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Django in Flight: His Soaring and Swinging Licks in Honeysuckle Rose. 3 Best Django Licks

a smiling Django Reinhardt playing a guitar
Django Reinhardt

Django Reinhardt was a Belgian-born Romani-French jazz guitarist and composer, regarded as one of the greatest guitar players of all time. With only two good fingers on his left hand, Django played with an unmistakable style that blended traditional Romani music with American Jazz. His music influenced generations of musicians who followed in his footsteps, and we are excited to share his legacy with you in our upcoming workshop on Tuesday, Nov. 14 8pm EST.

Reserve your spot for this exciting and interactive online guitar workshop where we'll be analyzing the solo elements and musical devices used by Django himself.


Django Reinhardt's guitar virtuosity is on full display in his recording of Honeysuckle Rose with violinist Stephane Grappelli. This jazz guitar masterpiece from the late 1930s to the early 1940s showcases Django's ability to create fluid and intricate solos that leave the listener speechless. The interaction between Django and Stephane is a perfect example of the seamless communication that can exist between two musicians who have a deep connection.

Looking at the transcription of Django's solo, (possibly the 3 best Django licks) in bar 1 (the first part of the bridge), we see his use of an F Mixolydian scale with a chromatic passing tone thrown in. What makes it interesting is twofold: his ability to connect chords using scalar lines and his boundless energy and determination.

Look at his arpeggios in bars 3 and 5, as well as his mastery of playing "power triplets" with flawless control.

The final example features a bebop-esque phrase that is interestingly ahead of its time, complete with chromatic approaches.

A solo transcription of 3 select phrases from Django Reinhardt's solo on Honeysuckle Rose
Django in Flight

3 best Django licks: See you next Tuesday!


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