New / rare pic of Django Reinhardt and G. Lévecque



  • Teddy DupontTeddy Dupont Deity
    Posts: 1,264
    Yes I think it is the lightness of the gauge of the strings that you are thinking of. Hodgkiss said "I could quite easily raise the fifth and sixth strings a quarter of a tone with finger pressure only". In the same article he describes Django's guitar case. "It was cheap, battered and worn and was kept together by string - with a piece of bent metal wire for a handle".

    In searching through other articles to see if I could find another example of someone who had actually seen Django's guitar and had commented on the action, I found this interesting comment. When asked whether the art of improvisation could be learned, Django said "No". He went on to say if one is not "born" with the ability to improvise, there is no hope of mastering the art. He did accept that years of intensive study might enable someone to learn to improvise but only to a limited extent.
  • Teddy DupontTeddy Dupont Deity
    Posts: 1,264
    ........when asked "What do you think of American guitarists", he said "All have very good taste but no technique".

    .....and when asked "What do you think of the late Eddie Lang", Django replied "Very limited but a good accompanist".
  • Svanis1337Svanis1337 ✭✭✭
    edited January 2016 Posts: 459
    Teddy and Spatzo have you noticed the rare Teddy Piaz photo at 6:09 in the video? I thought you were looking for that one.
  • spatzospatzo Virtuoso
    Posts: 768
    Yes the photo at 6:09 but, even if I can't remember exactly where, I already have seen it.
    About Dystel (that as we know didn't like especially Django's music) that's right he said he couldn't play Django's guitar because of the action but it was around 1951 maybe in the Club Saint-Germain and who knows if it was still the same guitar...
  • Teddy DupontTeddy Dupont Deity
    Posts: 1,264
    Svanis1337 wrote: »
    Teddy and Spatzo have you noticed the rare Teddy Piaz photo at 6:09 in the video? I thought you were looking for that one.
    Yes I copied it when I first saw the video early last year but I only have a poor quality copy of the full crop.

  • Teddy DupontTeddy Dupont Deity
    edited January 2016 Posts: 1,264
    Check the action on 503 at 2.03 and 7.48 assuming the bridge is the same height as Django had and the guitar has not bowed significantly since he actually played it.
  • Teddy DupontTeddy Dupont Deity
    Posts: 1,264
    I've just been in touch with the guy who made the video and he said 503 was in "Exhibition Mode" and completely unplayable. He said it needed the neck reset so the incredibly high action we see in the video is meaningless.

    I guess what a person like Sam Adams, who probably played a big high action cello guitar, would consider "low" is very different to what an almost certainly low action electric guitarist like Distel would think. Where did the Sacha Distel comment come from?
  • Posts: 4,833
    The single notes attack on his recordings always suggested a high action guitar but when I asked this question in a separate thread majority of opinions from the more informed people were that he played low action instruments for the most part. I think Teddy, you brought up the Sam Adams article.
    Which was surely true but the other extreme was likely also true, that at some times you needed pliers for fingers to play it. Being aloof as he was I don't think Django cared a whole lot about the setup as long as it didn't buzz and his guitars were probably just like him, you never knew what you're gonna get next time.
    Every note wants to go somewhere-Kurt Rosenwinkel
  • gatsbygatsby United States✭✭✭✭
    Posts: 119
    I remember reading Distel's story in a French guitar magazine around 2003. He used to go to Saint-Germain and listen to Django.
  • Teddy DupontTeddy Dupont Deity
    Posts: 1,264
    In a review of the 1938 UK Cambridge Theatre concert, Terry Usher said "The tone he (Django) produces is absolutely grand, but when hitting chords he often rattles the strings, so fiercely does he strike them". I would have thought that more likely to indicate low rather than high action.
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