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Please tell me about Django-style guitar

Stringsinger 19 Apr 09 - 12:42 PM
Zen 19 Apr 09 - 12:54 PM
Zen 19 Apr 09 - 12:55 PM
Will Fly 19 Apr 09 - 01:01 PM
Mark Ross 19 Apr 09 - 06:46 PM
GUEST,lox 19 Apr 09 - 06:51 PM
pdq 19 Apr 09 - 07:36 PM
mandotim 20 Apr 09 - 03:21 AM
matt milton 20 Apr 09 - 07:38 AM
GUEST,DonMeixner 20 Apr 09 - 01:02 PM
greg stephens 20 Apr 09 - 02:26 PM
Art Thieme 20 Apr 09 - 02:54 PM
van lingle 20 Apr 09 - 07:42 PM
Stringsinger 21 Apr 09 - 10:21 AM
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Subject: Please tell me about Django-style guitar
From: Stringsinger
Date: 19 Apr 09 - 12:42 PM

In your estimation, what's the best top-of-the-line Django Reinhardt style guitar being made today? What one carries the volume and quality for the Hot Club style of playing?
There are two types, the small round-hole that Django played and the D-style used for accompaniment which includes an inner sound chamber.

What maker today is the best one in your opinion?


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Subject: RE: Please tell me about Django-style guitar
From: Zen
Date: 19 Apr 09 - 12:54 PM

This list gives some makers of Django-style guitars. The later David Hodson was an excellent builder and I am also familiar with John LeVoi's work having owned one of his instruments. There are some fine French and Belgian makers but I am not so familiar with their work.

Zen


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Subject: RE: Please tell me about Django-style guitar
From: Zen
Date: 19 Apr 09 - 12:55 PM

Sorry... late DH

Zen


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Subject: RE: Please tell me about Django-style guitar
From: Will Fly
Date: 19 Apr 09 - 01:01 PM

I've heard one or two local musicians playing "gypsy jazz" on modern D-hole guitars, and tried one or two in local guitar shops. For me, they sound rather thin and not at all like the Maccaferri-designed, Selmer-made guitars played by Django. Only 1,000 of these were made, by the way.

It should be said that Django used light silk-and-steel strings and a very heavy pick to get his distinctive sound, and it may be that it was his own tone production - rather than the guitar design as such - that produced the "Django" sound.

A friend of mine has just made his own parlour-style, small-bodied guitar, and it has an amazing volume and projection for its size. I think the answer is: try several acoustic guitars of various designs and pick the one that gives you the sound you want...


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Subject: RE: Please tell me about Django-style guitar
From: Mark Ross
Date: 19 Apr 09 - 06:46 PM

Djangos' Maccafarri had a really long scale, 26 1/2" I think, which enabled him to use such light strings and still get that volume and projection. He also used mainly downstrokes. Of course you have to learn to play with 2 fingers.

Mark Ross


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Subject: RE: Please tell me about Django-style guitar
From: GUEST,lox
Date: 19 Apr 09 - 06:51 PM

only ever played one by "Gitane".

Don't know if there's any connection with the cigarette company, but I enjoyed it and could certainly have easily picked up the habit.


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Subject: RE: Please tell me about Django-style guitar
From: pdq
Date: 19 Apr 09 - 07:36 PM

John Jorgenson is best known as the electric guitar player for the Desert Rose Band, but he is a fine musician who can play reeds in addition to most stringed instruments. His record "After You've Gone" is excellent. He does a palpable tribute to Django, rather than the James Burton style he adopts for much of his work with the Desrt Rose Band. On other parts of this record he plays clirinet.


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Subject: RE: Please tell me about Django-style guitar
From: mandotim
Date: 20 Apr 09 - 03:21 AM

I've played original Selmers quite a bit (very badly), and the only modern guitar I've played that reproduces 'that' sound is made by Manouche Guitars of Cheltenham. John Vickers, who owns the company, is a Selmer nut, and owns several fabulous examples. He's taken the exact specifications of the various models and painstakingly instructed, cajoled and trained a Korean 'boutique' manufacturer to produce a medium-priced guitar that is now being endorsed by some of the top Gypsy jazz names. I played one recently that was simply the loudest acoustic guitar I've ever heard. They're very different to things like Gitane etc; those guitars are approximations of Selmers, whereas the Manouche is a faithful reproduction, that plays and sounds like the original. Comes with a custom Hiscox case. John can set up the guitar to your specifications, and does a range of custom guitars in conjunction with John LeVoi (mentioned above). Website is here . No financial interest, just a fan of these excellent instruments.
Tim


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Subject: RE: Please tell me about Django-style guitar
From: matt milton
Date: 20 Apr 09 - 07:38 AM

I play a Gitane D-Hole Maccafferri-style. I have no idea how it compares with the orginals, but it's certainly a lot louder than most acoustics. I play blues on it, using Nuages strings. It's got a very warm, bassy sound but a biting top end too when you hit it hard. At around £450 I think it's very good value for money - hard to find an acoustic with as much character at that price.

But thanks for the tip about Manouche guitars. I'd never heard of them before. Something to save up for, methinks... They do a 7-string! Cool.


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Subject: RE: Please tell me about Django-style guitar
From: GUEST,DonMeixner
Date: 20 Apr 09 - 01:02 PM

Bernie Lehmann's Rochester NY made guitars are surpassing fine. He builds both the oval and D hole models. I have heard them played by Kinlock Nelson, also of Rochester. I am in awe of both Kinlock and the guitars.

Don


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Subject: RE: Please tell me about Django-style guitar
From: greg stephens
Date: 20 Apr 09 - 02:26 PM

Will Fly's remarks are very wise: sound is a product of the player as much as of the guitar. Most good guitarists (and fiddlers etc) can get a very similar sound out of a great variety of instruments.


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Subject: RE: Please tell me about Django-style guitar
From: Art Thieme
Date: 20 Apr 09 - 02:54 PM

Frank,

To do it like Django, you must play with a few fingers behind your back!

Art


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Subject: RE: Please tell me about Django-style guitar
From: van lingle
Date: 20 Apr 09 - 07:42 PM

Shelley Park's instruments are in the Selmer Maccaferri vein and are pretty highly regarded. I think she's in B.C.
Also Maurice Dupont.


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Subject: RE: Please tell me about Django-style guitar
From: Stringsinger
Date: 21 Apr 09 - 10:21 AM

Thanks everyone. That about covers it.

I've played Big Bill Broonzy's guitar and I can't make it sound like he did. Point taken, Art.

Frank


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