Free Django Style Guitar Lessons
Below you will find several free lessons that have been taken as samples from our premium video courses.
Each free lesson will include a HD video, some text with the key points covered, and graphic notation where relevant. I hope you find them useful!
These short lessons are intended as examples of the tuition provided in our courses.
Descending Minor Chord Cliche – 6th & 5th String Roots
(Free Django style rhythm guitar lesson taken from the course Rhythm Guitar Fundamentals – Lesson 27 of 32)
In this Django Reinhardt style gypsy jazz rhythm lesson I demonstrate a common descending minor chord movement that can some harmonic interest to your accompaniment.
By including a descending chromatic line in the bass of a minor chord, we can imply four different chord types and colours, whilst maintaining the ‘minor’ function of the chord.
In this lesson you will learn chord shapes for this descending technique with root notes on both the 5th and 6th strings. Try and put it to use!
This lesson is taken from my premium course Rhythm Guitar Fundamentals, which features another 32 HD video lessons, and over 2.5 hours of tuition in total.
If you enjoyed the lesson, please consider taking Rhythm Guitar Fundamentals. The course features several more lessons on developing your gypsy jazz rhythm guitar playing, chord vocabulary, and repertoire of songs!
Turning Arpeggios Into Phrases – Embellishing Chord Tones (Chromatic Approach & Enclosures)
(Free Django style lead guitar lesson taken from the course Lead Guitar Fundamentals – Lesson 23 of 29)
In this Django style gypsy jazz video lesson I demonstrate how to add semitone embellishments to major and minor triad arpeggios.
By adding these chromatic approaches, you can begin to turn your arpeggio shapes into classic Jazz Manouche style phrases.
In this lesson you will also learn how to create an enclosure around chord tones. This means to embellish and draw extra attention to a chord tone by playing a note either side before returning to the targeted chord tone. This is a technique used by many jazz musicians, and is a great way to add some more melodic and rhythmic interest to your arpeggios, turning them into gypsy jazz lines.
This lesson is taken from my premium course Lead Guitar Fundamentals, which features another 28 HD video lessons, and over 2.5 hours of tuition in total.
If you enjoyed the lesson, please consider taking Lead Guitar Fundamentals. The course features several more lessons on developing arpeggios into phrases, including making use of rhythmic interest, space, bends, vibrato, and a sense of continuity in your musical phrasing.
Multi Purpose Arpeggio (Mi6/Mi7b5/Dom9th) – 6th & 5th String Roots
(Free Django style lead guitar lesson taken from the course Lead Guitar Fundamentals – Lesson 26 of 29)
In this Django style guitar lesson, I show you how to play a very useful ‘multi purpose’ arpeggio.
This shape can be used to play over minor 6 chords, minor 7 flat 5 chords, and dominant chords (the shape implies the ninth of a dominant chord). By shifting the location of the root note to different degrees of the arpeggio, you can utilise this shape to play over these three different chord types.
The video lesson will take you through suitable picking and fingering for the arpeggio. You’ll find on-screen notation and diagrams to help you learn this new shape. Practice this one a lot! It will be very useful.
This lesson is taken from my premium course Lead Guitar Fundamentals If you enjoyed the lesson, please consider taking Lead Guitar Fundamentals to learn several more useful arpeggios, as well as hone your gypsy jazz lead technique, and develop your ability to improvise in this genre.
Applying Gypsy Jazz Guitar Picking To Melodies – Dark Eyes (Les Yeux Noirs)
(Free Django style lead guitar lesson taken from the course Lead Guitar Fundamentals – Lesson 9 of 29)
In this Django style video lesson, I teach the melody to the popular gypsy jazz anthem Dark Eyes, otherwise called Les Yeux Noirs.
The melody is broken down and taught nice and slowly, and I cover the fingering, rhythm, and picking needed. You’ll see footage of both my fretting and picking hand where appropriate, allowing you learn this piece as easily as possible.
This lesson is taken from my premium course Lead Guitar Fundamentals, and is only a small portion of what you can learn from the course. If you enjoyed the lesson, please consider taking Lead Guitar Fundamentals to develop your gypsy jazz lead guitar playing even further.
In addition, you can learn to play the chords and rhythm for Dark Eyes in my premium course Rhythm Guitar Fundamentals, along with four other popular tunes, and over 40 chord shapes!
Achieving Good Tone & Sound – Right Hand Requirement
(Free Django style lead guitar lesson taken from the course Lead Guitar Fundamentals – Lesson 4 of 29)
In this Django style lesson I discuss how to achieve a nice gypsy jazz tone by working on the angle of your pick in relation to the guitar strings. By adjusting the angle of your pick you can increase the amount of contact it has with the strings, and in doing so increase your capacity to shape the notes you are producing. In the video, I talk about this being almost like bowing the string (like a cellist, for example).
Take some time with this concept, it can really help you produce a strong and full bodied sound from your instrument!
Did you find this gypsy jazz lead guitar lesson useful? If so, please check out the gypsy jazz course Lead Guitar Fundamentals where you will find thorough instruction on left and right hand technique, as well as learn gypsy jazz melodies, arpeggios, and how to improvise within the genre.
Minor 6 & Minor 6/9 Chords In Thumb Position – 6th String Root (Blues en Mineur)
(Free Django style lesson taken from the course Rhythm Guitar Fundamentals – Lesson 15 of 32)
In this Django style guitar lesson, I introduce how to play minor 6 and minor 6/9 chords in thumb position. Thumb position means to use your thumb to fret the bass note of the chord, allowing you to utilise your other fingers across the other strings and create a dense, rich chord voicing.
To achieve these chords, I recommend positioning your palm right up against the back of the guitar neck. This allows your thumb to easily reach over the top. Many people find these chords tricky at first. Once you have them however they are an excellent alternative to bar chords, as you can then play rhythm without the heavy fretting pressure that bar chords require. I hope you enjoy the lesson!
Did you find this gypsy jazz rhythm guitar lesson useful? If so, please check out the gypsy jazz course Rhythm Guitar Fundamentals for video instruction on how to play over 40 chord shapes that are common in gypsy jazz. You can also purchase the Gypsy Jazz Chord Book, which comes with the course, separately if you wish.
Introducing ‘La Pompe’ – Strumming Hand Motion
(Free Django style lesson taken from the course Rhythm Guitar Fundamentals – Lesson 5 of 32)
In this Django style lesson, I introduce the style of strumming used in gypsy jazz rhythm guitar playing. This strumming technique is called ‘La Pompe,’ which is French for ‘The Pump.’The name of this technique strongly reflects its character. A rhythm guitarists ‘La Pompe,’ along with the bass player, provides the swinging and pumping backbone of a gypsy jazz ensemble.
‘La Pompe’ makes use of gravity to propel the strumming hand through all six strings of the guitar, rather than pushing ones pick through the strings. The motion should be entirely relaxed.
It’s worth spending some time just on this right hand guitar technique, without worrying about chord shapes, or the left hand bounce technique. This way, your gypsy jazz strumming technique can become quite strong. I’m a big believer in focusing on one aspect of musical development at a time, so that you develop consistently strong yet relaxed technique.
Enjoyed this free gypsy jazz rhythm guitar lesson? Please check out the course Rhythm Guitar Fundamentals as you may find it very helpful.
Some notes on ‘La Pompe’ variations:
When playing La Pompe, it is quite typical to hear the bulk of the chord on beats 1 and 3, and to then have a rhythmic stab (not fully muted of course, we should still hear the chord quality, but it is quite short) on the 2 and 4.
In regards to accenting/volume, there are a few variations on this. For example, the contemporary Parisian-style of accompaniment (which is used in the backing tracks provided at Studygypsyjazz.com) allows for similar volume on all 4 beats, with the variation being in how each beat is articulated (IE often the bulk of the chord on the 1 and 3, and a non-muted short rhythmic stab on the 2 and 4).
Another variation is to emulate early Django-style accompaniment by adding more emphasis to beats 2 and 4 via increasing the volume and attack of these beats. Please experiment with both variations!
The Importance & Role Of The Rhythm Guitar
(Free Django style lesson taken from the course Rhythm Guitar Fundamentals – Lesson 4 of 32)
In this Django style video guitar lesson, I discuss the crucial role of the rhythm guitar in gypsy jazz.
Learning gypsy jazz rhythm guitar helps develop ones timing and consistency as an accompanist. It also helps in developing an understanding of the guitar neck and layout as one develops a vocabulary of Django-style chords. All of this knowledge helps with lead guitar playing as well. When learning gypsy jazz rhythm guitar, by necessity you also develop an ability to accompany and listen to other musicians.
Enjoyed the above video lesson? Please check out the course Rhythm Guitar Fundamentals to learn more.