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  • cavemusic 9:12PM

What is the ultimate Gypsy rhythm guitar?

I have no interest in playing lead--just rhythm. I assume most of the comments about guitars on here refer mostly to lead players' preferences. So with just rhythm in mind, what is the ultimate rhythm guitar?

Erik
Erik Swanson

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  • waldenjazzwaldenjazz Thoreau, NMNew
    I hear this question a lot... personally I think it depends on whether you want to stay acoustic or plug it in. I think the Favino style D models are really great.. but it depends on what you're looking for. Plugging them in I'd say about any of them will be okay. It may just be my ear, but I can't hear much diiference in them through an amplifier.
  • Hey Erik! It's me, Chris!!! How's that Collins treating you?

    It seems that the grande bouche gits get the nod for rhythm playing, but imo I don't think it really matters. I use my Gitane D500 for lead and rhythm.

    I don't think you need the ultimate rhythm guitar, Erik. Your rhythm playing will make any guitar swing. Grab a guitar, put in your hands, and ain't nobody's gonna be sitting in their chairs.
  • For my preference, guitars that sound bloated or thick or that have too much bass make poor rhythm instruments. For rhythm, I prefer dry sounding instuments that are really responsive because if you're playing rhythm properly - most of what comes out is chopped off pretty quick - so all you really are left with is what the guitar can produce before you choke off the chord and take the next stroke - so sustain is not terribly important but power & responsiveness and a lean tonal balance that doesn't sound muddled are really important. I have three guitars that I prefer using for rhythm (which is pretty much all I do - not enough time on my hands to try to become the next Lollo Meier...) one of these guitars is an F hole and two are Petit Bouches - but I also think my friend Pete's Selmer style D hole is a great rhythm machine and Jack's Favino D hole is a great rhythm machine too. The more great instruments I hear - the less I believe in the characterization of Grand or Petit as being either lead or rhythm axes. One of the greatest lead instruments I've ever heard is Dorado's D hole Busato... damn that guitar has a nice lead voice.

    http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid ... 8521162451

    So, IMHO, assuming the guitar has a nice voice - is responsive - doesn't suffer from a wet flat-top like sound or bloated bass - quite a bit of the rhythm sound of a guitar is in the hands of the player. Type of amplification is important too - I think Michael said somewhere else that magnetic pickups are bad for rhythm - the above video clip illustrates that pretty well. The rhythm guy on the archtop - I believe that's "Mano" I've heard him live a couple of times - jammed with him - seen him play from two feet away - I assure you his rhythm hand is f*n fantastic. Yet, on that magnetic pickup... yuck... it sounds wet and swishy like a Stratocaster through a Vox pedal. You wouldn't believe how much better he sounds on a more traditional gypsy guitar without that mag pickup.
    You get one chance to enjoy this day, but if you're doing it right, that's enough.
  • txgypsytxgypsy Dallas, TexasNew
    Thanks Chris! You're much too kind. Have you & James been jamming any?

    I've really been trying to get a better grip ion authentic gypsy rhythm.

    I like my Collins, but ultimately, I think I like the Bigtone better than the Schatten. Maybe I just haven't gotten it dialed in yet. I rarely gig with the Collins because I'm afraid something will happen to it. And honestly, my D-500 sounds pretty good on rhythm for me.

    E
    Erik Swanson
  • txgypsy wrote:
    Thanks Chris! You're much too kind. Have you & James been jamming any?

    I've really been trying to get a better grip ion authentic gypsy rhythm.

    I like my Collins, but ultimately, I think I like the Bigtone better than the Schatten. Maybe I just haven't gotten it dialed in yet. I rarely gig with the Collins because I'm afraid something will happen to it. And honestly, my D-500 sounds pretty good on rhythm for me.

    E

    Haven't jammed with James in quite some time. I think he's put the gypsy jazz on the side burner for a while. I'm still knocking it around a bit, but lessons and solo gigs are keeping my calendar hoppin'!

    Horowitz's Gypsy Rhythm is pretty comprehensive and impressive imo, a fantastic reference and tool. Also, Chang's DVD is quite tempting and so far has gotten very solid reviews.

    Did y'all play the Django Fest over in FW?
  • txgypsytxgypsy Dallas, TexasNew
    I've got Denis' DVD--it's great. And today I ordered Michael's Rhythm book. Looking forward to it.

    Yes, we played Djangofest last night. It was great--good crowd. Gotta love Ft. Worth! I'm planning to go back tomorrow. Kim Platko is doing a guitar workshop in the afternoon and then he and Steve Story (violin) are doing some sort of Gypsy duo. Should be great.
    Erik Swanson
  • what is dorado playing in the beginning of that video??

    i should know.. its on the tip of my tongue but i can't pinpoint it...

    argh.

    it's beautiful though. plus the busato helps.
  • BluesBop HarryBluesBop Harry Mexico city, MexicoVirtuoso
    the song is "When day is done".
  • ah thanks! i knew i had that django record somewhere!
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