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What sort of gypsy rhythm in Gypsy Rhythm?

YehoshuaYehoshua New
edited July 2009 in Gypsy Rhythm Posts: 6
I am considering buying Gypsy Rhythm. My question is this (and you can redirect me if it has already been addressed): Django, if I'm not mistaken, had two rhythm guitarists playing behind him, and when he played "rhythm" it was more like a kind of rhythmic embellishment. What will I be learning from Gypsy Rhythm, what the two rhythm guitarists were playing or what Django was playing, or both? And, incidentally, am I right to assume that those two rhythm guitarists must have been playing the exact same chords, maybe even the same voicings, without much room for chord substitution, etc.?
Thanks,
Yehoshua

Comments

  • Matthias LenzMatthias Lenz Lucklum, GermanyNew
    Posts: 101
    Hi, Yehoshua

    first of all, welcome to this forum.

    Gypsy Rhythm will cover both the things you were asking about, basic La Pompe as well as rhythmic embellishments. And there´s soooo much more in it.

    You´ll not only learn about La Pompe, but also about different styles that are used (such as Dutch, Parisian, etc...), advanced harmonic and rhythmic techniques (triplets, accents, more modern chords, etc....), bass and chord accompaniment on guitar and comping (the exciting stuff Django added to the Rhythm section).

    With the song transcriptions you get good examples for basic and modern approaches, in a band context as well as in a duet situation. Enough material to keep one busy for a long time :wink:
  • MichaelHorowitzMichaelHorowitz SeattleAdministrator
    Posts: 5,768
    Yehoshua wrote:
    What will I be learning from Gypsy Rhythm, what the two rhythm guitarists were playing or what Django was playing, or both?

    Both...each song has many versions including a Basic one that the rhythm guys played and more advanced versions that are transcriptions of Django's embellishments.

    And, incidentally, am I right to assume that those two rhythm guitarists must have been playing the exact same chords, maybe even the same voicings, without much room for chord substitution, etc.?

    I think they tended to play similar voicings....but it's hard to know for sure.

    'm
  • YehoshuaYehoshua New
    Posts: 6
    Thanks for your replies Matthias and Michael,
    I downloaded the first pay lesson (Lesson 1: Beyond Three-Note Voicings) and found it very informative and interesting. After going through it, I have the following questions: Were the big chords used by django and his fellow musicians unique to them, or were they basically the same voicings being used by jazz guitarists in the US? Does Gypsy Rhythm touch on this at all? Are you familiar with any works that focus on pre-WWII rhythm Jazz guitar in general, or even the development of rhythm Jazz guitar from early to modern periods?
  • MichaelHorowitzMichaelHorowitz SeattleAdministrator
    Posts: 5,768
    Yehoshua wrote:
    Were the big chords used by django and his fellow musicians unique to them, or were they basically the same voicings being used by jazz guitarists in the US?

    Generally American swing players (ala Freddie Green) favored smaller three note (or even one note!) voicings. They played in bigger ensembles, often with a piano, horns, drummer, etc so they tended to stay out of the way.

    Conversely, the Gypsy players relied primarily on the guitar so they favored bigger voicings, 5 or 6 notes much of the time.

    However, Django did use plenty of three note voicings...but more for extended passages of quick chord changes.
    Does Gypsy Rhythm touch on this at all?

    Sort of because Django and many other players also played flat-four American style rhythm so I talk about that. But I don't talk at all about what American players like Freddie Green did. You need to check out this book:




    Charlton-Johnson-SWING-AND-BIG-BAND-GUITAR.jpg
  • JazzDawgJazzDawg New
    Posts: 264
    I can second the recommendation for the Big Band Swing book. That's where you get a lot of info about the hows and why's of that kind of chord construction. I haven't gotten Michael's Gypsy Rhythm yet, but plan to when I can.

    I'm finding that the type of chords a rhythm player uses depends on the setting, which is true of most genres really though.

    If you can, at least check your library for some books on the topic of jazz chords, our area libraries carry some nice books on it. Also, don't be afraid to check out some live bands in your area. Most musicians love to talk about those things, and will share the info.
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