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Ideas for Belleville

PostPosted: Tue Jan 13, 2004 7:43 am
by justjack
Here's a sort of half-lesson gleaned from Bireli's solo on Belleville, from the Gypsy Project disc. Only half, because for some unfathomable reason, the reprint has the "Illustration Omitted", as if it were a bad gouache of Bireli with that Ovation, instead of the very thing the entire article is about. ... icle.jhtml

In the meantime, I'll be hitting the local library soon to try to unearth the source material, and hope to find some way to post it. If anyone's got ideas about how to do this, let me know. I kind of have access to a scanner, if that helps, but I'm not sure about how to get it to the site, if that's possible at all. At any rate, it's still a decent read if you just sit down with the chord chart and try to apply what's there, theory-wise.

PostPosted: Tue Jan 13, 2004 4:54 pm
by djangology
Belleville is always hard for us to do in jams and so it is one of the few that we skip. Robin Nolan charts it out as standard rhythm changes, just like Daphe, in the "A" part, and then the "B" part is something resembling "Coquette" with Gm7-Gm7-D6/9-D6/9-F#6/9-Gdim-C#7-A7.

On the Stochelo DVD, he plays the head of the tune on the middle 4 strings using what looks like a fat diminished chord but I haven't tried it so I might be wrong. The "B" part of the head is played in 2nd and 3rd position and its easy to figure out by ear.

When soloing, the "B" part seems "primed" for the use of the Ddom7 arpeggio if you play it over the Gm7 and the D6/9. It adds to the flavor of the 6/9 chord I think, although I might be wrong on that account also. In the "A" part I might experiment with ideas around the B Dorian scale (minor), D6/9 arp, A maj7arp and for the "B" part mabye the Gm6 arp and the F#6/9 arp. I would probably fiddle around with more ideas that that, but thats where I would start. Can anyone else recommend where they would start the thought process on working out a solo?

I hope that helps. I know that you were asking me about the chords for that tune... :-)

PostPosted: Tue Jan 13, 2004 6:40 pm
by justjack
I don't have the Nolan book, but it sounds pretty close to what I've worked out. What was bothering me, I think, was the Fdim notation on the gadjodrom chart; I've switched over to rhythm changes for the A for the time being and feel much more at ease. I'd be interested to hear of anyone else's take on this progression, too.

Thanks for the lead tips, as well; it's funny, the head is almost too easy to use as a foundation for improvising, or maybe just too full of character on its own, so those will come in handy, I'm sure.

PostPosted: Tue Jan 13, 2004 6:47 pm
by djangology
ok, so the gadjodrom chart has the rhythm changes thing written out as: D - Fdim - Em - A7 .

does anyone else think that thats a bit unusual for a rhythm changes? Normally I think of it as Dmaj(D6/9) - Bm(Bm7) - Em9(Em7) - A7(A13) .

PostPosted: Tue Jan 13, 2004 7:52 pm
by chap
I completely agree. Except I play the A-part melody as half diminished chords instead of diminished.

PostPosted: Fri Jan 30, 2004 4:33 am
by devinci
F dim can easily work as a substitute for B min in this context. Its a minor tritone substitution or something like that - any theory buffs ot their want to tell us whats going on?

PostPosted: Fri Jan 30, 2004 6:57 am
by justjack
It's not so much the idea of substitution that bothered me, but the clashing with the D chord (because Fdim and Ddim contain the same notes, you end up following the D with both a flatted fifth and a minor third). I kept wanting to hear it as an F#dim, which would (or could, at least) give you more standard 'Rhythm' changes; i.e., D-D#dim (aka F#dim)-Em7-A7. Since my original post, though, I've come to like it with the diminished or half diminished change; I think it was a matter of just keeping the ears open and finding the right positions to play.