Guitar Novice with desire to learn Gypsy Jazz

NJjazzgirlNJjazzgirl New JerseyNew
edited September 2009 in Gypsy Jazz 101 Posts: 2
Hello everyone. I am new to the guitar and have just discovered gypsy jazz. I have spent the past few weeks reading the previous posts and found the answers to many of my questions. There have been some great discussions and everyone seems eager to share their experience and knowledge!

I would love to learn gypsy jazz guitar. I have set up lessons with a teacher who has classical/jazz experience and my first lesson is tonight. Even if he does not have too much knowledge of gypsy jazz, I know I can work through the basics with him. I would love to focus on gypsy jazz, but I don't know if that would be too much at this time and I should lay the foundations and then focus on gypsy jazz style down the road. Where should I begin? Is starting to learn the guitar and focusing on gypsy rhythm too overwhelming for a true beginner?

Any guidance and words of wisdom from the members here would be greatly appreciated.



  • MichaelHorowitzMichaelHorowitz SeattleAdministrator
    Posts: 6,124
    Hi Tracy,

    I don't see a problem starting with Gypsy jazz from the get go, especially if you have a teacher who is knowledgeable about this style. Most people often have to do a lot of unlearning of habit they picked up from other styles, so in some way you have an advantage if you just start with Gypsy jazz from day one.

    I would spend a lot of time working on your rhythm playing...that will pay off.

  • JackJack western Massachusetts✭✭✭✭
    Posts: 1,752
    Hi Tracy,

    I did pretty much exactly what you describe--I got into guitar and gypsy jazz at the same time, and decided to really make a study of rhythm guitar. That was maybe six years ago, and today I've got a couple of CDs out, play a ton of gigs, and teach the style in my spare time. If you have the time and dedication, learning it as a beginner can be great!

  • djangologydjangology Portland, OregonModerator
    Posts: 1,018
    hindsight is always 20/20 and my opinion on this changes constantly but today I would say to buy Gonzalo Bergaras book , take it to your local teacher, and ask the teacher to guide you and teach you with the contents of that book as a guideline. Gonzalos book is basically a set of "etudes" for guitar. memorize them and over time get better at them. all of it takes time.

    supplemental to that Id watch youtube videos and get Dennis Chang's videos to watch at home. also, get Robin Nolans gig book and memorize a bunch of songs from it.... as many as you can.
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