... you can find a short turnaround in rhythm changes based tunes such as Daphne, Swing 42, I got rhythm, flintstones theme, etc...

    you'll find a longer turn around pattern on the first 8 bars of songs like I can't give you anything but love....

    Christophe you'll find that in tunes like All Of Me, I can't give you anything but love, them there eyes, django's tiger, etc..."
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