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Andrew Ulle KoryKilgor kanikajaiswal81

Blue Drag and other observations

TenorClefTenorClef UKNew
edited April 2008 in Repertoire Posts: 150
Hi all, does any boday have a lead sheet for this tune, i first heard it on a tv comercial and then on 'Franco-Amercian Swing' by John Jorgenson. Its a great tune.

Also i've discovered that most Real or Fake Jazz books in 'C' are not especially useful for gypsy jazz, the alternative books in Eb and Bb actually are written in much more useful keys for guitar. I would imagine this is because they were written with horn players in mind such as saxes and brass so the C editions tend to have really awkard keys such as Bb- or Ab major where as the the horn editions are written in G or A- for example which seem easier to play in.
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Previously-Gitane 255
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Comments

  • Posts: 7
    Hey man,
    Ya, I agree that this tune is one of my sentimental fav's...also one of my first attempts at Django's own work.
    There's a pretty accurate transcription @ www.hotclub.co.uk/
    In the playing section under powertabs.
    Good luck & enjoy.
  • JackJack western Massachusetts✭✭✭✭
    Posts: 1,911
    TenorClef wrote:
    Hi all, does any boday have a lead sheet for this tune, i first heard it on a tv comercial and then on 'Franco-Amercian Swing' by John Jorgenson. Its a great tune.

    Also i've discovered that most Real or Fake Jazz books in 'C' are not especially useful for gypsy jazz, the alternative books in Eb and Bb actually are written in much more useful keys for guitar. I would imagine this is because they were written with horn players in mind such as saxes and brass so the C editions tend to have really awkard keys such as Bb- or Ab major where as the the horn editions are written in G or A- for example which seem easier to play in.

    Actually, most of the C fake books have the correct keys-the other ones are written for transposing instruments and in the end you'll be playing in the same key. If you start learning all the tunes based on the Eb or Bb editions, you'll be totally screwed when you're playing with other guitarists or any other concert key musicians.

    For instance, I've got a book of Ellington tunes that has charts for C instruments, Bb instruments, and Eb instruments: the 'C' chart for In a Sentimental Mood is in Dm, which is what a guitar player would play. The Bb and Eb charts show the melody that fits with that, even though both charts look different from the 'C' chart but also look different from each other.

    So, if you look at the C instrument chart the first chord is Dm. If you look at the Bb instrument chart, the first chord is Em. If you look at the Eb instrument chart, the first chord is Bm. But when you hear it, the melody is the same each time, and you need to read the chart that's right for your instrument. If you're a guitarist, that's the C (i.e., Concert Pitch) chart.

    Anyway, about Blue Drag, check out Dennis' transcription:
    http://www.fleche-dor.com/en/transcriptions.php

    For chords try something like this (the E half diminished is often played as an A7 or A9, and sometimes the Gm on the bridge is played as C#dim).

    Hope this helps,
    Jack.
  • TenorClefTenorClef UKNew
    Posts: 150
    Thanks for the transcript, going back to my point about jazz fake books, i still feel i have a valid point. If the intention is to play with no horns and just another guitar and double bass using the same lead sheet then the other books (Eb or Bb) would work out just fine. I noticed the chords espaically on the D-hole model can get a little cramped for space if playing in Bb or Ab where as playing in G or A (and minors) is much more logical. Obviously playing open chords is not the intention here but rather having space on the fret board to reach shapes that would be difficult on the D-hole model, not such a problem on the Oval guitar with its long 14 fret neck. I can see why the Oval hole model superceded the D model.
    Currently-Gitane 250M
    Previously-Gitane 255
    Previously- Gitane D500
  • nwilkinsnwilkins New
    Posts: 431
    well, you should be able to play any song in Bb with no problem - you just have to use different chord shapes. Even with just a knowledge of chords with roots on E and A strings it shouldn't be a problem to play in any key.

    I do however understand your point about fakebooks.
  • JackJack western Massachusetts✭✭✭✭
    Posts: 1,911
    I don't know...I can see that it would work out for a band that only plays with each other, but won't you have trouble at a jam, or sitting in with another band? For instance, I learned September Song a couple of years before I got into gypsy jazz, and I learned it in Eb, but it turns out that just about everyone I've run into at festivals, jams, gigs, etc plays it in G...

    I'd second Nick's comment about Bb too; just the other day I was sitting here with another guitarist and a clarinet player, and the clarinettist asked what were good guitar keys. At the same time, he says "E" and I say "Bb"-to me it's really conveniently situated on a guitar, with a good amount of space to work with going either way.

    Best,
    Jack.
  • CalebFSUCalebFSU Tallahassee, FLModerator Made in USA Dell Arte Hommage
    Posts: 557
    Yeah I like playing in Bb. It is weird that people think guitarists can only play in E and A. Considering the nature of our instrument transposing is really easy. Feel lucky you don't play Sax.
    Hard work beats talent, when talent doesn't work hard.
  • bbwood_98bbwood_98 Brooklyn, NyProdigy Vladimir music! Les Effes. . Its the best!
    Posts: 421
    Transposing is a very needed skill - and one that I need more work on for sure . . . My wife is a singer and likes everything a fifth up or thereabouts . . . I can play easily if I have 5 mins to write the tune out again; but man sight transposing is tough sometimes (like after the 3rd kir . . . .).
    Thank god I don't play horn (french?)- I mean a fouth off all the time, plus reading in bass, tenor and alto clefs as well as G clef - man!
    That reminds me of a story about guitarist Johnny Smith- when Shoenberg first came to the us- he wanted to premire a work for 8 or 9 players- including guitar; which he wrote at concert pitch in bass clef! the only guitarist in NY who could read it was Johnny Smith . . . NEAT!
    B.
  • CalebFSUCalebFSU Tallahassee, FLModerator Made in USA Dell Arte Hommage
    Posts: 557
    yeah you're right transposing cold is a bit tough. Cool story about Johnny Smith. I can read ok in Bass Clef (Thank You 4 semesters of sight singing), but start throwing alto clefs at me and I get all screwed up. I remeber my first semester of music theory they show you alto and tenor clefs in about 5 seconds then you never see it again till the exam in the third semester. I still have to draw a little 'C' next to where middle 'C' is :lol:
    Hard work beats talent, when talent doesn't work hard.
  • TenorClefTenorClef UKNew
    Posts: 150
    As another example i've been using the Eb fake book to play Blue Bossa which puts the guitar in A-, but now i have to play the tune in a jazz combo next week with an alto saxophone so i've switched to the 'C' edition which puts me in C-, and i just have to say it sounds totally crap, the guitar looses all its sweet spots, the higher chords sound awful with bad overtones or harmonics, even when switching to lower chords, i loose some of the flexible chord shape voicings. I'll make it work for the gigs with horn players, i'm a good transposer as i also play trombone in numerous clefs but i have to go with my ear on this one and if i was playing with just my own 3 piece (2 guitars and double bass) i would definetly not be using the 'C' edition in all instances, i would play the tunes in the positions that work best for the guitar and bring out the best sound for the instrument.
    Currently-Gitane 250M
    Previously-Gitane 255
    Previously- Gitane D500
  • bbwood_98bbwood_98 Brooklyn, NyProdigy Vladimir music! Les Effes. . Its the best!
    Posts: 421
    Caleb - yeah I used to hate seeing those on the tests . . . .thankfully our class combined the singing and the dictation which I always aced . . . so I did alright (I could pass the singing nowdays . . but then- forget it!).
    Tenor- it's usually played in c, but by all means kick it in your own key- but man luggin around all those books if you are not memorizing everything is a lot of work . . . of couse I am reluctant to carry my amp, so. . . .
    Cheers fellas
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