The accompanying CDs have audio for over two-hundred examples and transcriptions. A number of original performances by Django Reinhardt are included.
Gypsy Rhythm is unique in that multiple versions of each song are included. To give the student a wide historical and stylistic perspective, each song includes a basic or an exact transcription of what Django's accompanists played; an advanced version that includes more sophisticated chords and rhythms used by Django and other Gypsies; and a modern version that reflects chords and rhythms used during Django's late period or reharmonizations used by contemporary Gypsies like Stochelo Rosenberg, Bireli Lagrene, and Boulou Ferre. Additionally, a number of songs also have comping transcriptions of Django's brilliant comping ideas. And finally, two detailed transcriptions of Django's virtuosic accompaniment of duets with Stephane Grappelli are included.
Gypsy Rhythm has a three-fold purpose. The first is to provide the student with a solid foundation in Gypsy jazz rhythm technique and repertoire. This is achieved with clear explanation of the fundamental approaches to Gypsy rhythm guitar, most notably the idiomatic la pompe rhythm. All the basic rhythms and chord voicings required to play Gypsy jazz are presented in a clear and organized manner. This complete and concise approach will allow the student to quickly master the fundamentals of authentic Gypsy rhythm playing.
The second purpose is to familiarize the student with all the advanced rhythms, chord voicings, and reharmonization techniques that are unique to the Gypsy jazz genre. The harmonic and rhythmic vocabulary employed in Gypsy jazz is distinct from that of other styles of jazz. Gypsy Rhythm explains idiomatic techniques that you won't find in standard jazz guitar instruction books. Mastery of these musical devices will give you the authentic "Gypsy sound." Additionally, advanced accompaniment techniques such as "bass and chords" and "comping" are explained.
The third purpose is to document the evolving contemporary tradition of Gypsy jazz. Since Django's time, Gypsy jazz has continued to develop by incorporating musical ideas from modern jazz, Latin music, Eastern European folk musics, American blues, and even rock. Contemporary Gypsy guitarists have melded these influences with the traditional techniques of Gypsy jazz. The result is a style of modern jazz guitar accompaniment that combines the drive of traditional Gypsy jazz with contemporary harmonic and rhythmic ideas. Modern chord voicings, rhythms, and reharmonization techniques are all explained in great detail. Additionally, each of the tunes selected for this book includes a "modern" version that demonstrates these techniques in context.
The ability to play rock solid rhythm is essential for every Gypsy jazz guitarist.
"Gypsy Rhythm" will take you from the fundamentals of swing to the most advanced Gypsy
style rhythms and chord substitutions. This book is a must for any Gypsy jazz guitarist,
but also highly recommended for acoustic guitarists of any style.
-Andreas Öberg, Swedish jazz guitar virtuoso
DjangoBooks.com's method books are fastidiously edited and refined. "Gypsy Rhythm" is one of the finest, most scrupulous guitar books I have ever seen. Michael Horowitz has masterfully encapsulated the spirit of Django's inventive rhythmic techniques as both a soloist and accompanist. "Gypsy Rhythm" Volume 1 will give you the most exhaustive tutelage on Django's harmonic and rhythmic style.
Shawn Persinger, author of The 50 Greatest Guitar Books.
The best book money can buy on the subject
Cons: It makes my other books look small
I would reccomend this book to anyone, old or new. Michael breaks each example down in a easy to understand way. Recordings are quality. No previouse understanding of reading music is required. I can't wait for number 2 and 3 to come out.
Submitted by: James Bailey on 08/27/2020 07:22:21 AM
Gypsy rhythm volume 1
Worth every dollar,you learn so much.I always focused on the solo's but to become a better player you should know your rhythm and this book will do just that.
Submitted by: Flip on 06/07/2017 06:50:06 PM
Gypsy Rhythm, Vol 1
Wow. Simply the best book on gypsy jazz rhythm you will find anywhere. More than 250 pages of extremely well thought out, well organized and beautifully presented material. The accompanying CDs are essential and connect all the dots in the book with authentic sounds. Basics including how to hold the instrument, how to practice and how to hold the plectrum are included and are actually informative and not condescending. Most of the book is a precise dissection of the most fundamental elements of gypsy rhythm- various la pompe styles, line cliches, harmonics, turnarounds, basic and advanced chord charts, comping- with an eventual reintegration of the material into actual music at the end of each section and again at the end of the book with what may be the most valuable resource of all- 8 gypsy jazz tunes are transcribed in Basic, Intermediate, Advanced, Modern, Bass and Chords and Comping forms with the source recording for each transcription listed. What an astounding compendium. This is truly an invaluable resource, well worth the money.
Submitted by: Paul on 06/14/2016 05:06:11 AM
thank you Mr Horowitz
thanks for this book, I bought this in germany coz I m italian and i have to tell that is the best book on the "backing topic" that is all around. In my opinion it could be more exercises on "how to" develope some virtuoso technique as tremolo, sextuplets triplets anticipation not just listening it one or two times..but in any case i m grateful to mr Horowitz coz he filled an empty space exactly with th topic of my interest, so thank you))
Submitted by: paolos on 10/17/2015 09:40:11 PM
Very Well Done
Pros: Readable layout. Great Information. Great, detailed depth.
Cons: Someone should have told me about this earlier as the first book to get
Personally, I have only been playing guitar for about three years. I've been skirting around the swing/gypsy jazz music for the few months or so. A player may be a little put off by the price, because most guitar literature is for the 'masses' and targets around the $15/book market? But, I would urge a buyer that is on the fence to take the plunge. Michael put a lot of research into these publications, worthy of a PhD candidate. It is also a niche market. If I knew ahead of time, I would have started with this book. There is a wealth of material, which is kind of ironic seeing as though this is a 'play by ear' style. The writing is very approachable, while remaining very specific. It's a hard balance to keep, but Mr Horowitz does this successfully. Fantastic work. Nice printing. Beautiful layout. Quality paper. It'll outlast my abuse...
Submitted by: acroav8r on 12/26/2014 05:29:43 PM
Just what I was looking for
Pros: Multiple levels of the same song
Cons: Lack of video - but understandable based on price and depth of book
Although I have been playing and gigging for over 25 years I feel like I'm just getting started when it comes to gypsy jazz. And although I have been listening to and loving Django for years I've never felt that it was a style I could play, but as I said Michael's book is exactly what I was looking for. I don't know how others who come to playing this style later in their life feel, but I have had an easier time picking up some of the melodies and solos than I have the chords and rhythms, and this book is the best I've found. I wish I could go back and return all of the other books, videos and dvd's I had purchased and just started here, but again I'm just happy to have found this resource. Kudos to Michael and all of the great work he has done here. I'm sure this will not be the last book I buy from Michael.
Submitted by: jazzygtr on 09/15/2014 06:31:31 PM
Gypsy Rhythm, Volume 1
If you are looking for sand then go to the beach or the desert. But, if you are looking for comprehensive lessons that encompass techniques, voicings, and platforms used to propel your playing to the next level then this is the guide. No other book gives the same breadth or wealth of information at the same price. In his book, Michael Horowitz incorporates many stylistic chord voicings, chord substitutions, and regional specific rhythms, and he provides many recordings to enrich the lessons with audible examples. The large book is spiral bound, thus providing a lesson friendly experience. Additionally, the three audio CDs provided enable the student immediate access to a multitude of examples. Michael Horowitz's "Gypsy Rhythm; Volume 1" is the multi-purpose tool that will provide many life-long uses.
Submitted by: steverino on 12/24/2013 07:39:23 PM
I've learned a great deal in the short time I've had this book. The different styles of rhythm (which I was unaware of) were well explained, and helped me to focus on developing a personal style of my own. The cds make the numerous examples clear. I also like the various levels of the same tune; I can quickly get a basic knowledge of a tune under my fingers and be playing some real music while learning more advanced chord forms. Don't let the price deter you; there's a lot here for the money. Bottom line is, this book works if you do!
Submitted by: RKay on 05/17/2012 10:37:14 AM
A Major Contribution
Gypsy Rhythm Volume 1 is a book of 280 pages, spiral bound, heavy and, at first sight, rather intimidating. If the sheer volume of the book does not impress you, the volume of audio materials certainly would : the book comes with three Cds. More of then not, a book of this size is often packed with superfluous and irrelevant materials all aimed at alluring you to buy it for its sheer size. But once in a while, and a long while at that, along comes something like Gypsy Rhythm Volume 1. This book has everything you need to know about Gypsy Jazz rhythm playing. It has a full chord library for the chords used in this genre of music and the book contains a detailed analysis of the use of these chords, the relevant chord progressions and how to get the essence of the rhythm going. You simply cannot go wrong with this book. You will rarely ever see a book that explains something so lucidly, so clearly, in such detail and with such articulation. The author Mr. Michael Horowitz anticipated most of the questions you will be asking and he already has the answers for you in the chapters of the book. Another highlight of this book is the transcription part. This part of the book contains the transcription of 8 Gypsy Jazz songs. But unlike most books, the transcriptions here are not simply transcription of a recorded version of the song. For each of the songs, the author sets out a basic version, a an intermediate and advanced version of the same song. Some songs even have a transcription for a modern version and a comping version. This is so important as it documents the evolution of the music in terms of voicing and chord changes over time. This helps not only in understand Gypsy Jazz but chord progressions and chord voicing in general. You cannot help but get inspired and you will obtain a good insight if you have the patience to go through the different versions of the transcription. Those who know little will always look to playing guitar solos to the exclusion of everything else. But it is the rhythm parts, the chord progression that provide the basis and foundation for the guitar solo. Knowing your chords and mastering the rhythm guitar is the key to playing great guitar solos. And Gypsy Rhythm Volume 1 is the book that will help you master it. And what is in the book applies not only to Gypsy Jazz; most of the materials therein have universal application. If you want to pick up a few flashy things to impress your friends and fans, this is not the book. But if you want to really understand Gypsy Jazz rhythm and rhythm guitar in general, this is the one book I will buy if I was allowed to buy only one book. Just one complaint : where is Gypsy Rhythm Volume 2 ? And Volume 3 ? Well, all is not lost. Mr. Horowitz tells me that Gypsy Rhythm Volume 2 should be available around early 2013. I just cannot wait.
Submitted by: Allblues on 05/16/2012 12:09:44 AM
I have barely begun to scratch the surface of this book but thus far it is amazing, I am looking forward to plowing through the different aspects of it. Thanks Michael!
Submitted by: Nyk on 05/11/2012 10:17:19 AM
Really nice book
I'm loving this book. Been playing cowboy chords for 20 years or so. This book does a great job explaining basics of playing gypsy rhythm guitar. Being a bit of nerd, it helps to have things explained along with the music. Michael obviously put a lot of work into this volume and it shows. Top notch!
Submitted by: jjp on 03/22/2012 05:39:56 PM
I received my copy of Gypsy Rhythm the other day and I'm already hard at work. Michael Horowitz has a very in depth and comprehensible way of explaining every step. The book's quality is outstanding. It is loaded with a vast assortment of information which will keep one busy for quite a long time. I am very impressed with Gypsy Rhythm Volume 1 and I am anxious for the arrival of Volume 2!
Submitted by: AmmonB on 03/03/2012 12:05:13 PM
Pros: Everything you need for swing rhythm guitar in the gypsy style!
Cons: Shipping costs to UK (but this is a minor con)
Whether you're new to the guitar or just new to the style, Gypsy Rhythm is the start of a very long but sure-footed path (to stick with the analogy given in my review of "Gypsy Picking"). Using the open string exercises in Gypsy Picking to warm up and lock in the correct way of holding the pick and picking, I then move onto this book each day to really focus on the ryhthm guitar. I firmly believe that a strong grounding on rhythm and harmonic techniques will hugely benefit me when I finally move onto lead since the arpeggio based solo work is heavily dependant on harmonic knowledge (I do not class this the same as theoretical knowledge btw!). Also, by creating an mp3 playlist from the trad la pompe exercises and basic songs from the CDs, followed by the original tracks from records, I have a great "play-along" method developed which I can add to/ change as I improve and work through various sections of the book (although this isn't a method book, once you have the basic technique down you can work through the remainder of the volume and apply the harmonic/ technical examples to the songs you have already learnt. The extensive chord dictionary also gives you a lot of options to work from when you begin transcribing other songs to add to your rep. Don't rush into solo work, it is well worth buying this volume. No point learning to decorate a cake until you know how to bake a simple sponge!
Submitted by: DanielSmyth on 08/29/2011 04:14:39 PM
Great Book. If you want to play gypsy rhythm this is the book you need. It is quite a work coming in at close to 300 pages and 3 cd's worth of recorded material. It really has improved my rhythm playing and will keep me busy for a long time.
Submitted by: GJFAN on 07/17/2011 11:43:48 AM
Pros: read review
Cons: DVD would help
This is a very comprehensive text on this style of playing. Would have liked to have seen more use of traditional notation for my taste.I realize that in today's world of tabs this is done to make guitar material more appealing to non readers. In addition i believe a demo DVD would have help to clarify the techniques presented. I also would have liked to have seen some examples of the exercises not requiring the thumb. There are many of use (which you mentioned in the text) that cannot use the thumb in all cases due to hand size..pianists also have these issues. I have really enjoyed working with this text and have already begun to use it in my on playing and will use it with my students as well.
Submitted by: Dean on 07/07/2011 07:28:30 AM
This is really a great book, filled with lots of detail about the fine points of nearly everything around the topic. More than once I found myself saying 'Ah, so THAT's how its done ....' The chapters on chord voicings and the material about the right placement of accents is invaluable. The transcriptions are very useful too. The running commentary on the history of the subject and the variations from one style to another is a great pedagogical tool and make the volume a great reference work too. While the book is a bit more expensive than others, it is also really well produced - good heavy paper, strong spiral binding and very readable print. The extra money is worth it. This book is a real treat. I hope there's a second volume soon (( I hope I haven't missed it already), as announced in the preface.
Submitted by: Dan on 04/25/2011 03:00:41 PM