Betcha Can't Play This: John Li's Django Reinhardt-Inspired Run

by John Li
Posted May 6, 2014 at 12:26pm

This run is heavily inspired by the great gypsy jazz guitarist Django Reinhardt.

I begin by highlighting an Am6 arpeggio, with many chromatics and flat fives thrown in. I then move to Dm6 in bar 2, adding similar chromatic ornamentations.

Next up is a B fully diminished seventh (over E7b9) with notes from the B half-whole scale thrown in for some percussive and melodic flavor. Finally, I end on what I would barely call an altered E dominant seventh, over which I actually play an A whole-half scale, before finally ending the entire thing on E.

As indicated above and below the tab, I use a mixture of alternate and economy picking and some quick position shifts to get through the passage smoothly. When economy picking, rather than thinking of it as successive down-strokes or upstrokes, simply rest your pick on the adjacent string and push with the joints of your fingers.

Instead of having your wrist do most of the work, it becomes more of a guide for the pick, and movement becomes minimized or economized. The object is to be able to play the lick smoothly and in time. As always, practice with a metronome and start out slowly!

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