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Chordfingering for Minor Swing

PostPosted: Fri Aug 15, 2003 10:16 pm
by Plectrum
Any suggestions for the fingering of the chords on the Minor Swing version of nov 1937 are very welcome (especially the minor chords).

PostPosted: Sun Aug 24, 2003 6:33 am
by justjack
Usually, it's just standard minor 6th shapes (and the E7), isn't it? Most likely you can find these either in the Playing section of this site, or in the transcriptions section of I'll go give a listen to that particular session, though...

PostPosted: Sun Aug 24, 2003 2:49 pm
by nwilkins
Do you mean the chordal passage in Django's solo or the rhythm parts?

PostPosted: Mon Aug 25, 2003 1:56 pm
by Teddy Dupont
The rhythm guitarists almost certainly played the standard Am, Dm, E7 shapes on this version. It was only Django who played those odd chords to compensate for his disability. I have several pieces of film footage of Joseph Reinhardt playing chords to various tunes and they generally look pretty standard shapes to me.

I think there is a general view that the rhythm guitarists with the HCQ played so called "gypsy chords" but for the major part, I think they were pretty much standard shapes. They did not have to play those odd Django chords as they had all their fingers. Why would they?

At Wrexham, Dave Kelbie (and, I think, Cabo) played standard shapes behind Bireli on "Minor Swing". However, I have absolutley no idea what chords Bireli was playing when he was accompanying Garrick!!

PostPosted: Tue Aug 26, 2003 7:31 pm
by Plectrum
Thanks all, indeed I was referring to the rhythm section. And I agree that as far as you can see them playing on film they usually seem to play standard chords.

PostPosted: Wed Aug 27, 2003 4:28 pm
by Phydeaux3
I agree with Mssr Dupont that the backing chords that Django had in the Hotclub days would have been fairly basic and that he filled out or gave greater depth to the rhythm by added chord progressions over the top. However, having seen a lot of the Gypsies playing at Samois this year, I can only state that they do fill out backing with a lot of two chords per bar or more. In the style that Django played.

PostPosted: Thu Aug 28, 2003 3:38 pm
by Jan Primus
I have been backing myself for so long 2 or more chords to the bar is normal. It takes some work to get that and singing down at the same time.

PostPosted: Thu Aug 28, 2003 4:43 pm
by Teddy Dupont
Phydeaux3 wrote: However, having seen a lot of the Gypsies playing at Samois this year, I can only state that they do fill out backing with a lot of two chords per bar or more.

The HCQ rhythm guitarists used a lot of two chords per bar sequences also. It's just that they were pretty standard chords for the major part of the type that any jazz/band guitarist of the time would have used. On some pre-war recordings like "Minor Swing" and "Sweet Georgia Brown", however, they seem to hang onto chords for several bars and go for relatively simplistic sequences.

PostPosted: Thu Aug 28, 2003 6:46 pm
by Phydeaux3
The video footage I've got of Mito Loeffler, Stevie Demeter, Titi Baumberger, Wawau Adler.. play the majority of the tunes with two chords or more a bar. I still agree with Ted that sometimes the simplistic use of, in the case of Minor Swing and the usual three chords within this song, does lend to a certain path for improvisation, but also by implementing the two chords or more per bar can open even more avenues. In my opinion as long as the tune doesn't get too cluttered with chords that it loses its identity, that's OK with me.
A lot of the chord sequences may only be passing chords, but I believe that is what makes the 'Gypsy' sound.

PostPosted: Fri Aug 29, 2003 3:51 am
by nwilkins

I would be interested in a copy of some of that video - perhaps we could do a trade? Send me an email at if you are interested :)