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AE Video: Finding the Elusive Gyspy Swing Rhythm!

Archtop EddyArchtop Eddy Manitou Springs, ColoradoModerator
edited April 2013 in Archtop Eddy's Corner Posts: 589
Hi fellas -- Here's a experimental "lesson" video I shot back at Django in June 2012. I've been meaning to post for quite some time now but couldn't get it quite right, With DiJ 2013 coming up, I thought I should post it now -- as is. Hopefully, it might offer some help and ideas for some folks.

This video is on YouTube as Unlisted and not open to the general public -- however, please feel free to share with other GJ enthusiasts. Why not list it to the general public? Frankly, some of the comments can get pretty petty and ugly on YouTube and the players on this video don't deserve this. They did what they did as a favor to you and me as fellow students of Gypsy Jazz. I don't want it to turn into a "I like player X and player Y sucks dah di dada.." Maybe I'll turn off the comments section and open it to general public later, but for now it's only for us -- Djangobooks Forum participants!

I call this an experimental video because it experiments with a different approach to video lesson learning.

The video is a rhythm study of six players playing the modern sound in Gypsy Jazz -- not the old school la pompe but the more modern crunchy sound we've heard developing in recent years. Each of these players plays differently, but they all have that "thread" that runs through them giving them that convincing modern sound. The intent of the video isn't to try to show how to sound like any particular player -- instead it is here to help you "listen" for this thread and recognize and develop your own version and sense of this feel while playing along with the video.

I chose Coquette as a platform because most of us already know how to play it. The intent here isn't to learn a new song. The idea is to free the mind from learning the song so you can focus on how to play the song. The takes are usually two chorus long and kept at the same relative tempo. In this way you can play along with the examples back-to-back and go through all six examples in about ten minutes. I thought this could serve as a tool for daily practice.

Each example includes a full chorus shot from the front where you can see how each artist approaches the chord changes; then during the second chorus, the camera moves in for closer angle/shots of the picking hand from three distinct angles: left front, right front, and over-the-shoulder view. These over-the shoulder views show a lot visual information such as pick angles, wrist bends, and strike locations of the rhythm strums.

I'd like to thank each of the artists here for their generosity and willingness to share their time and skills in this experimental video. These shots were all first takes with no intent of being fancy, perfect or pretentious. They are truly just sincere efforts by these artists to help us learn about this style of rhythm. (Note: unfortunately, due to editing factors two other participants in this experimental video could not be included here.)

The included participants are: Adrian Holovaty, Denis Chang, Jeff Radaich, Gonzalo Bergara, Olli Soikkeli, and Sebastien Boyer.

Finally, it should be noted that Django in June is the perfect arena for receiving this type of candid and heartfelt advice, lessons, and experiences in Gypsy Jazz. Our community of guitar enthusiasts in GJ are some of the most generous and nicest people you will ever meet. Django in June (and DjangoFest) are excellent meeting grounds, and my hats off to Andrew (Dij) and Nick (DF) for putting them together. I've often said the reason for this is because -- from Stochelo on down to you and me -- we are first and foremost fans of Django Reinhardt and enthusiasts of this music. No-one can be a bigger enthusiast than the next guy! As enthusiasts, we each become bigger through the force-multiplied enthusiasm and support of one another.

Check Django in June out at and DjangoFest at

Whew! That was a long one. Anyway, I hope you enjoy the video. AE



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