fingerings

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fingerings

Postby bwilkins » Mon May 12, 2003 5:45 pm

I almost tagged this on to 'Carnegie Hall' [great stuff, there]. But thought, let's see where a new trail will lead us:

It seems like an appropriate question for the How To forum. To all you long-time experts from a relative novice.

I jump around in the RNT books. Over the weekend I started working on ?Stompin at Decca? - what a fun tune. But I?m having trouble getting it into my fingers. And it?s because of those long interval jumps on one string. So my question is how important is that fingering? I?ve always been more accustomed to playing in tighter formation across the fingerboard, than making long leaps like that. But if that?s a critical part of the sound of gypsy jazz, well then: practice, practice, practice.

Any feed-back? Or fingering suggestions? :?

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Postby djangology » Mon May 12, 2003 6:56 pm

even the most difficult fingerings can be achieved with practice. i find that with close attention i have been able to tackle even the hardest tunes. so far, the only one that i have unending trouble with is Appel Direct but i am starting to work through it with courage...

i cant remember the head lead at the moment because i dont have the books with me but you might find that the difficult interval jump is actually closely related to some arpeggio pattern... i would look at the lead pattern and try to identify the arpeggio that lies within... practicing and understanding that arpeggio would not doubt help you to manage that song... :-)
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Postby troychapman » Tue May 13, 2003 3:00 am

My credo-

Any tune that was written by django should be learned using only two fingers.

This may sound extreme but it's actually quite the opposite.

One thing I've learned to be true over the years is that guitar players do not play things (99% of the time) that do not fall easily under their fingers. In the vast majority of cases if it seems overly difficult to play it's
because you are using the wrong fingering(as you've already learned). Try a different fingering and all of a sudden it's easy. Obviously what falls easily under Stochelo's fingers is different than what may fall under your's or mine. But there is always a logic to how it's played.

Django is no different! The fingerings in the RNT books, while they may be what Robin uses, are a great deal of the time just plain wrong as far as how Django would've/could've played them. Django played things that fell easily under two fingers. He played them impossibly well and very fast but that is still the underlying logic of his playing.

Take the song you're having trouble with (and every other one as well), get the melody cemented in your head and forget the RNT fingerings.

For example, try starting on a lower string. Most modern players refrain from playing melodies on the upper frets of the lower strings. Not Django. Instead of starting on the 5th fret of the G string (C) start on the 10th fret of the D string. Use different combinations until you find what works easily with TWO FINGERS. I guarantee you'll know it when you find it.

If you can play it comfortably with two fingers you'll be able to smoke through it with 3 fingers.

I absolutely guarantee this method. And I can prove on it any Django tune (obviously, because that's how HE played it). But please don't ask me to tab it all out :) It should be standard practice for anyone trying to learn Django's tunes.

good luck

troy
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Postby troychapman » Tue May 13, 2003 3:06 am

Oh, and I'd like to add this as well-

when you start learning the fingerings Django used to play his tunes you will also be learning the fingerings he used to solo.

Django wrote theses tunes as an excuse to solo, so they picked some chord changes, he played something that fell easily under his fingers as a melody...and then he went to town. His melodys are just solos in a more easily repeatable form.

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Postby troychapman » Tue May 13, 2003 3:17 am

Damn now you've got me started!

The answer to your actual question-

Stompin' at Decca:

Start on the 10th fret of the low E string. The entire A section can be played between the 9th and 13th frets, no more than two notes per string.

first line in very simple tab-

remember -2 fingers

6(10) 6(12) 5(10) 4(9) 4(12) 3(9) 3(12) 2(12) 3(12)

the trick is, when you go from the 6th string to the 5th string your 2nd!! finger makes the jump to 5(10)

This can also be played starting on the 5th string (and I'm sure some will insist that the correct way, and maybe they're right?) but you'll get the idea.

that's it. I'm done for the night :)

I how this makes sense and helps.

troy
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Postby Shepoid » Tue May 13, 2003 12:16 pm

Troy is completely correct in his assertions about fingerings in my humble observations.
I'd just like to add my two cents worth.
Since the majority of us are fortunate or unfortunate (depending upon one's perceptions), to have all our digits mobile and available, I might add that it's always a good idea to investigate very thoroughly, fingerings that do not fall easily under the fingers as well.
This is where a good teacher can really come in handy.
It's just a suggestion.
I always play the A section of "Stompin' at Decca" starting on the 5th string, PV then slide up to PVII for the rest of it on those other strings myself.
I find sliding a whole lot more do-able than skipping the strings myself personally.
So I work dillegently on skipping strings in general.

But I'm certainly no expert on anything. As many of you here know all too well.
Especially guitar stuff.
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Postby bwilkins » Tue May 13, 2003 1:20 pm

Whew! Loads of good guidance! Thanks guys. Now I've [/i]really got my homework cut out for me. (Im not so sure of buying into the '2 fingers' rule though; Im not that hard-core at learning Django. But hey, I'll work at it for a while & see what happens.)

Oh Shep (that was you, right) I dont know those abbreviations: PV, PVII.

:D
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Postby Zoot » Tue May 13, 2003 8:08 pm

Regarding the Stompin at Decca tab in the RNT books.
I'm sure Robin does not use that fingering as shown in his book.

1st 2 bars are fine.

Whenever an 11th fret note is called in the 3rd and 4th bars play 6th string on next string and it will all fall easily under your fingers.

As far as the 2 finger stuff goes I too agree that working stuff out using 2 fingers. Pays off in the long as the fretboard is a lot less cluttered, though don't forsake these 2 for the rest. If you need em use em.
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Postby bwilkins » Tue May 13, 2003 9:14 pm

Zoot,
Right. You confirmed my suspicions. And Id already started working it out across the neck. That did seem too strange -- tho I s'pose that sort of 5-8-11 jump on the 4th string has its place.

I'd had similar problems before w/ his depiction of 'Lotcho Drom' & re-worked that one too. Yet always wondered if Im missing something, or short-changing my learning. [BTW: what does that title mean?]

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Re: fingerings

Postby Mike V » Wed May 14, 2003 6:50 am

When I learn a tune, I try and work it up in as many positions (and octaves) as I can find. Some tunes fall under the fingers better in some positions than others. I'll try 4-finger fingerings, 3-finger fingerings, and for kicks, 2-fingers to try and figure out how Django might have done it.

I play Stompin' at Decca starting at the 5th fret but a little different than the Robin Nolan fingering. Here's a fingering for the first 4 bars using open strings and it can be played with 2 fingers:
<pre>
E ----------0---7---------------3-6-3
B --------3---8---8---------2-4------
G ----0-4---------------0-3----------
D 0-2---------------0-1--------------
A -----------------------------------
E -----------------------------------
</pre>
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fingerings

Postby saxappeal » Wed May 14, 2003 1:23 pm

My son has been using RNT books to learn gypsy songs. Do you think it is a complicated way to start learning this style. Is there anything else that would be of more use as a beginner. :?:
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Re: fingerings

Postby Mike V » Fri May 16, 2003 5:07 am

I think its an excellent way to start.

saxappeal wrote:My son has been using RNT books to learn gypsy songs. Do you think it is a complicated way to start learning this style. Is there anything else that would be of more use as a beginner. :?:
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Postby Zoot » Fri May 16, 2003 6:34 pm

Though the RNT books do have their own peculier traits there is not a lot out there that can match them for getting people up and running.
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Postby justjack » Sat May 17, 2003 1:53 am

If he doesn't have a teacher, that's always a great help; they can work through the books together. Other than that, just getting out to see people play this style can be a great help and inspiration. Learning songs, though, is really the way to go, in my opinion. Wish him luck!
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Postby djangology » Mon May 19, 2003 5:31 pm

yep, by focusing on learning songs and not trying to play bits and pieces of "everything", i am finally making progress in my playing. learning songs is definitely the way to go.
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