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Fooling around with a Django shape

Lango-DjangoLango-Django Niagara-On-The-Lake, ONModerator
I've always loved the part of "Honeysuckle Rose" where Django plays some cool stuff based on this Bb-E-Bb C7 shape:

--------------------------
--------------------------
----------3--------------
-------2-----------------
---1---------------------
--------------------------

One of my musical goals is to learn from Django's brilliance and not just parrot his licks...as I once heard Stephane Wrembel say, "You can choose to live in Django's shadow, or by his light."

So anyway, I got to thinking... what else could I do with this somewhat unusual shape?

I've been moving it around the fretboard and trying it on different combinations of strings... to my ears, it still sounds best on strings 5, 4 and 3, even when the same exact notes could be played on strings 6, 5 and 4... ? But perhaps I'm just crazy, as has been long suspected...?

Anyway, I'd like to officially throw this concept out to the international brain trust at djangobooks.com...

One of the things I've done with it is to use it as the basis for an A7 lick (C#-G-C#)

--------------------------
--------------------------
-----------6-------------
-------5-----------------
---4---------------------
--------------------------

and then move it down one fret to use it as the basis for a D7 lick (C-F#-C)

--------------------------
--------------------------
-----------5-------------
-------4-----------------
---3---------------------
--------------------------

So you can see it's a nice easy one to use when the chords go through the "cycle of fifths" aka "marche harmonique"...

Check it out for yourself and let us know what you can come up with!

Will

PS Note that this shape would also work over diminished chords...
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."
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Comments

  • Lango-DjangoLango-Django Niagara-On-The-Lake, ONModerator
    Posts: 1,852
    *** crickets ***

    :cry:
    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."
  • spatzospatzo Virtuoso
    Posts: 768
    Yes that's a very interesting shape quite easy to remember that I almost completely forgot. This approach to harmony is creative indeed and made me think in the absolute simplicity of the incredible "one note chords" of Mister Freddy Green in Basie's orchestra.
  • The entire phrase (b7-R-3-5-b7 and the reverse including the 9 and the 7 as a chromatic) is a great off kilter phrase for a ii-V-I and is very movable.
  • Lango-DjangoLango-Django Niagara-On-The-Lake, ONModerator
    Posts: 1,852
    Jim, you're right about "off kilter"; since this 'chord' only has three notes, it's great for making syncopated phrases i.e. "three against four".

    I made a little recording of some licks just fooling around with the shape this afternoon against the following progression:

    A7/D7 G7/C7 F

    I used just the following fingerings

    A7 (C#-G-C#)

    --------------------------
    --------------------------
    -----------6-------------
    -------5-----------------
    ---4---------------------
    --------------------------

    D7 (C-F#-C)

    --------------------------
    --------------------------
    -----------5-------------
    -------4-----------------
    ---3---------------------
    --------------------------

    G7 (B-F-B)

    --------------------------
    --------------------------
    -----------4-------------
    -------3-----------------
    ---2---------------------
    --------------------------

    C7 (Bb-E-Bb)

    --------------------------
    --------------------------
    -----------3-------------
    -------2-----------------
    ---1---------------------
    --------------------------

    For the F chord I just grabbed any note that was handy.

    I don't claim that any of these licks achieve a truly Djangoistic level, but they are all easy to play and seem to work pretty well over the chords.

    Hopefully somebody out there will be inspired to find some other cool stuff to do with this shape...

    Will

    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."
  • Lango-DjangoLango-Django Niagara-On-The-Lake, ONModerator
    Posts: 1,852
    OK, same shape, different inversions, this time it's

    A7 (G-C#-G)

    --------------------------
    --------------------------
    -----------12-------------
    -------11-----------------
    ---10---------------------
    --------------------------

    D7 (F#-C-F#)

    --------------------------
    --------------------------
    -----------11-------------
    -------10-----------------
    ---9---------------------
    --------------------------

    G7 (F-B-F)

    --------------------------
    --------------------------
    -----------10-------------
    -------9-----------------
    ---8---------------------
    --------------------------

    C7 (E-Bb-E)

    --------------------------
    --------------------------
    -----------9-------------
    -------8-----------------
    ---7---------------------
    --------------------------

    Once again, for the F chord I just grabbed any note that was handy.

    The last two licks on the recording are my favourites. I used DDU picking on each pair of strings... very syncopated, with an "old school" feel...

    In my dreams, Rino van Hooijdonk told me he liked these two licks, too! :roll:

    Will

    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."
  • mandocatmandocat Santa Rosa, CA✭✭✭ AJL XO, Eastman 905CE, PRS SE
    Posts: 82
    Is this the same shape (with adjustment for B string) Django uses over E7 on the G, B, and E strings at the beginning of Sweet Georgia Brown?
  • Lango-DjangoLango-Django Niagara-On-The-Lake, ONModerator
    Posts: 1,852
    Indeed it is, mandocat... and strangely enough, it's the same shape Jimi Hendrix uses at the beginning of "Purple Haze".
    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."
  • mandocatmandocat Santa Rosa, CA✭✭✭ AJL XO, Eastman 905CE, PRS SE
    Posts: 82
    If my memory serves he also used it at the end of the 1st time through "I'll See You In My Dreams" before going back to the B flat. It's simple and has a nice dissonance.
  • Lango-DjangoLango-Django Niagara-On-The-Lake, ONModerator
    Posts: 1,852
    Exactly! and you raise an excellent point... the kind of dissonance this shape creates actually sounds cool even when it's technically 'wrong'.

    As an example, here's me playing just the shape

    --------------------------
    --------------------------
    -----------9-------------
    -------8-----------------
    ---7---------------------
    --------------------------


    over the last sixteen bars of "It Had to be You" in the key of G.



    Not that I would actually overdo the dissonance like this for a full sixteen bars in real life, but it does go to show how much you can get away with!

    Will
    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."
  • lacrossehotclublacrossehotclub La Crosse WI✭✭✭ Dupont Nomade
    Posts: 116
    Ok fooling around some more, eight note triplets, all down strokes. The theory falls apart after the first triplet but it resolves, especially if you nail that last note.

    E7 or Bb7
    --------------------------
    --------------------------
    --------------------------
    -----------12-------------
    -------11-----------------
    ---10---------------------


    --------------------------
    --------------------------
    -----------12-------------
    -------11-----------------
    ---10---------------------
    --------------------------


    --------------------------
    -----------12-------------
    -------11-----------------
    ---10---------------------
    --------------------------
    --------------------------


    -----------12-------------
    -------11-----------------
    ---10---------------------
    --------------------------
    --------------------------
    --------------------------
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