ACOUSTIC GUITAR 014: Gypsy Jazz Chords & Rhythm

Acoustic Guitar 014: 

Gypsy Jazz Chords and Rhythm...

The up-tempo beat of Gypsy Jazz combined with the styles' collection of unique chord voicings, makes this a really interesting style to study for all guitar players. In this lesson, we're going to run through several Gypsy Jazz progressions. We'll practice the strumming feel, (with particular focus on the way that the strum pattern is used across the string sets). 

Plus, we'll spend a good amount of the lesson focused upon the chord patterns that are the most popular ones used in this style... 

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In the lesson, examples of the strum technique are shown using many different chord patterns. The shapes of each chord are provided in chord diagrams shown in the lesson handout. Download the PDF worksheets for this lesson to view all of the TAB and chord diagrams for each assignment.

The studies will cover "La Pompe" strumming, rapid chord changes across the Gypsy Jazz harmony, as well as, specialized patterns of 3-note chord voicings (Minor and Dominant 7th). The lesson concludes with an 8-bar chord progression that uses a common Gypsy Jazz arrangement in cut-time...

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In example one, we start things off with an in-depth breakdown of the "La Pompe" rhythm strumming technique. Learning to perform this strumming concept is paramount to developing the strum-style that is used across all Gypsy Jazz guitar parts. A 2-bar chord study using dominant 9th chords will help players gain the ability for performing "La Pompe," strum-hand technique.

Example two takes the "La Pompe" strum technique across some rapid chord moves that are typical to the Gypsy Jazz guitar style. In example two, we are applying the rhythmic groove of "La Pompe" across a group of four chords in the key of " E Major." These chords are, "E6(add9)," "C#m7," "F#m7," and "Bbdim7." This type of chord arrangement is generally typical of the harmonies that are associated to the style of Gypsy Jazz.

PART TWOThe exercise in example three demonstrates another popular element surrounding the concept of performing Gypsy Jazz. This playing technique involves the creation of small 3-note chord patterns that can be moved along and across the guitar fingerboard very quickly. 

These shapes are fantastic for jamming through chords that are lined up along the fret-board in linear ways. The example takes two similar chord patterns of the "Minor 6" and adds a 1st-inversion shape of an "A Minor." The turnaround phrase uses a 3-note chord pattern for a 5th-string root Dominant 7th chord.

Example four wraps-up our lesson plan with an arrangement of a real world example of a common Gypsy Jazz chord progression. 

The progression uses chords that switch rapidly through a harmony from the key center of "A Major." Interesting chord voicings are used throughout this progression - they include; "Major 6," "Diminished 7th," as well as, both Minor and Dominant chords along with inversions. A fast-paced groove is formed from the time signature set in "cut-time," feel.

Related Videos:

Gypsy Jazz Chords and Rhythm... 

ACOUSTIC GUITAR 013: Bossa /Samba Latin Guitar Style

ACOUSTIC GUITAR 012: Acoustic Blues - Harmonies and Riffs

ACOUSTIC GUITAR 011: Chordal Picking Technique



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