Welcome to our Community!

It looks like you're new here. If you want to get involved, click one of these buttons!

Related Discussions

Who's Online (0)

Today's Birthdays

stuology KaseyBoyla GianniG mhabrnal pigonthewing81 Prestonjazzfest Bent gillawatts

Footage of Django with archtop.

Joshl-mJoshl-m New
edited January 2019 in History Posts: 58
Hey Everyone,
A few years ago, I saw a short clip on YouTube of Django playing an electric archtop in a band setting. I haven't been able to find it since. Has anyone else seen this? It was only 20 seconds or so.
While I'm at it, has anyone compiled the available/known footage of Django? Where could I find it?


  • MichaelHorowitzMichaelHorowitz SeattleAdministrator
    Posts: 5,891
    @Joshl-m I think this is the clip you're looking for:
  • Andrew UlleAndrew Ulle Cleveland, OH✭✭✭ Antoine DiMauro modele Django
    Posts: 490
    It didn't look like the music matched the video...
  • Joshl-mJoshl-m New
    edited January 2019 Posts: 58
    That is the clip! Thanks Michael.
    This clip has been on my mind a lot lately. I have been really curious about whether or not Django modified his picking at all when playing electric(just playing closer to the neck and other little things like that). I haven't touched anything but my gj guitar for over a year. Recently, I picked up an ibanez pm35. It's a great guitar but trying to adjust to the shorter scale length and the amplified sound got me wondering
  • MichaelHorowitzMichaelHorowitz SeattleAdministrator
    Posts: 5,891
    @Andrew Ulle The J'Attendrei clip is the only surviving clip of Django with the original audio. People often add audio the other surviving clips, but it's not original.
  • MichaelHorowitzMichaelHorowitz SeattleAdministrator
    Posts: 5,891
    @Joshl-m The video and some of the photos of Django playing archtop suggest he picked/strummed closer the fingerboard


    That makes sense as archtops tend to sound nice when played there. I play an archtop acoustic on occasion and strum way over the fingerboard when playing rhythm. For single note lines, if you're using restrokes and playing quite hard, you can't play too far forward as there isn't enough string tension to handle it so the notes just crap out. But I still play closer to the fingerboard on an archtop than I would on a Gypsy guitar.

    Although, this action shot suggest Django played closer to the bridge when playing leads:


  • ScoredogScoredog Santa Barbara, Ca✭✭✭✭
    edited January 2019 Posts: 649
  • stuologystuology New
    Posts: 73
    The evidence suggests that Django struggled with archtops. Les Paul once said that Django didn't get on with his arch top on the US tour because he was a 'down picker'. He certainly experimented with them in the late 1940s, but seems to have shifted back to his Selmer when he found he could emulate the sound of an arch top with a Stimer pickup. Many of the late recordings people call 'electric' were probably played on a Selmer.

  • Teddy DupontTeddy Dupont Deity
    Posts: 1,174
    stuology wrote: »
    The evidence suggests that Django struggled with archtops. Les Paul once said that Django didn't get on with his arch top on the US tour because he was a 'down picker'.
    He doesn't sound to be struggling on the recordings we have from the Ellington concerts.

    stuology wrote: »
    Many of the late recordings people call 'electric' were probably played on a Selmer.
    With one exception, they were all almost certainly on an amplified Selmer.

  • stuologystuology New
    Posts: 73
    The Ellington recordings sound great but that doesn't mean Django got on with his Gibson. That he reverted back to his Selmer after flirting with archtops tells its own story. But on the question of technique, this is what Les Paul apparently said: 'When he got back home to Paris, he began to change his style, because he heard our way of playing over here. He even started playing my choruses and those of other guitarists here in the States. I told him he should never copy us, because we were copying him! Django had recorded a copy of my version of “Brazil” and also “How High The Moon.” But he was totally confused with the electric guitar; it was a real opponent to him, because he used a very stiff pick and was a down-picker.'
  • Teddy DupontTeddy Dupont Deity
    Posts: 1,174
    I am sure Django preferred his Selmer with or without amplification but I do not think he struggled with the electric guitar in the way Les Paul has suggested. It would have reflected more in his playing if he had. I think the suggestion that Django started copying him was more in Les Paul's mind than a reality. Django started to assimilate bebop into his playing, not Les Paul. - However, Les Paul was a great friend to Django and later to Naguine.
    Wim GlennBill Da Costa WilliamsBones
Sign In or Register to comment.
Home  |  Forum  |  Blog  |  Contact  |  206-528-9873
The Premier Gypsy Jazz Marketplace
Banner Adverts
Sell Your Guitar
© 2020, all rights reserved worldwide.
Software: Kryptronic eCommerce, Copyright 1999-2020 Kryptronic, Inc. Exec Time: 0.048892 Seconds Memory Usage: 3.450798 Megabytes