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Django's 3rd and 4th

trumbologytrumbology San FranciscoNew
edited December 2005 in History Posts: 124
Michael H. mentioned, in another thread,

"Actually, Django did have some independence of the 3rd and 4th finger. Not much, but he seemed to be able to place them one fret apart on the higher strings."

I know the canard about him having no use of the 3rd and 4th is false, but how did he use them? Was it just when he was grabbing chords?

If I'm ever going to be able to play just like him, I need to know! :wink:



  • MichaelHorowitzMichaelHorowitz SeattleAdministrator
    Posts: 6,025
    It was just for chords....I've never run across any single note lines that required the use of the 3rd and 4th finger.

  • Teddy DupontTeddy Dupont Deity
    Posts: 1,224
    He definitely only used them for chords. They were far too inflexible to be used for single string soloing. There are many photos showing him clamping the 3rd & 4th fingers on the the fret board but more often than not, it was just the 3rd.
  • MichaelHorowitzMichaelHorowitz SeattleAdministrator
    Posts: 6,025
    I am interested to hear your opinion about did Django use G7/9 chord with fingering T22143 because this chord required stretch between 3rd and 4th finger and also takes four frets.

    You can hear it on the he must have had some way of doing it! I can't think of any other way...and the Gypsy oral tradition is the fingering I suggested.
    Is it possible to find or get really reliable chord voicings with fingerings that Django used or all those fingering are connected with certain degree
    of mistery.

    This is an excerpt from the introduction to Gypsy Picking:

    You may ask, "How can we know how Django played? He's been dead for nearly fifty years and there's very little film footage of him." It’s true no one can ever say for certain exactly how Django executed every passage in his music, but fortunately his legacy has lived on among the Sinti Gypsies of Western Europe. The research I conducted in The Netherlands revealed that during Django's lifetime, there had been (and still is) substantial contact between Sinti Gypsies in The Netherlands and Sinti Gypsies in France. For example, Herni Piotto, the now deceased patriarch of the Limberger family of musicians from Rijswijk, The Netherlands, was Django’s contemporary and actually played with him on occasion. Transnational family connections, pan-Sinti religious and musical gatherings, and an itinerant lifestyle facilitated the transmission and preservation of guitar techniques used by Django to Sinti musicians across Western Europe. Subsequently, one would be hard pressed to find a Sinti guitarist who didn't use a variation of Django's technique.
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