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Chris Spencer >> Evolution of Jazz Guitar >>

Evolution of Jazz Guitar - Wednesday, Week 1

Early Jazz Guitar Pioneers

Django Reinhardt has been one of the most influential jazz guitarists to ever grace this planet. Born into a gypsy family in Liverchies, Belgium on January 23, 1910, he roamed through Belgium and France with his family's caravan, playing with a traveling show. Early in his career he lost the use of two fingers in a tragic fire, leaving only the first two fingers for playing. This disability seemed only to cement his dedication to the instrument, and he managed to hone his amazing technique even further despite the circumstances. Django is respected amongst all guitarists worldwide, regardless of style or idiom.

Today's lick was created out of two different Django improvisations over the bridge of "It Don't Mean a Thing". Django had many tricks up his sleeve and this lick focuses on a couple of great ones. Over the F minor seven chord, you'll move minor third intervals chromatically down the neck. You'll notice that some of those notes don't really fit over the chord. Those notes are merely passing tones and make the line coherent. Actually that type of sequence can go on for a lot longer as long as you begin and end the phrase on consonant notes (just as Django did). The second trick is over the C7 chord, where you'll move chromatically from the 9th degree to the b7 with some open E's in between.

Learn this lick and practice with this jam track
Skill Level: guitar pick onguitar pick onguitar pick onguitar pick off
Key: Eb


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