Swinging with Django

More of me playing along with Django Reinhardt. 3 songs — After You’ve Gone, the 1936 version with Freddy Taylor on vocals, the classic version of Honeysuckle Rose, and finally the duet version of Tears with Stephane Grappelli. While there are mistakes, I’m pretty happy with these versions because they were all first takes and it’s a good measure of how far I’ve come since I started trying to play Gypsy Jazz. My improv skills still aren’t where I want them to be and the right-hand technique still needs to be better, but that’s what I’m trying to work on going forward.

It has been raining A LOT outside the cave lately and it seems to have a severe effect on the sound of the guitar. Not nearly as crisp and biting as it usually is. I felt like I was playing in a bowl of oatmeal today. I’ve never played an instrument that was so sensitive to weather changes. In the winter, when the radiators are on, the top of the guitar body contracts and I can lose anywhere to 1/16 — 1/8 of an inch so I have to shim up the bridge just so there isn’t buzzing and dead notes. But I’m sure Django and all the others who play this music with these types of instruments have similar problems. There are stories of Django putting matchbook covers under the bridge to pop it up. Certainly didn’t seem to make a bit of difference as far as his ability to play well was concerned.

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