Introduction to Gypsy Jazz Guitar | Alex Simon | Skillshare

Introduction to Gypsy Jazz Guitar

Alex Simon

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18 Videos (2h 28m)
    • Introduction to Django Reinhardt and Gypsy Jazz Guitar

    • Introduction to Right Hand Technique

    • Rhythm: La Pompe and Minor Swing

    • Rhythm: Gypsy Bossa and Bossa Dorado

    • Rhythm: Waltz

    • Rhythm: Bolero

    • Rhythm: Rhumba

    • Rhythm: 6/8 Rhumba Waltz

    • The Rest Stroke / Downstroke

    • String Crossing

    • Upstroke

    • More on String Crossing

    • A Minor Inversions on Top Three Strings Part 1

    • A Minor Inversions on Top Three Strings Part 2

    • E Major Inversions on Top Three Strings

    • D Minor Inversions on Top Three Strings

    • Connecting Positions on Top Three Strings

    • Final Lesson: Arpeggiating Minor Swing

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About This Class

Learn the basic guitar skills that you will need in order to play the fun and exciting style of Gypsy Jazz.

Build a strong foundation in Gypsy Jazz guitar with this tutorial for beginners!

Master the powerful Gypsy Jazz picking technique
Raise your rhythm accompaniment prowess
Sharpen and expand your soloing
Fortify your horizontal fret board facility
Perfect and optimize your practice time
Polish your approach to live performance

Get the most out of your guitar!

Have you ever wanted to get a liquid, "electric" feel and sound out of your acoustic guitar? Do you want to get the most power and sound out of your acoustic and make your notes sing with sustain?

Learning the fundamentals of Gypsy Jazz will put a powerful approach to guitar at your finger tips. Inspired by the legendary virtuoso Django Reinhardt, the Gypsy Jazz style is one of the most technically difficult and expressive ways to play the guitar.

Gypsy Jazz harkens back to the days before the electric guitar when players had to make their instruments ring out with great volume using only a pick and their hands. Since most of the tunes played in Gypsy Jazz were composed in the swing era, you will also gain profound insight into the fundamentals of twentieth century popular music. We will start by learning how to play in the style of Django Reinhardt, and then use this foundation to develop your own, unique style of playing.

Content and Overview

The first part of the course is an introduction to the basics of accompaniment. Then we will explore single-note right hand technique and begin to lay the ground work for soloing. 

We will cover a range of topics.

Technique: I will guide you through the unique rest-stroke picking technique employed by virtuoso guitarist Django Reinhardt and the top guitarists in the Gypsy Jazz genre. 

Rhythm: Learn how to play your guitar like a drum. Bring out the swing and rhythm. This is useful for many different styles of guitar playing and isn't limited to Gypsy Jazz.

Soloing: Get deep into soloing through Jazz chord progressions. Get to know the nuts and bolts of Swing Guitar soloing in a way that will enhance your overall playing in other genres as well (Rock, Swing, Jazz, Bluegrass etc.)

Practice: Develop strong practice habits and techniques to help your playing get to new heights of competency.

Learn the whole guitar neck: Gypsy Jazz playing utilizes the entirety of the fretboard. Build an infrastructure that will enable your fingers to fly around the neck of the guitar with great freedom.

Performance: Learn how and what to focus on when you perform so that you and your audience can have a more powerful music experience.


This course is not just for Gypsy Jazz guitarists!

Many of the facets we will explore in this course can be used to not only help you play in the style of Django, but will also benefit your competence in almost every other plectrum based approach to guitar. A solid foundation in Gypsy Jazz picking technique can enable you to achieve unmatched precision, speed, and tone that will increase the quality of your playing in Bluegrass, Rock, Pop, Modern Jazz, etc. Gypsy Jazz harmony will spice up your licks and phrases as well. 

If you are coming from a Classical or Flamenco background, Gypsy Jazz is an easy gateway into learning how to play improvisational Jazz. Many of the Gypsy Jazz motifs, melodies, and it's overall aesthetic have roots in both Classical and Flamenco guitar.

By end of this course, you will be armed with the basic accompaniment technique necessary to sit in on a Gypsy Jazz jam or gig. You will also become acquainted with the single note rest stroke picking technique. The third part of the course covers fundamentals of Gypsy Jazz soloing.

Here are some of the 5 star reviews the course has received:

"Alex is a master of the loose-wrist technique and in this video he shows the components of the technique very clearly and in great detail. The importance of this technique in playing Gypsy Jazz cannot be overstated: it is the technical foundation of the style." - David Levitt

"This course is great! It gives you the basics to start strumming your Gypsy guitar style and If you are an intermediate student you can even envision some ideas for when you are ready for solos. It's well recommended!" - Arturo Moreno

"Really gives you the foundation you need to both play, and just as
importantly understand what Gypsy Jazz is, and how it's structured. Pace
is quick enough to keep your attention without glossing over critical
details. Very well done overall.
- Travis Rodgers

"Probably the most well made guitar course I've seen. He is VERY thorough in showing each technique and truly makes it enjoyable and simple to learn. Would highly recommend for anyone interested in Gypsy Jazz. - Trevor Hemby





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Inspired by the legendary Gypsy guitarist Django Reinhardt, Alex Simon
imbues dazzling technique and lyrical, impressionistic expression with a
twenty-first century sensibility.

Alex Simon has performed at The Guggenheim, B.B. King's Main Stage, The
Rainbow Room, as well as world-renowned cocktail lounges Milk &
Honey, Bathtub Gin, NoMad, Happy Ending and many other of New York
City's finest venues.

Simon's repertoire includes Early Jazz and Musette Classics,...

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