WWDjD: Nuits De St-Germain-Des-Prés



  • Wim GlennWim Glenn oƃɐɔᴉɥƆModerator 503
    edited December 2017 Posts: 1,104
    Thanks Roch, nice geek out. Interested in the context of the words of Bill Evans? ("whether you're happy to approximate or not")

    I think I'm gonna go with the fingering Horowitz mentioned, and just put in the hours to get it clean. The only thing that's got me in doubt is that there IS that one descending F#-7 arp, the second time on the way back down - it comes later and goes faster, breaking out of the rhythmic pattern - that one actually does sounds like a sweep. Maybe Django did that one different over 3 strings somehow.

    btw I think I'm hearing a bum note in your A section, I'm at work now and I don't have my guitar or the recording with me to double check but it's the last 3 notes (that start from the D string). You're playing a tone and a tone but something sounds amiss (it should be a tone then a semitone, perhaps...)
  • MichaelHorowitzMichaelHorowitz SeattleAdministrator
    Posts: 5,891
    Wim Glenn wrote: »
    The only thing that's got me in doubt is that there IS that one descending F#-7 arp, the second time on the way back down - it comes later and goes faster, breaking out of the rhythmic pattern - that one actually does sounds like a sweep. Maybe Django did that one different over 3 strings somehow.

    Yes, most people would play that as a 16th note backward sweep but if you listen really carefully to the recording, it sounds like Django is also playing that bit on two strings. I think he plays the C# on the 1string and then slides down to A on the 1st string (he doesn't pick the note A) and then plays F# on the 2nd string. As always, I can't 100% confirm that's how Django did it but it sounds right and it's something you could do with two fingers.

    I used to think that that 16th note descending arpeggio was the only instance of Django breaking the rules of Gypsy picking (I thought maybe he swept it somehow.) But even there I'm pretty sure he just used two strings to get the same effect, hence maintaining pure Gypsy picking.
  • new mexico (current)✭✭
    Posts: 91
    Ha...Yea, I'm a huge Bill Evans fan. There is a great documentary that is an hour interview of Bill and the interviewer is his older brother Harry who is a University music/piano professor. It is clear that Harry is insecure about his choices as it relates to his own playing and Bill at one point sits at the piano and demonstrates on the tune April in Paris and shows how it would sound "approximated" (which was still pretty good for an amateur) and then shows how "a professional handles a tune" His brother then goes to explain that he had to "make a living" and this kept him from playing well..Bill just says to him "it's just a matter of what your happy with" and that there is nothing wrong with approximation..just don't justify it. I have heard this exact statement directly from some of my musical mentors as well. That's why I stated my appreciation for your love of this style since based on the times we have jammed you were always insightful and committed to the process and journey. Yea, my video was "approximated" :) and I am sure there would be a bum note in it..I haven't listened to the tune in a while, but tried to convey the process of discovering the greatness of Django and his fingering choices. Yea Michael! I just listened and played the F# as described...sounds spot on!
  • Posts: 2,801
    My apologies for jumping in again but I revised my original idea because I heard a few slides to the note in those arpeggios that my initial fingering couldn't accomplish. And for the sake of that one viewer of my video as well.
    And lastly I gotta admit it, I was so giddy to have done it at full speed (despite my intense face which my wife tells me all the time that I got to relax).
    The video is first two A's played at 25%, then 50 and 100%:

    Every note wants to go somewhere-Kurt Rosenwinkel
  • NylonDaveNylonDave Glasgow✭✭✭ Perez Valbuena Flamenca 1991
    Posts: 444
  • Thats not the only time he uses that lick if memory serves.
    The Magic really starts to happen when you can play it with your eyes closed
  • dennisdennis Montreal, QuebecModerator
    edited December 2017 Posts: 2,111
    It's hard to tell with the horns, but i transcribed this one a while back, u can hear a bit of slides if u can concentrate hard enough, so i tend to believe he did it on 2 strings. and when he does that fast descending F#m7 arpeggio, he 's sweep picking the E and B strings with upstroke, followed by an accent down stroke on the note F#, you can kinda hear it in the recording.

    Again, we may never know.

    However, like Buco says, I think it's a myth that Django was constantly forced to play horizontally. He used distinct chord shapes in his improvisation that are closer to the "3 finger" system that wes, joe pas, benson, etc all use.... It's just that maybe in this case, it was way too fast to play it with 2 fingers, and this is not an improvisation but a melody that he probably wanted to nail perfectly despite playing an entirely wrong chord shape on the last A. In fact, that completely wrong shape might prove that he was doing it on two strings, because it's not a mistake that u can make if you're playing it on three strings.

    Finally, before doing the ascending Fm arpeggio for the last pharse of the SECOND A section, he plays an Eb note before playing F Ab C Eb, and the Eb is played on the 8th fret of the G string, you hear that he's doing a sweep downstroke from Eb to F

    here's a video of me explaining all this:
  • MichaelHorowitzMichaelHorowitz SeattleAdministrator
    Posts: 5,891
    @dennis thanks, I think you're right about the 16th note descending f# minor arp fingering. That sounds right doing a little 2 string sweep.
  • edited December 2017 Posts: 2,801
    OK Dennis, with nearly 400 million views on that video alone and half a million subscribers, you really have no place talking about not making much money.
    Every note wants to go somewhere-Kurt Rosenwinkel
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