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Them There Eyes – Django Reinhardt [solo]

About a year ago I transcribed this marvellous solo, but I didn’t get around to learning it and recording it until the last couple of days.  There’s some great melody here and it’s another example of Django’s brilliant musicality and gestural approach to his solos.

The main challenge is the speed of this one, particularly in the second chorus (the signature chromatic run, for instance) but the first chorus is very restrained with a focus on melody and phrasing.  You can download the TAB here:  Them There Eyes Django (Solo).

Django Lick and TAB | ACM video

The 16th of May marked the anniversary of the death of Django Rienhardt, so I asked the guys at ACM if I could do a little video by way way of tribute, and here it is.  There’s a lot I wanted to talk about but it’s hard to know what to fit in a video that has to be so short, so it’s a very simple demonstration of one idea:  taking the minor pentatonic (1, b3, 4, 5, b7) and lowering the b7 by a semitone to make it a maj6th (so it’s now 1, b3, 4, 5, 6 – like a m6 arpeggio, and implying the Dorian mode).  This is one thing I found that really helped me start to build some Gypsy style vocabulary and move away from the minor pentatonic licks that are omnipresent in rock and blues improvisation. 

The lick I play is based one of Django’s phrases found in the solo of Swing 42 (click here and skip to about 1’07”).  Swing 42 is in C major , but here I’m using it in the context of a Gm6 chord.  The TAB is here: Django Style Minor 6 Lick

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