Django's "Sheik of Araby" (chorus one)

Lango-DjangoLango-Django Niagara-On-The-Lake, ONModerator
edited April 2011 in Licks and Patterns Posts: 1,787
IMHO, this is one of Django's hottest solos ever. I've cut it up into little phrases to learn a piece at a time, then hopefully put together the pieces and play the whole thing.

You guys know the drill with QuickTime--- Command-L for looping and Command-K for adjusting the tempo.

I read somewhere that Bireli Lagrene said he'd mastered over 200 Django solos note-for-note as he was learning to!

One thing about this solo that I found interesting was the tone of Django's guitar, which sounded sort of nasal at the beginning of the solo... it reminded me of the nasal sound of Django's voice as a captured on several sides where he urges Grappelli on by shouting "Yeah, man!"

Surprisingly enough, it seems that that nasal tone was produced simply by Django playing in first position on his Macaferri, as he does for the first fifteen or so bars on "Sheik of Araby".

What was interesting to me was that Django would choose first position when playing in the key of Bb... I suspect that 99% of guitarists would not have made that choice!

But I guess using some open strings would have been an advantage in playing some of the super-fast passages in this solo using just two fingers... Plus in this piece, I can feel how Django compensated for the loss of his 3rd and 4th fingers by using a lot of pickoffs and hammer-ons, and how that forced compensation must have really developed the strength in his 1st and 2nd fingers.

The process for posting sound clips is a little tedious (Michael? Dennis? could any smart techie help simplify this?) so today I'm just doing the first chorus. Don't worry, it'll keep you busy for a whole week!

Niagara-On-The-Lake, ON
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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