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Should rhythm players use the same voicings?

edited June 2011 in Gypsy Picking Posts: 0
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  • rimmrimm Ireland✭✭✭✭ Paul doyle D hole, washburn washington
    Posts: 605
    ..Firstly congrats on getting into playing this stuff, its great that you are all so young and not listening to Nickleback 8)

    Ok, the golden rule in this style is to keep it straight-by all means let the lead guitarist use different voicings to increase drama in a piece, but if you are using tremelo style strumming, playing passing chords while he is soloing etc it will just become a bit of a mess. Timing is critical in this style and I have been scolded many times for trying something flash. It all ends up with slack rhythm and the loss of la pompe. Besides, when you are both locked that sound that you are hearing is the very soul of Gypsy jazz. Heres an example to give you an idea.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U4Dum3T8UNw
    I got a fever and the only prescription is more cowbell
  • Posts: 13
    That clip was totally awesome.

    ~DB
  • klaatuklaatu Nova ScotiaProdigy Rodrigo Shopis D'Artagnan, 1950s Jacques Castelluccia
    Posts: 1,665
    Priceless!
    Benny

    "It's a great feeling to be dealing with material which is better than yourself, that you know you can never live up to."
    -- Orson Welles
  • klaatuklaatu Nova ScotiaProdigy Rodrigo Shopis D'Artagnan, 1950s Jacques Castelluccia
    Posts: 1,665
    The way I interpret your original question is, when both guitarists are playing rhythm, should they use different voicings? IMHO, it can help to create a fuller sound if they do so, within reason.

    Also, one could do some rhythmic variations, as long as the other maintains a steady, no frills rhythm. To make this work, you need to work out who is doing what at any given time, and never, never have both of you doing decorations. It is perfectly acceptable, however, for both of you to play straight. It would be a good idea to record yourselves, try different things, and see what you think of what you're doing.

    And I think anyone will tell you when one guitar is soloing, the other keeps a straight, no frills rhythm. If you're a quintet, let someone else add the extra flavoring. The soloist needs a solid foundation at all times.
    Benny

    "It's a great feeling to be dealing with material which is better than yourself, that you know you can never live up to."
    -- Orson Welles
  • EmmettRayEmmettRay Honolulu, Hawaii✭✭✭✭ Koa Iseman, AJL XO-503, Holo Busato
    Posts: 89
    My advise to you guys, since you're starting out, would be to keep the rhythm as straight as you can and make sure you're using the proper gypsy chords voicings. That itself, is a big challenge when learning this style. This music just doesn't sound the same without using the actual chords Django himself used. As a rhythm guitarist you shouldn't do anything to distract the soloist or take attention from him. You'll find that most lead guitarists will want to play/jam with you if you have steady swinging solid rhythm and good timing. Good luck!
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  • klaatuklaatu Nova ScotiaProdigy Rodrigo Shopis D'Artagnan, 1950s Jacques Castelluccia
    Posts: 1,665
    You won't go wrong with that approach.
    Benny

    "It's a great feeling to be dealing with material which is better than yourself, that you know you can never live up to."
    -- Orson Welles
  • IMO the essence of improvisational music is to have a conversation with your fellow players. AS you get more and more accustomed to playing with each other AND once you can play flawlessly straight up, start trying a few different things( with the emphasis on few) to emphasize what your soloist has played.

    Cardinal rule of this is to not be trying to speak at the same time unless you are going to say the same thing in a way you both agree on before hand.

    In the end IMO if one can have everyone playing their thing on the song and making the song work (aye and there's the rub) that is musical creation at it's finest. This requires everyone having no thought about what they are playing as all concentration must be on what everyone else is playing so that the tune comes out as a coherent magical whole.
    The Magic really starts to happen when you can play it with your eyes closed
  • thripthrip London, UKProdigy
    Posts: 153
    That brings to mind Joe Zawinal's famous Weather Report maxim "We always solo, and we never solo"
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