The art of transcribing – Part 5

As always, be sure to read parts 1, 2, 3, and 4.

It’s been a while! In this one, a fellow submitted a transcription of Django Reinhardt for critique. By and large, it was a good job, but there were certain ornaments that were not correct but that are very typical of Gypsy musicians. In the Gypsy community, there are certain subtle techniques that they subconsciously do that many people outside their community miss or misinterpret. Some of them are revealed in this transcription. I often show a lot of these to my homestay students who want to work on sound and technique. What’s that you say? Homestay lessons? Want more info? Click here!

One of the most important lessons to learn from Django Reinhardt is to understand how he thinks. He often thought in terms of chord shapes from which he would derive his lines. These often help determine his preferred fingerings (but not necessarily always), and it’s not what many people think. Many people would think that he would think in terms of his two fingered “disability”, but the fact is, Django often placed more priority on actual chord shapes rather than fingerings based on his disability. The proof is that he would often use his middle finger to cross strings on different frets. I address that issue in the video below.

Click here to download the transcriptions.