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Djangology: Tune of the Month, September '06

JackJack western Massachusetts✭✭✭✭
edited February 2014 in Repertoire Posts: 1,748
Hi all,

I've always found this an odd tune to suss out harmonically, so I thought we'd take another look...


More modern takes may reharmonize the progression into a descending series of m7 and m7b5 chords. More to come on this.


Django & Stephane do a classic intro on an early recording; I'll try to get it up soon. Bireli's Live in Vienne DVD offers another great intro based on the introductory chord.

One idea that might apply is a chromatically descending idea based off diminished arpeggios. I wrote something out for a student not long ago that began with a C#dim arpeggio (ascending):


before moving on to a descending pattern:

then to a G6, etc, before beginning to ascend again on the Am. If there's interest I'll write the whole thing out...Michael also has a nice example in Gypsy Picking that fits well over this tune.

At any rate, there's more to come, but I thought I'd get this up at the beginning of the month for a change!



  • andyjandyj Birmingham EnglandNew
    edited September 2006 Posts: 19
    Here is an idea for use over the B section ab/ eb7 a/e7

    This is for over Ab/Eb7

    E ---------------------------8-9-10-11------------------
    B -------------8-9-11-12----------------------------
    G -8--8h10---------------------------------------------

    The lick is simply moved up a fret for the A/E7 part


    I have recorded a slow and fast version of the lick. Please excuse my crude recording methods! 8)
  • andyjandyj Birmingham EnglandNew
    Posts: 19
    Here is a lick to go over the am7/d7/g part at the end of the chord sequence in section A, Can't remember where I pciked this up, but I think it works well in this tune.


    --3-2-h-3 PO-2-----------------------------4-
  • I usually like to think of the changes in terms of dominant chords, rather than diminished:


    I think this approach can free up the thinking part a little more. It allows me to pull out the "hipper" dominant licks.
  • JackJack western Massachusetts✭✭✭✭
    Posts: 1,748
    Thanks for the ideas, guys (and especially for taking the time to record them!)...if it seems like I'm not around much, it's just that I'm having some computer troubles...glad to see someone's around to add to keep things going.

    I forgot to mention that a video featuring Matelot Ferret and Gus Viseur can be found Here.

    One other thing just occurred to me-am I the only one that repeats the bridge to make it 8 bars?

  • BluesBop HarryBluesBop Harry Mexico city, MexicoVirtuoso
    Posts: 1,379
    Jack wrote:
    One other thing just occurred to me-am I the only one that repeats the bridge to make it 8 bars?
    Well...Bireli does it too :)
    Most people I`ve heard play 8 bars but just for the head.
    BTW. "The tune of the month" is a great idea keep it up!
  • andyjandyj Birmingham EnglandNew
    Posts: 19
    came across a site that mentioned triotone subs, does anyone know how they work?
  • Josh GibsonJosh Gibson FLNew
    Posts: 29
    A tritone is an interval of 3 whole steps. C-Gb, F#-C, etc...

    When you look at a dominant chord, D7 for instance, you have 1-3-5-b7 or D-F#-A-C.

    By substituting a dominant chord located a tritone away, in this case Ab7 or Ab-C-Eb-Gb, you add a couple cool altered tones. Specifically, the b5 - Ab and b9 -Eb.

    In this tune, you could play a bassline that chromatically descends from C# down to G using the following chords:

    A7/C# (9X79XX)
    D7b9/C (8X78XX)
    G/B (7X57XX)
    A7b9/Bb (6X56XX)
    Am7 (5X55XX)
    D7b5/Ab ((4X45XX)
    G6 (3X24XX)

    The D7b5/Ab in bar 6 is an example of tritone substitution. If you look closely, it's really an Ab7 chord, or the tritone sub for D7.

  • djangologydjangology Portland, OregonModerator
    Posts: 1,001
    im looking for more ideas for playing over the A part of the song. i try to harmonize on either the second chord chart at the beginning of this thread or ill try to "dominant-ize it" with the following changes:

    A7 | D7 | G6.9 | Eb7(Bbm) | Am | D7 | G6.9 | G6.9

    But, really , what I am looking for are ideas on how to play good melodies over the apparent key modulation from the first 2 chords of the A into the rest of the A ....

    Any ideas on this?

    What I do now is that I might play Am6 or Em6 related patterns over the first two chords and then switch into G major or D major phrases for the rest of the A.

    I really need more ideas on this.
  • MichaelHorowitzMichaelHorowitz SeattleAdministrator
    Posts: 6,023
    Many people have trouble with this song...but when you analyze it it's just ii-V-I twice, with a diminished passing chord in-between. The first ii is dominant, but that doesn't matter too much, many ii-V-I patterns will sound fine over a dominant ii.

    A7 D7 GM Bbdim Am D7 GM

    So just play your favorite ii-V one can even forget about the ii altogether and just play V-I twice (D7-GM).

    Hope this helps..

  • HCPhillyHCPhilly Phila. PA✭✭✭✭
    Posts: 147
    Here's a few ideas that might help you with soloing on the 1st 8 bars to Djangology:

    Using the a7/ c#mi7b5 - cmi6 version of progression,
    you can think of the "A" section as basically the key of G,
    starting on a II7 - ivminor- I etc., with a root movement of
    C#-C-B-Bb-A-D-G [This progression is fairly common in jazz and standards, and it's the same as part of Cole Porter's "Night and Day," in a different key. You can look for harmonic lines in the progression to
    incorporate in working out ideas. For example, you have the line the starts on "E" natural - eb-d-db-c. You can try coming up with a few nice simple riffs that swing, [think of a big band shout chorus, a theme that swings, don't muck it up by playing too many notes]. Using the harmonic lines, [you should look for the other's on your own], develop lines that are in the key adding the moving lines to string together the chords.
    Let the phrases "breathe," [as a matter of fact, try singing your ideas,
    this will help you to be musical]. Trying to leave space gives your ideas more weight, and it usually sounds better than trying to play every chord all of the time in your solo. A lot of the notes in G major will fit the chords, [the g note fits all of the chords, it'll sound like a sus 4 on the d7, but it worked for Django and Louie], the "a" and "b" nat., fit every chord
    except for the Bb diminished, [ the b nat will clash with that of course].
    [in other words, the g major scale played c-c with an eb insted of an e nat, will work for the c mi6 chord. it works even better with added passing tones]. [This is hard to cover in an email, but I'll do my best]!
    Work out and/or learn some good ii-v-i Gypsy Jazz ideas, for the last bit. As you know, there are stock riffs that everybody uses, they really come in handy.
    In addition to working out the chord shapes for all of the chords in different postions, it would help to make sure that you know the correct scale for each chord, including the common passing tones that make jazz sound like jazz. I've always found that in general, when working on a progression that might seem difficult, to listen to the great players of course, to see what they did, and then to figure out why the idea works.
    If you have that info, you can apply the concept to other situations. Lastly, a variation on the progression is a commonly used ending,
    sometimes called the b5 ending. It can be played as follows;
    C#mi7b5-cmi6-g/b-Bbdim-ami7-Abma7-G [or gma7 or g6].
    The cool thing is that you voice the tonic "g" on the top note of every chord, with a chromatically moving line starting on the b5 of the key. Mi7-5 resolving to iv minor has some other uses in jazz.
    I'll cover that sometime. Hope that this is helpful and not too boring and abstract! I realize that there's too much to try to cover in one post.
    If anybody wants more info on any of these points let me know thru the forum or thru my site;
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