Good Rhythm Barking .Gitane DG 350 and DG 370?

gumby705gumby705 Mount Dora, Florida✭✭
I purchased a Gitane DG 500 to start out with because I thought it might be good for that crucial Gypsy Jazz Rhythm. (i.e. Barking) After practicing with the John Jorgeson Video where he play a Selmer and other gypsy guitars, I came to understand just how dry & scratchy sounding the DG 500 sounds with rhythm. I altered the bridge height & and string gauges (Dell Arte & D' Addarios) up and down with only minimal changes in the rhythm tone and little improvement. I tried various gypsy jazz picks and changing my attack, but to no avail.

Then I recently read on the Forum, the newer Gitane DG 370 (unlike other Gitanes) has more of the tradtional Selmer Rhythm "Bark".
Since I am on a budget (per wife) I need to know if this is true before possibly purchasing. What about the Gitane DG 350 for good Rhythm Barks?
What about other lower priced D holes gypsy guitars such as lower priced Dell Artes and Duponts or Patenottes. What would I have to spend to get away from dry and scratchy.


  • MichaelHorowitzMichaelHorowitz SeattleAdministrator
    Posts: 6,146
    The DG-370 is definitely the all around winner...but also more $. The DG-350 makes a nice rhythm guitar has a thicker top then the other sagas so it has warmer, more rounded tone.

  • fraterfrater Prodigy
    Posts: 763
    That's funny:it's the first time I hear someone complaining the DG 500 is too dry and scratchy. People are always complaining it's too wet and boomy!
  • BluesBop HarryBluesBop Harry Mexico city, MexicoVirtuoso
    Posts: 1,379
    I guess different people describe sounds differently... The D500s are often described as wet sounding (reverby).
    I'm still not sure what you mean by "scratchy"
    Anyway If you're doing the rhythm right it should sound fine on that guitar. My rhythm player has one and it's absolutely OK, I've heard great rhythm tone from other guitars, many non Selmer style, so I'm guessing the problem's not the guitar.
    Maybe something's off with your technique??

    I haven't watched that Jorgenson video but he sometimes does things differently than the tradition, I suggest getting Denis Chang's DVD "The art of accompaniment" he shows the "right" way of playing la pompe and lots of cool tricks.
  • gumby705gumby705 Mount Dora, Florida✭✭
    Posts: 27
    I guess what I mean by dry is the chord sound is not very full. (robust)
    Scratchy meaning the the sound is too bright and trebly with less bass and midrange.(as compared to the Jorgeson's Selmers or other D hole guitars)

    Being new to Gypsy Jazz Guitar, I am borrowing many of my adjectives from a recent forum discussion about the Gitane DG-370. The writers liked the DG-370's "Bark" over the sounds of the other Gitane models. (see their adjectives)

    Somewhat contrary to to my archtop acoustic, lowering the bridge and lighter gauge strings improved the chord sounds a little without loss of volume, but I hate to lower it anymore. (I like the Freddie Green sound but will never raise my archtop bridge quite that high)
    I would rather tighten the DG-500 neck (cautiously) and raise the bridge if I could. I also noticed many of the Gitane models in pictures have low bridges, relative to other Selmer styled guitars.

    Despite the chord sounds the DG-500 has a very nice reverberating sound when playing single notes and solos.

    I wish I could sit down and play a variety of D holes guitars, since it could also be a partial player - guitar mismatch. Sadly, there are no Gypsy Jazz Guitar dealers or stores that stock in Florida. We have musicians but they shop outside of the State.

    I like Denis Chang and I will look more into his videos.
    John Jorgeson's personal strum technique maybe a little too straightforward for me : i.e. Hold the Pick (Wegen) at right angles to the strings, play close to the bridge and it all in the wrist.

    I am open to technique discussions and again I'll look into Denis Chang video.
  • The LosThe Los San DiegoNew
    Posts: 71
    I use my DG-250M for rhythm duties and it sounds great. Very bright. I know that may be a little weird but there's my two cents.
  • gumby705gumby705 Mount Dora, Florida✭✭
    Posts: 27
    Bright does have its advantage. It can be heard over other instruments.
    John Jorgeson introduces (and plays) the DG-250M on his instructional video as a good and affordable choice for people starting out in Gypsy Jazz. It sounds nice.

    My leaning at the present time is more towards the D holes, because of their more rounded tone. I’ll have to compare the Gitane DG-350 to the DG-370 and make a decision. According to people who know the two guitars, the DG-350 is said to have a warmer tone and the DG-370 is an overall winner. (i.e. They are different)

    In the end, I guess it will be a matter of preference. People will vary in their touch and auditory perception which often determines instrument selection. It is nice to have at least two instruments to compare.

    I'll look at a few other Gypsy D hole guitar (and a few ovals) for rhythm but Gitane is in my price budget.

    If anyone else has any other suggestions for good rhythm instruments, please write in. If anyone knows of good shops in Florida let me know. If If I come across a DG-250M, I'll give it a try.

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