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 ARCHIVED TOPIC: Minor Swing - Django Reinhardt...


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banjotom2 - Posted - 11/30/2010:  10:51:40


In the Early 1980s, I saw David Grisman play live at a bluegrass festival in Louisville, Kentucky...

At the time, I didn't understand or appreciate David Grisman and his great contribution to bluegrass, folk and acoustic jazz...

When I realized I wasn't 'getting' his music, i.e., unable to 'hear the changes', etc., I got bored, got Kentucky Fried Chicken and a soda... and went to the parking garage a block away where me and my traveling picking partner, Martin had parked his car and took a hard nap in the front of a Volkwagon Beetle.

It was the most uncomfortable nap I ever had... I was worn out from picking, partying and the best bluegrass entertainment I had ever heard in my life... Bill Monroe was celebrating his 75th birthday and played like a wildman that weekend... I saw Tony Rice for the first time... Wyatt Rice was there... Bela Fleck was there... I ddn't know who he was either... I got to see Doc Watson... the only time I've ever gotten to see Doc perform... it was a magical weekend...

The upshot of all this was that I didn't understand Grisman and his music and left for a while to re-group...

I probably heard him and Mike Marshall up there on stage doing 'Minor Swing'... but it went un-noticed and un-remembered by me at the time...

Within the year, I went to a folk music store in St. Louis that I would eventually teach and work at... and bought every Django album Mrs. Boyer had for sale there...

I went home and listened and listened... I then had a greater appreciation for what David Grisman was doing, but then didn't understand why you'd want 'jazz' at a bluegrass festival...

As it often happens... time brought understanding...

Over the weekend, someone asked me to do a 'simple-as-possible' arrangement of Juan Tizol's "Caravan"... I had attempted and failed more than once on that tune... but this time, came away with something useable...

The second request from the same gentleman was Django's "Minor Swing"...

I immediately had the sinking feeling that I was not going to succeed at either request... knowing my own sore lacking of skill and education in jazz... But, he wanted simple and that was my goal...

I listened to numerous recordings by different performers on You Tube... and did my best... all I needed was a simple melody and I'd be able to figure out the chords...

Caravan went fairly smoothly, although I have my doubts about the second part... I'll have to study that one some more...

Minor Swing went... almost without a hitch... but I realized that it as probably too simple and I felt like I may have left something important out...

I have a book around here somewhere with a guitar transcription of Django's song in it... but it's buried in my library somewhere... so I decided to depend on my ears and see what I'd come away with...

I'm here to ask a simple favor from my fellow BHOr's...

Listen to the attached (linked) Tabledited banjo arrangement I did and see if it sounds complete to you... that is... is there anything missing from it...

It's nothing but the introduction of the tune, and the head... a quick description of the melody and the chord progression...

I feel like something may be missing, but I'm not sure...

So... at you leisure, have a listen and let me know what you think...

It's not a banjo solo per se... just the barebones melody worked out on a banjo... with accompaniment on banjo...

I'm trying to get a handle on a music style that leaves me nearly clueless...

Follow link to Tabledited arrangement:

hangoutstorage.com/banjohangou...12010.tef


Tom


banjotom2.com


Edited by - banjotom2 on 11/30/2010 11:02:30

trapdoor2 - Posted - 11/30/2010:  12:30:58


I dunno Tom, it sounds 'sketchy' somehow. Also, I think your chord progression may be off a bit (or just different than I expect). Here's the most common progression for "Minor Swing".

form: AABB..BBCC

A:| Am/// | Dm/// | Am///| Dm///| Am/// | Dm/// | E7/// | E7/// |

B:| Am/// | Am/// | Dm/// | Dm/// | E7/// | E7/// | Am/// | A7/// |

| Dm/// | Dm/// | Am/// | Am/// | E7/// | E7/// | Am/// | E7/// |

C:| Am/// | Am/// | Dm/// | Dm/// | E7/// | E7/// | Am/// | Am/// :||

Of course, it is meant to be improvised on, chords substituted, etc. Some of the wild progressions I saw when I googled it were pretty crazy.

I took to this stuff the instant I heard it. I was just beginning to play the banjo when Grisman's first albums hit...and it almost made me want to drop my Scruggs book and go live the gypsy-banjo life.

Ragaisis - Posted - 11/30/2010:  12:47:18


I've played this tune with several different bands over the past couple of decades. The Grisman version is VERY different from the Django version. Grisman uses the just the final ("C") part of the Django version as the "A" section. He then wrote a bridge for the tune that he inserted as the "B" part. Grisman plays it in Dm so the chord progression for playing along with the record is:

Played AABA 2/4 time

A part ||Dm |Dm |Gm |Gm |A |A |Dm |Dm ||

B part ||Gm |A |Dm |Dm |Gm |Gm |E |A ||

You can also substitute a Bb for the E in the "B" part.

I worked out a very cool moving chord line for backing up the lead instrument with lots of inspiration from listening to the Grisman teaching series where he went over this tune. If there is sufficient interest I could tab that up and post it here.

Chris

5stringypsy - Posted - 11/30/2010:  13:26:57


I really like this middle chord progression and I adopted it into my arrangement a couple years ago, it gave allot more room for improv

Thanks for your tab posting, I look forward to checkin it out when I'm not at wrok lol.. :)


youtube.com/watch?v=n_q8M-uQU7...e=related

banjotom2 - Posted - 11/30/2010:  21:44:56


I figured there was more to do...

I appreciate the info...

Tom

hannanathan564 - Posted - 12/04/2010:  07:35:21


Just remember also, in gypsy swing all major and minors are in 6th. i.e. Am would be Am6; Dm-Dm6; E7- still E7 or changed to E9.

janolov - Posted - 12/04/2010:  12:05:06


I like Django, but I have given up to make banjo music of his music. However I have collected some tabs of Minor Swing:

There is a versiontabbed out by David Crisler at Bluegrassbanjo.org: bluegrassbanjo.org/mswing.tab

I also have downloaded a version from Lee Marcus. It may be on his homepage (I downloaded it in 2005, so I don't know if it is available now. He seems to have finished selling tabs)

I have also another hand anonymous written version that I have downloaded from somewhere. It's attached to this post.



   


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