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Any recommendations for group/band format?

in Technique Posts: 18
Okay, so me and my friends were invited to play at the Django Festival occurring in my country, it would be the first time we play "formaly" in public, and we're very excited about it :D.

Thing is, my group is kinda, big, I mean, we have a viola, a violin, a cello (maybe) a Saxophone, Rhythm guitar (Also maybe), and lead guitar (Me). I have been thinking about how to organize all of these things together into something nice, since most gypsy jazz agroupations are Quartets, with only one soloist, but mine has four, (3 if the cello plays the bass line) and...that's a lot, thinking I'm also a soloist.

I don't want to leave anyone aside, I think something really good could come from this, do you guys have any idea?

Happy new year everyone:)



  • juandererjuanderer New ALD Original, Manouche Latcho Drom Djangology Koa, Caro y Topete AR 740 O
    Posts: 201
    If you have a "core" band then do that and feature the other soloists on specific songs (where they come on stage for them and exit when done). Or have people start joining you on stage as the show progresses to where you have the full sha-bang at the end of the show.
  • psychebillypsychebilly Kentucky, USA
    Posts: 40
    What I have understood about Django's 'joie de vie' is that it is entirely appropriate for you to have as many parts as you see fit; Django had two rhythm guitars.

    Make the music as you see fit, no rules. Or, know the rules, and then break them as you see fit. It is about music, and the spirit of Django.

    If you use your full group, it will only set you apart from the rest, especially if you can find a novel way to involve everyone in your ensemble.
    Creativity is knowing how to hide your sources.
  • Posts: 4,509
    You can use those instruments to your advantage: come up with a big band style intro's and have everybody playing harmony lines or unison or octaves, compose a bridge between A and B parts and do the same, have one instrument play a head melody while another plays a counterpoint, even during a solo another instrument can be playing a counterpoint as long as it's somewhat prearranged, split the solos to AA/BA, one of instruments can skip to solo but make them a part of song arrangements, one instrument can restate the melody on the first A and then another can continue to solo over the rest...
    If Django wasn't the one to break the norm then I don't know who was, don't worry about what most people do or don't do.
    Every note wants to go somewhere-Kurt Rosenwinkel
  • juandererjuanderer New ALD Original, Manouche Latcho Drom Djangology Koa, Caro y Topete AR 740 O
    Posts: 201
    Make sure everyone shows up early for soundcheck!
  • ScoredogScoredog Santa Barbara, Ca✭✭✭✭
    edited January 2018 Posts: 852
    If someone has a special musical talent out of the norm use that, always good for entertainment.
  • Posts: 18
    Thank you all for your answers, @Buco your ideas sound really good, something like Jon Larsen did with Camellia string quartet, I get the lines accompaniment part, like the viola can play the third, the violin the extensions, and if the cello guy shows up, he could play melodic bass lines, right?
    juanderer wrote: »
    Make sure everyone shows up early for soundcheck!

    lol hadn't thought of that thanks

    Scoredog wrote: »
    If someone has a special musical talent out of the norm use that, always good for entertainment.

    didn't get exactly what you meant, they all are very talented, in fact I think I couldn't find anyone much better at such a young age if I tried.

    My only concern is about soling, you know, everyone would want a bit of attention, my only idea would be question and response or something like that, because I feel that if we do play each one a solo, for the whole chorus, it's just gonna be very long and the audience would lose interest quickly...tho not everybody has to solo in every song.

    Also, any idea of how can I solo? I mean, if the rhythm player doesn't show up either (LOL) I'll guessing I'll have to use all the instruments to create and accompaniment but it wouldn't keep the accents or i just don't know how...hmmm

    Anyways, thank you everyone for your answers again:)
  • Posts: 4,509
    @Papablo_CP yes that's the idea. I agree with you about audience losing interest, that's why I said you could split the form among a few instruments. You don't need a rhythm guitar behind you to solo, as long as you have a solid bassist.
    Every note wants to go somewhere-Kurt Rosenwinkel
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