Gypsy Fire arrived yesterday, so I started listening to the CD before attempting anything else, as suggested on page 1...
First reaction--- there are a lot of great licks in there that I'll plan to learn and use, but in China Boy, there was just a simple little phrase that really knocked me out, and I'd like to ask you about it.
This lovely phrase occurs in the first "B" part of China Boy, bars 5-6-7. (It's written out on page 22 of the book.) It's not hard to play, in fact it's all eighth notes, all downstrokes, and played with a bit of vibrato.
But what an odd and unexpected sound! It sort of reminded me of a phrase from some symphony or other... I've been trying to figure out which... perhaps Tchaikovsky, somewhere from the Nutcracker Suite?
Andreas, would you be so good as to enlighten me on where this phrase came from? Did you make it up, or is it taken from Django, or another gypsy player?
See, I may be a bit of an odd duck, but this is the kind of stuff that impresses me more than all the dazzling arpeggios which you play at such amazing tempos.
After hearing the passage, I had to look it up in the book and see how it was done, and was amazed to find that although it was fairly simple to play, it was not a musical choice that I would ever have made myself?
(And this is what I REALLY want some insight from you about....)
Andreas, why did you choose a pattern of mostly F and C notes to play over an Eb7 chord?
Was it a mathematical decision ("OK, time to use some 9ths and 13ths!"?)
Or was it just an intuitive choice?
Or was it a carefully planned choice, like you heard the pattern somewher else and decided to incorporate it into your solo?
See, for me as an improvisor, what I'd really like to master isn't so much dazzling arpeggios as being able to invent wonderful stuff like this... so any enlightenment you can offer would be gratefully appreciated.
PS Oh yeah, forgot to mention: the first three bars of the China Boy solo has another simple pattern which is almost as tasty as the one discussed above, so I'd like to ask you all the same questions about that one, too!
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."