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Limehouse Blues outro

Carlo GentenaarCarlo Gentenaar The Netherlands✭✭ John Le Voi
edited November 2012 in Repertoire Posts: 44
Hi All,

I would like to discuss the outro of Django's Limehouse Blues, I mean the part where Grappelli breaks down the melody to single notes. He plays D, E, E, F ,F# there and Django answers with some chords that differ from the chords played throughout the tune. I'd like to know exactly what chords should be played there. I could not find any transcription of this song containing this outro.

So the original chords would be:

G6 |E7 |Am7 |Am7 |
Cm6 |D9 |G6 |G6 |

What I've come up with so far, trying to figure out fitting chords that seem logic to me is this:

G6 |E7b9 |Am6 |Eb9/Bb |
D9 |D9 |G6

(that 2nd D9 is where Django's chromatic run ends the tune)

Here are the voicing's of those chords:

G6 E7b9 Am6 Eb9/Bb D9

On the E7b9 the note in the melody is E, the flat 9 is F but as you can see it's low in the chord voicing so they don't bite eachother plus the fingering after the G6 seems logical this way.

The Eb9/Bb would be the theoraticly correct name but it's actually more likely to call it Bbm6. I chose this chord because it contains the F that is played in the melody at that point but listening to the chords only I would have guessed it should have been a diminished Bb. But then it
would hold an E against the F in the melody...

So please help me out here! What do you think?

grts, Carlo


  • Carlo GentenaarCarlo Gentenaar The Netherlands✭✭ John Le Voi
    Posts: 44
    Hi Again,

    I forgot something in my earlier post, the bassnotes. What I've heard so far are these two versions:


    The bass is playing: G - E - A - B - C

    Rosenberg trio & Selmer 607

    The bass is playing: G - E/G# - A - Bb - B

    After comparing these two version I was completely lost. The last chord really sounds like a D7 to me but D7 with a B or C as bass note, what do you call that?!

    Well nevermind cause I found a version by Jimmy Rosenberg, not a fan of his style but this outro on Limehouse blues at least is crystal clear.

    What I'm hearing here is the following:

    G6 |E7 |Am |Eb7 |D7 |

    Eb7 might sound like Eb9 but I believe that's the F from the lead part ringing on. Sounds like he's playing the Eb7 in the 6th position and the D7 on the 10th.

    I'm gonna stick to this version! I'm just gonna ignore the fact that the bass is playing Ab on the 1 where the guitar strums Eb7 on the 2. Where did that come from? Tom Waits once said 'I think my bassplayer should be chained up somewhere', I think they all should! ;-)

    I'd like to thank you all for my usefull advice, I was a big help! :-)

    grts, Carlo
  • I think you sorted out something that worked for you
    The Magic really starts to happen when you can play it with your eyes closed
  • Carlo GentenaarCarlo Gentenaar The Netherlands✭✭ John Le Voi
    Posts: 44
    Yeah well, it's something alright but I'm still curious how others deal with the ending of this tune.
    If any of you ever played Limehouse blues (surely there must be someone out there) I'd really like to know which chords you used in those last bars. At this point I'm leaning towards alternatives so if anyone knows any recording of this song with any kind of cool finale, please name it!
  • BonesBones Moderator
    Posts: 2,883
    It's been a long time since I've played it but as I recall it was basically G, E7, Am, D7 but I never really studied it closely.
  • Carlo GentenaarCarlo Gentenaar The Netherlands✭✭ John Le Voi
    Posts: 44
    Yep, those seem to be correct, they return in every version. But there is one missing between Am and D7. That's the one I just can't get right. Here's another one:

    This time it's: G6 E7 Am Db9 D9.

    I guess I'm not the only one struggling with this outro, every other version I find uses different
    chords. Now I'm not against altering chords to make a song your own but in this case I think if
    you choose to play Django and Grappelli's version, you gotta do it right...
  • deanbdeanb New
    Posts: 1
    Hi. I've just checked the bass notes of the Django version and I came up with G G G# A C# then D before the ascending chromatic lick kicks in starting on D and ending on G. I play bass and I played along with the recording on Transcribe slowed down and it seemed to fit. I will pursue this further when I get around to working on it with a guitarist in our band and post what he thinks the chords are.
    Bill Da Costa Williams
  • Bill Da Costa WilliamsBill Da Costa Williams Barreiro, Portugal✭✭✭ Mateos
    Posts: 225
    So could the C# in the bassline be Eb7 with the seventh on the 6th string (and Eb triad on 4, 3 and 2nd strings, 8th position)?
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