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.