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  • jonpowl 11:47AM
  • richter4208 11:47AM

La Pompe, my guide to it! Or, how i taught my friend

Feruza2134Feruza2134 The NetherlandsNew Phoenix D hole guitar
edited January 3 in Technique
So recently i was sitting on Discord with my friend who plays cello. He was/is interested in learning how to play gypsy guitar(I have already helped him for some time with just some basic guitar playing). So i helped him a little, and because of his cello experience he picks up the left hand pretty quick and the right hand also(The next Sebastien Giniaux?) And that night he said to me something that roughly translates to if: i can play just basic la pompe that would be really awesome and we could play together.

So, I told him give it your best shot :P
The rythm was really bad but it's what i expected. There was to much emphasis on the upstroke and on beat 1 he only hit 1-2 strings. So i immediately said, Ok, cut out the upstroke. We can add that later! And then to fix him only hitting 1-2 strings on the first beat. I just said, play straight. So no accent on the 2 and 4. Hit all the strings. It doesn't matter if u don't hit the e string or b string. He does that. Then i said just keep doing it but now just hit a little harder on beat 2 and 4, just give it a slight accent! And it actually sounded good. He struggled to maintain it though haha. So i showed him the rest of the chords of minor swing(simple chords, just shift the Am6 to Dm6 and the E7 with only 3 notes) Told him to practice them a little so he can play them in the right order.
Then i showed him this video and told him to play along and try to emulate what Adrien is doing
And after a week or so of practice his La Pompe is actually sounding good to me in my ears!

So i just wrote this so if people look up something about La Pompe on the forum, they kind of have a guide and see how i taught my friend. Anyway, if you guys have anything to add please feel free to do so!


  • edited January 4
    Yes, it can be summed up like that as a rough concept. Rhythm playing in this genre is something you can intellectually learn in one hour and then take years to master the nuances of it. But yeah, that's a good way to condense the concept, only thing I'd say differently is whip instead of hit harder on 2 and 4.
    Another way to look at it is like the drums. You hear that a lot, rhythm player in this genre is a drummer, right? So beats 1 and 3 are the kick drum and to get that sound you need to favor the low, bottom strings.
    2 and 4 is the snare and it needs brighter sound so it favors the higher strings, you still play the low strings though.
    Now, although this depends on the chord voicing, you have the same amount of time to strum in all 4 beats but more strings and therefore more hand travel during the 2 and 4 and if you want it all to groove and keep it in the pocket you need more hand velocity during 2 and 4 to finish the strum in the same amount of time as in 1 and 3. Or something like that...
    Chris Martinsteffo
    Every note wants to go somewhere-Kurt Rosenwinkel
  • TrevJTrevJ ShropshireNew JWC Selmer replica
    Thanks for posting this it was very helpful. My background is making and repairing guitars, I would love to be able to play gypsy jazz well. Thanks again.
  • jeffmatzjeffmatz ChicagoNew
    More and more I'm getting that it's all about the fingers hitting as well as the pick.
  • ElĂ­ SaĂşlElĂ­ SaĂşl Toluca, Mexico.New Dell'Arte DG-H2

    Another insightful way of learning is just watching and hearing a lot. I learned la pompe by just focusing a lot in early django and modern rythm players. Nousche & Hono are my favorite ones, I think they are very musical in their approach.

    Personally I think that not many modern players have this very swingy pompe, it usually sounds too straight for me, but thats mainly because im really obsessed with that 30's & 40's way of swinging.

    Denis has a variety on lessons with la pompe


    that one is a very cool reference.
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