Basic Starter Book to introduce me to Gypsy Jazz Guitar

Any recommendations? I've been listening a lot to GJ over the last year. Would like to play at some basic level. I can handle most chords I come across but am horrible at lead guitar. Any suggestions for a good starter book? Here's one sold on this site: BERTINO RODMANN GYPSYJAZZ GUITAR VOLUME 1.

Or do you have other recommendations? I've also looked on Mel Bay's site.

I'd like to learn the chords, rhythm, some lead playing and songs too, that's why I wondered about the above book. Anyway, thanks in advance for a recommendation.


  • edited August 2019 Posts: 4,833

    I'm not familiar with Bertino's playing but I'm sure the book is fine. Really any method book is going to help, it all depends on how deep you dig into it. I suck at learning that way so they all suck for me. I did get use out of basic book by Ian Cruickshank, The Guitar Style of Django R and the Gypsies. And True Fire online courses by Reinier Voet. But there are so many, it's nearly endless list. Bunch of free stuff on YouTube, search for "gypsy jazz licks" or "gypsy jazz lesson". Many of the forum members regularly upload stuff there. Look at related threads on the forum, (here's one suggestion by the forum engine from this page: ) lots of related discussions with lots of great advice. Some of the stuff you'll read and hear about is transcribe what you like. Some people like to learn whole solos, some short phrases. It's up to you. Take what you learned and apply in different songs with similar structure, a lot of the songs have the same sections. Although they might be in different keys so you'll need to learn those same phrases in all, or at least most of the common keys. Learn arpeggios: major, minor, dominant, diminished. To me, I think it's still important to know the major scale, in different positions and keys, everything is there. ... It's really extremely complex topic. Kinda like beware what you ask for because in no time your head will be spinning with the amount of information you can get.

    Every note wants to go somewhere-Kurt Rosenwinkel
  • icukericuker New
    Posts: 8

    Yeah, I'm thinking it could be exhausting, mentally. seems Jazz in general is so much that way. i'll look at the other threads and see what they say and try a few things on youtube. Thanks.

  • geese_comgeese_com Madison, WINew 503
    edited August 2019 Posts: 468

    I would recommend DC Music School, Christiaan Van Hemert's YouTube channel, Manifesting Manouche by Anthony Parker, and Getting Into Gypsy Jazz Guitar by Stephane Wrembel. As well as learning a bunch of songs that you like. That's how I got into gypsy jazz.

  • Lango-DjangoLango-Django Niagara-On-The-Lake, ONModerator
    edited August 2019 Posts: 1,858

    If i had it to do all over again, I would still start with Gypsy Picking by the host of this site, Michael Horowitz... it all starts with the right hand in this style!

    Paul Cezanne: "I could paint for a thousand years without stopping and I would still feel as though I knew nothing."

    Edgar Degas: "Only when he no longer knows what he is doing does the painter do good things.... To draw, you must close your eyes and sing."

    Georges Braque: "In art there is only one thing that counts: the bit that can’t be explained."
  • It's kind of hard to say what book or course would be the first thing I choose at this point. Get a songbook (like the hardcover Django book, a Robin Nolan book, or even the lead sheets at the Django in June website) for tunes. For technique, there are pure method books out there like the above mentioned books by Stephane, Anthony Parker, and Michael. For licks, there's a ton of stuff out there. Denis Chang's first courses made things click somewhat for me, as well as Gonzalo's How I Learned. I dove in hard and got a bit overwhelmed the first few years into this style. If you understand what works best for the way you learn, that would go a long way. You just need to practice regularly, learn things in all keys, and if you are curious, figure out why things work (if you learned that thing and like the sound of that thing).

    This will sound like a cliche, but all the answers are in the songs. How to play rhythm, the heads, strategies for soloing, individual preferences for organizational's all there. Whichever way you choose to get your initial stuff together, some version of that path has been recorded before and at some point it might be a good idea to transcribe and learn, once you've created a system for yourself or adopted one.

    Above all, ask questions. This is a good place to do it.

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