Unaccompanied Django contains accurate transcriptions of Django Reinhardt's compositions for solo guitar. These wonderful and challenging pieces can benefit guitarists at any skill level.
Beginning students will find this book to be an excellent way to develop technique, learn authentic Gypsy-style chord voicings and melodic patterns, and develop a solo repertoire. Advanced students will benefit from the accurate notation and Gypsy-style fingering and picking suggestions for some of Django's most difficult phrases and chord voicings.
This book can also assist guitarists from a variety of stylistic backgrounds. Jazz guitarists who play in more contemporary styles will find the Gypsy approach to harmony an inventive and refreshing alternative to conventional jazz chord voicings. Fingerstyle guitarists will be pleased to find transcriptions for three of Django's fingerstyle guitar pieces (Naguine, Improvisation #2, and Tears). Approximately half of Django's unaccompanied guitar compositions were written in a Classical or Flamenco style and would therefore be excellent additions to the repertoire of guitarists playing in those genres. Django's unaccompanied guitar pieces sound great played fingerstyle despite the fact that most of them were originally played with a plectrum.
Finally, someone has given Django's solo pieces the attention and respect that they deserve. With Unaccompanied Django, Michael Horowitz has given guitarists a true gift; insight into the mind and compositional skills of the first true guitar hero, Django Reinhardt. Inside these pages you will find well-researched and skillful transcriptions that inspire the player, as well as the listener lucky enough to hear this music performed.
John Jorgenson, world-renowned session guitarist, former member of the Desert Rose Band, Hellecasters, and Elton John Band. He is currently touring and recording with the John Jorgenson Band and has been a leading proponent of Gypsy jazz in the U.S. for 20 years.
Michael S. Horowitz is at the forefront with his new company DjangoBooks.com. A Berklee grad with an M.A. in ethnomusicology, Horowitz received a Fulbright fellowship in 2002 to conduct his Ph.D. research among Dutch Sinti Gypsy jazz guitarists, including Fapy Lafertin, Martin Limberger, Jan Limberger, and Paulus Schafer. His masterpiece so far is Unaccompanied Django, a Herculean work of transcriptions and analyses of Django’s solo works that provide amazing insight into the master’s compositional thinking, his approaches to harmony and melody, and details the development of his solos. This book is not for the faint of heart in its scope and difficulty, but it is the single most enlightening book on Django’s playing yet published.
Michael Dregni, Vintage Guitar Magazine
Django Reinhardt’s musical fame has always rested upon his achievements as a single note soloist in a group context. However, this Gypsy guitar genius was also an excellent composer and performer for the unaccompanied solo guitar. So much so that he even earned the admiration of the father of modern classical guitar, Andres Segovia.Unaccompanied Django provides highly detailed transcriptions of 16 of Django’s solo guitar pieces such as Tears, Improvisation, and Nuages. These transcriptions, which are for both fingerstyle and pick-style guitar, are with out a doubt the best transcriptions ever done of Django’s music. Each piece includes both TAB and standard notation. To help you develop correct Gypsy jazz technique, Michael has included Gypsy style left hand fingerings and right hand picking suggestions. These suggestions are based on the field work he did among master Gypsy guitarists in Europe. In addition to Django’s music, there are two transcriptions of solo guitar music by Stochelo Rosenberg, the contemporary master of Gypsy jazz, and three Gypsy Etudes which are designed to teach harmonic and melodic devices used by contemporary Gypsy guitarists. Students of any level will benefit from this excellent collection which is easily the most thorough study of Gypsy jazz to date.
Clyde Holbrook, The Quarter Note – Dusty Strings Newsletter
For those of you who are currently working through Gypsy Picking, here’s another DjangoBooks.com release to fuel the fire to learn the authentic Gypsy style guitar.Unaccompanied Django examines the solo style of Jazz Manouche. From Django’s brilliant, often on-the-spot solos like Parfum and Naguine to Stochelo Rosenberg’s modern Stephanesque and the mellow and grooving Just Relax in addition to 14 other full transcriptions, Horowitz takes the lessons taught in Gypsy Picking and gives the player a melodic way to fully integrate them into their own playing. The transcriptions are outstanding, following Django’s original style – fingerings and all, while the Gypsy Etudes examine different stylistic traits common in Manouche solo guitar. Gypsy Picking set the standard for what a true method on Jazz Manouche should be and Unaccompanied Django raises that bar. Oh, and for all of you Gypsy jazz junkies out there who have broken the rewind button on your VCR’s in an attempt to learn Django’s glorious intro to J’Attendrai, that’s also included. Another killer DjangoBooks.com product!
Ted Gottsegen, Contributing Editor of Gypsy Jazz for Just Jazz Guitar
Unaccompanied Django, by Michael Horowitz, 176 pages, . An exhaustive study of Reinhardt’s often neglected solo compositions. Although best known for the blazing solos and intricate voicings he played with The Hot Club, Django was also capable of highly lyrical, and lovely, solo guitar playing. Here are the best examples, and how to play them, transcribed by an ethnomusicologist who plays this kind of guitar music for a living. Some solos by Stochelo Rosenberg are also transcribed and explained.
Richard Johnston, Gryphon Gazet
Those of you who’ve seen Gypsy Picking know how important his first book was to Gypsy jazz. It brought a new level of understanding to the right-hand picking technique.
His next book allows you to take these skills and apply them to unaccompanied pieces by Django as well as contemporary players like Stochelo, Angelo, Boulou, Fapy, and Bireli.
Working on soloing skills is a noble and satisfying undertaking. But, in my mind, studying unaccompanied pieces provides a different and possibly greater satisfaction — especially, if you are a lone player in your neighborhood.
Being able to pull off a Django piece by yourself allows you to dictate the emotional content and expression in a way independent of other’s influences. And there’s nothing like sitting on a deck or walking into a music store and being able to play a whole Django piece by yourself!
The pieces Michael’s picked provide you with more than this, however. They offer you an insight into Django’s head, helping you to form the vocabulary of his music and the mental blueprints he used to develop his Gypsy jazz soloing style.
There are 21 songs in the book. Enough material to keep most of us studying for a long time to come.
This book is the book that Michael worked on for years. Every piece has been carefully noted and tabbed. He has carefully identifed the proper Gypsy fingering patterns and pick strokes, something often missing with other tabs. The very process of memorizing these pieces brings insight and those “AH HA!” smiling moments of understanding.
Think of the first book Gypsy Picking as an “introduction” to the skills you need to appreciate the rest of your studies–much as RA Wilson’s Mask of the Illuminanti prepped you for the great Illuminantus trilogy, or Tolkien’s Hobbit opened the way to the Lord of the Rings. Think of Horowitz’ Unaccompanied Django as the beginning of your Gypsy jazz journey.
Michael Horowitz recommended this book to me years ago now because I was looking for transcriptions of phrases and scales typical of gypsy jazz. A must-have! A magnificent book that I keep preciously because it is the result of a colossal work on this music. But also because he gives the keys to it. Thanks for everything, Michael.
Submitted by: Bluecap Jim on 10/11/2021 01:26:13 PM
The most expensive book I've ever bought after shipping to the UK but worth every penny. The quality of the transcription work that has gone into this book is exceptional. Ringbound and with good thick pages after a couple of months use it is still in excellent condition. I'm at a low/intermediate level and there is so much I'm learning on style and technique. I can already see that there are layers upon layers of information here and I'm sure I'll be learning new things from this book for decades to come! Thank-you for putting this book together. It has improved my playing and understanding of Gypsy Jazz so much and gives me lots of pleasure and fun.
Submitted by: Psychochilli on 11/26/2018 08:47:54 AM
Pros: The transciption notes to the music and the CD enhance the standard notation and tabs. An added plus is that this is a spiral bound book
What an herculean effort by Michael Horowitz. There is information and transcriptions for all levels of expertise. An extraordinary musical and historical journey into Django Reinhardt’s unaccompanied guitar style.
Submitted by: quitos52 on 10/25/2018 09:20:01 AM
Michael's book "Unaccompanied Django" along with the supplementary CD are excellent resources for anyone wishing to study the Manouche style of playing. The transcriptions are exceptional and the student has the additional benefit of being able to listen to each passage, while reading the standard notation or tablature. I also find the transcription notes to be very helpful as well, while the use of the spinal binding makes for easy use. A great deal of effort has gone into this work, and it shows.
Submitted by: Jan on 02/15/2016 02:11:37 PM
Pros: you cant go wrong
wow an incredible amount of work has gone into this book, and to do it justice you yourself has to put the same amount of effort back worth every penny many thanks micheal for doing all the hard work
Submitted by: ian on 12/21/2015 01:13:18 PM
This is an astonishing, absolutely wonderful book. It is a monumental contribution to the study of Django's music. It is in these pieces that we find the Django that so many miss, the Django who knows the great composers of his time and who seems to play as the great painters paint. And what Mr. Horowitz has done in creating this book is a very fine thing - the transcriptions are excellent, very accurate, the manuscript is beautifully printed (an older eye can actually see the notes on the page!), the transcription notes are clear and helpful - even the quotations that are interspersed throughout the book are carefully chosen and placed, and poignant. I cannot imagine the hurdles that Mr. Horowitz had to overcome to get this great book into print - but I am grateful he did it. It is proving a great help to me.
Submitted by: Appel on 03/19/2015 11:27:34 PM
I'm very impressed with Unaccompanied Django. It inspires me to dig deeper into the amazing solo work of Django, and adapt to this style of playing guitar. The transcriptions give me an entirely new perspective on Django's genius and causes me to ask myself why the hell have I been living under a rock for so many years no knowing his work. This book will inspire those guitarists not familiar with Gypsy Jazz (Swing) to take special interest in it. The author gives us precision transcriptions and thorough explanation of the pieces. This book also DOES NOT occupy a spot on my bookshelf--it is glued to my music stand!
Submitted by: Bearclaw on 12/06/2014 05:56:13 PM
A must for any Django enthusiast. The transcriptions are clear and concise. It is obvious much thought and work went into the creation of this endeavor. It will provide anyone with hours if not years of excellent study!
Submitted by: Spider on 06/07/2012 05:30:58 PM
This is a great book. The attention to detail, from the fingerings to the use of a spiral binding for ease of use, shows that the author really put a lot of effort and thought into every aspect. Also, these are tunes that you may never find transcribed - but for this book.
Submitted by: SJM on 05/19/2012 07:13:58 PM
This is a great book - I tried studying some of these pieces by ear, which is great practice but sometimes very hard. I've had this book a month and already got 'Improvisation No 2' largely cracked. For me this has been a huge leap forward in a very short time. I was impressed that all learning angles are covered - traditional music notation, chord windows, tabs - plus a CD. The only down side was that the postage from the USA to UK added 30% to the overall price
Submitted by: MLaws on 01/12/2012 12:27:46 PM
Well worth having
Pros: very interesting for fingerstyle guitarists
Cons: rather high shipping cost to europe
As a fingerstyle jazz/blues/ragtime guitarist I'm not a in-depth-connaisseur of Django's music but I came to know his solo work through YouTube and liked it. Via Tim Robinson's website I found out about this book and I ordered it. The book is very well presented and the transcriptions are accurate. The ringbinding is a plus. What I also like is that you have a lot of freedom in interpreting these pieces and making them your own. I would have preferred tablature with rhythmic notation just above the tablines instead of the standard notation but well...you can't have everything (hence the four stars ratings). The dadded cd is a tremendous bonus, saves you from buying a lot of others. The cd has no content listing anywhere though. All in all I'm very pleased with the book and it will keep me busy for years to come.
Submitted by: Carl on 10/13/2011 11:40:49 AM
I tried to obtain this book in the UK without success so ordered direct from the USA, very simple process - even accepted Paypal! Book arrived very quickly indeed. I am very impressed with both the book and the service I received. The book is excellent as it also has tabs for those of us unable to read music, so do yourself a favour and buy this book - I have never seen a better one.
Submitted by: Rick on 10/01/2011 07:34:23 AM
I was pleasantly surprised by this purchase.The ring binding is very practical. I have been acquiring Django books and transcriptions since the 1970,s and have not seen such complete transcriptions so far in the UK.The accompanying CD is a bonus.
Submitted by: Trev on 09/15/2011 05:46:45 AM
What an excellent value Michael's books are. He painstakingly is very detailed about what he does, and his books cover just about everything on the subject matter in one way or another. Intelligently researched, written and laid out, as well as the CD's that come with them. His exacting transcriptions of Django's work in particular is second to none!!!! I just wish I had more time to go through the book...hah.
Submitted by: scaley on 05/03/2011 01:37:22 PM
Buy this now!
Watching a person perform a Django Reinhardt solo on YouTube over three years ago inspired me to try to learn to play Gypsy Jazz guitar competently. I spent year one on the basics, i.e., music theory, fretboard layout, learning jazz chords and fundamentals, etc., and I bought courses, numerous instruction books and DVDs to get started moving forward. After two years of hard work, I got to a point where playing was no longer tedious but enjoyable, fun and "natural." I'd come a long way and the practice was paying off. However, many of the songs I really longed to play seemed out of reach. I figured it would take an untold number of years to play some of the solos at a level that I would be pleased with. In December 2010, I discovered and purchased Unaccompanied Django by Michael Horowitz. Right away, I realized I had found my "Rosetta Stone" for learning these beautiful Django solos — and in my lifetime at that! In the past five months, I've learned to play Echoes of Spain, Improvisation #1 and #2. When I say "learned to play," I don't mean I've mastered them on a level of a Stochelo Rosenberg, but I have memorized all of the notes and I can play them smoothly and well enough to give me GREAT pleasure. Isn't that what it's all about? From this point on, I'll only get better as I practice and continue to learn. That's an exciting prospect! These transcriptions are just dead on the money. Michael Horowitz has an uncanny ear and flawless attention to detail. For example, some time back I came across a tab for Improvisation #2 floating around on the Internet. It wasn't bad, but when I compared it side-by-side to Michael's work, it was an inaccurate transcription of what Django recorded in 1938. Close but no cigar. These transcriptions are rich with detailed, useful information as well, which greatly helps accelerate learning. Standard notation, tablature, specific chord fingerings, picking techniques, all make it possible for the student to learn these solos in an efficient, methodical way, measure by measure. You won't find this kind of information elsewhere. If you're reading this, you probably: 1) love Django's solos, and 2) want to learn play them. If so, then you need to purchase Unaccompanied Django now. With diligent, dedicated practice, you'll be surprised at how quickly you can learn to play these most beautiful pieces, beautifully!
Submitted by: Randy on 04/25/2011 02:07:53 PM
A fantastic learning experience,djangos solo performances brought to us on the page.If you are struggling to work out what django really played here it is laid out for you no more hours playing the cd over and over. great work by michael horowitz and a prompt and friendly service.
Submitted by: the moose on 04/24/2011 04:46:26 AM
i am teaching myself gypsy guitar and using rosenberg academy to guide me. i purchased this and several other books and have been very satisfied with every aspect.
Submitted by: capncruz on 04/23/2011 09:42:27 AM