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MAllred C5081 DMoloney per SwingIt GypsyMadness

Django era rhythm v. modern

PassacagliaPassacaglia Madison, WI✭✭✭✭
edited September 23 in History Posts: 1,430

Going over Duved's material on Soundslice and Dennis's rhythm course on his own website; this, and re-wiring recall for chords themselves in Michael's book.

Literally starting over. Not sure "which time" it is I'm starting over. I'm not pushing my body, as best as I can (it's like a spiritual fire gets relit - I don't want to stop), I am going slow, going for perfectly articulated notes in chords, watching changes, working on basic swing rhythm. (I'm incidentally also working on picking technique, something I religiously avoided more or less, "last time." "Learn rhythm first; years later, start picking up soloing - but only then." I'm no longer religious about anything, really). I'm pretty pleased my body seems to remember things even before my brain, to some extent.

All this affords me maybe a window to think more on conscious decisions.

Particularly with Dennis's early portions of his course and his view not to consider basic chords, barre, etc., as somehow outside the world of gypsy swing, I recall Duved's course on Soundslice, and his love and mastery of the early "Django Sound."

I am steeped in 6ths, 6/9ths, thumb chord voices, etc; in a way I benefitted in that I came to this playing with almost no experience (cowboy chords; a kid, 50 years ago, only), so the "GJ approach" is all I really know.

But it occurs to me, a conscious choice - both as a supporting player, and as a manner of training, rock-solid fundamentals - well, nothing wrong with G, Gm, G7, G dim., etc. Dennis's part I is replete with these, and I get it.

What do you guys think - an "old school" rhythm in the modern era? Do you guys enjoy a rhythm player playing in these, whatever it is you're doing? Or do you prefer the kind of mournful lament of the m6ths, etc.? How about Latin rhythms - m. v. m7, etc.?

ps: Heading out to camp with my son, if I don't reply. Have a great weekend, all.


pas encore, j'erre toujours.


  • bbwood_98bbwood_98 Brooklyn, NyProdigy Vladimir music! Les Effes. . Its the best!
    Posts: 546


    Down the rabbit hole we go. . .

    Current thoughts: Depends on your goals. Knowing all of that material is good - if you are wanting to be the 'pro' rhythm guy, getting a good sound and having the ability to adapt how you are playing to the requests of the soloist is good. I am working on old school playing trying to get it closer to the level of my 'modern' chops. It takes work. Be very conscious of how long your holding things in the left hand on every beat - changing up the voicings to straight major, augmented7, straight minor and so on is up to the era you are looking to reference. Same with upstroke use, though IMHO this needs to be controllable as well (not just on 1 or 1 and 3, but wherever and whenever) and chord voicing. Finally regarding latin vibes I'd lean a little more jazz style shell voicings, but also I sometimes struggle with Bossa as it is well . . . not a really a Bossa in my mind (even after playing this music for so many years).

    Finally regarding note choices in chords: I still want to be a jazz musician and thus think that this is very much something I can vary based on what a given soloist is doing at the moment. That is part of what makes this improvised music IHMO. so, if the soloist is all playing melodic minor, then min6; but if they are rolling out pentatonic minor ideas on the root - m7. and on, and on . . .

    Sorry if this is not super helpful. I guess what I am getting at is that it's up to you and the people you are playing with!

  • pdgpdg ✭✭
    Posts: 249

    Imagine if in his later years Django had been admonished by purists to play the way he used to in the '30s.

    nomadgtrbillyshakesbbwood_98Wim GlennLango-DjangoBucorudolfochristvanmalmsteenJSanta
  • BonesBones Moderator
    Posts: 3,137

    Hey Paul. I'm starting over again soon as well. I've been maxed out with work and that has not helped my arthritis but I'm coming up on a break and hopefully let my body recover then get back into playing.

  • billyshakesbillyshakes NoVA✭✭✭ Park Avance - Altamira M10
    Posts: 641


    Hopefully Django would have cranked his amp and told the band to "play it fucking loud!"

  • Posts: 171
  • Lango-DjangoLango-Django Niagara-On-The-Lake, ONModerator
    Posts: 1,678

    Good to hear that you are back to playing again, Paul!

    I’m going to go out on a limb here and suggest that you check out the wonderful rhythm guitar work of my “other” guitar hero, Eddie Lang.

    Depending on the circumstances, Eddie would either play straight 4/4 background chords, or his unique and always-stylish blend of chords, arpeggios and single notes… as heard in such 1920’s masterpieces as “Singin’ the Blues” and “I’m Comin’ Virginia” and his own composition “Rainbow Dreams”.

    Eddie Lang’s music has inspired me for over fifty years now. No offence to Django who did play some lovely rhythm guitar particularly in his duets with Stephane, but… Eddie Lang’s rhythm guitar is the greatest ever!


    Paul Cezanne: "I could paint for a thousand years without stopping and I would still feel as though I knew nothing."

    Edgar Degas: "Only when he no longer knows what he is doing does the painter do good things.... To draw, you must close your eyes and sing."

    Georges Braque: "In art there is only one thing that counts: the bit that can’t be explained."
  • PassacagliaPassacaglia Madison, WI✭✭✭✭
    Posts: 1,430


    I lways fee; rude wjen nt replying. Not in ontel of body right nw, mind gets baadly affected too...weird disese. Thank you all, and will toocuh back when things clm doen. - Pdul


    pas encore, j'erre toujours.
  • BonesBones Moderator
    Posts: 3,137

    No worries Paul. Hang in there buddy!

  • PassacagliaPassacaglia Madison, WI✭✭✭✭
    Posts: 1,430

    Jesus - sorry guys, weird. Won't go into it but in addition to the other stuff sometimes waking states and dream (active physicalization/vivid nightmares) states can be difficult to distinguish. Apologies for the bizarreness.

    Thanks, Bones. Hang in there yourself buddy. You continue to inspire.

    Will, thanks for the post as well. I only know of him but have never listened to him. I look forward to it. I have to say, I have to stick laser-focused on one thing at a time, else I will go down some pretty confused rabbit holes in the quest for "mastery." I realize I'll never be anything more than a decent rhythm jam-mate (an acceptance a long time coming!).

    For now, REALLY staying simple - re-working Dennis's rhythm series off his site step-by-step, with guiding notes from some lessons from him, Ted Gottsegen, and Adrian Holovaty, many years ago. I think it's paying off. To hell with repertoire for now; anything other than a good, swinging pompe and a few tunes to work it will have to wait.


    pas encore, j'erre toujours.
  • pdgpdg ✭✭
    Posts: 249

    Yes, the good swinging reliable rhythm player is gold! It's best when the other players almost forget about the rhythm guitar because it's so dependable and stable.

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