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That's funny :D If you're actually play the guitar around that way usually, then I don't think it would really be significantly more difficult, so definitely the 2 fingers harder!
I've jammed with one of the staff at Guitare Village who also plays this way - forgot his name, might have been one of the owners - and it really breaks your brain to watch it. Very distracting, I had to look away eventually, otherwise I couldn't keep a solid rhythm going for him. He mentioned that one of the more annoying problems is you have to use an upstroke to "sweep" through a chord to get the normal sound (from low to high pitch).
@Wim Glenn I was just going to mention the same thing about sweeping up. That was one of the first things I noticed as well. I also think you are right that it is not hard for this guy to play this way. If that is the way he learned the instrument, his skills have developed along his way. Jeff Healey would play with the guitar flat on his lap and his fretting hand over the top of the neck rather than from underneath, similar to playing a steel guitar. That always seemed odd to me how he could form chords that way, but he did it just fine. It has been writing that his style also disturbed early band mates. Maybe the fact that he couldn't see others playing helped not break his own brain about it?
What I thought was interesting was that the guy in the video was playing a left hand guitar, but strung standard for a right hand player. Not very often you have to play really high up on the low E string, but I guess it helps give him access to some of that upper register as is.
There are more videos of this guy playing other styles of music (on other guitars) on the channel.
It's kind of ironic, I guess he probably started playing that way on an upside-down-right-hand guitar originally and got into GJ later, but then was too invested in the technique, so had to find a left-handed guitar anyway for the cutaway to be in the right place 😄
The late Patrick Saussois played like this, too. Sadly there isn't much video of Patrick, who was a terrific guitarist who could play anything, but on this one you can see how his lefty Favino is strung with the low E on the bottom.
Oh wow, never seen anybody play a guitar upside down before. Amazing!
I always knew Albert King did this and I think I knew Eric Gales did it as well, but no idea that Dick Dale, Otis Rush, Doyle Bramhall, etc played upside down as well. This video shares some of the stories of these guitarists.
@scot Thanks, as always, for your historical perspective and mentioning Patrick Saussois. Terribly sad what happened to him and such a nice guy too. He had some of the business side with Djaz Records, which helped get more of this music out during a time when it wasn't as popular as it is today.
Just ran across this little retrospective on Django at Jazz History Online. The author goes over a bunch of different songs but ends with I'll See You In My Dreams. He ends his piece with this nice comment: "Reinhardt would have another 14 years on the planet, but even if his career would have ended at this point, recordings like this one would have ensured his immortality."
@MikeK Not sure if you are going to continue these songs of the month, but maybe this article will give you some inspiration for February. I know I spent last month and am continuing to dive into the "I'll See You In My Dreams" solo, so thanks for the extra impetus towards focusing my practice!
Nice link, Billy. There's a lot of golden information in there. I will continue with the Song Of The Month, as long as folks like you enjoy it. Teaser alert--I'm about to post February's song, Seul Ce Soir. While it's not referenced in the article you posted, it's a great tune & I think we'll have fun exploring it this month.
Playing this solo a la Django, fingers feel like they're dancing in some sections. It might sound silly but playing this solo makes me think of Charlie Chaplin's bread roll dance and that's what my fingers feel like hence one of the reasons I kept plugging away to learn it and get it up to speed.