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3 tips for easier gypsy jazz rhythm guitar: chords, strumming and picking

Django
(Image credit: Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images)

Guitar chords: Learning a new style is much easier in accessible steps and the wonderfully rhythmic nature of gypsy jazz can be imposing at first. But take these three steps as a way in… 

1. Choose a jazzy chord

chords

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Am6 gives you an instant gypsy jazz sound akin to greats like Django Reinhardt, Birélli Lagrène and newer kid on the block Remi Harris. Try A13, D6/9 and E7 too.


2. Strum on every beat 

chords

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Count to four to keep time and strum a downstroke on every beat. Emphasise beats 2 and 4 for that typical gypsy ‘la pompe’ groove.


3. Break it down 

Chords

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Give the illusion of guitar and bass playing at the same time by alternating between the bass and treble strings instead of playing the whole chord.

Play along 

Learn 7 jazzy extended chords and how to use them in our lesson