Robin Nolan online course recommendations?

zmandozmando New
in Technique Posts: 3


I'm new to gypsy jazz, and am trying to find the best structured online course for learning the foundations of the genre. I'm a very experience bluegrass guitarist, but have no jazz/swing background and am used to learning by ear. I've found Robin Nolan's youtube videos which seem really great and easily digestable, so I'm interested in signing up for one of his more structured courses, but he has a few different ones and it's hard to tell the difference between them (Fast track, Foundations, Gypsy jazz Transfusions Club etc). Can any point me in the direction of which course might be most helpful to get started ? What actually is his Gypsy Jazz Transfusions Club? Thanks!



  • billyshakesbillyshakes NoVA✭✭✭ Park Avance - Dupont Nomade - Dupont DM-50E
    edited February 8 Posts: 1,336

    Edit: Looks like the name lost the "Transfusion" part so I corrected that below.

    Hey Zach,

    I have a few of Robin's courses and 20 years ago his books were one of the few ways to learn the style. These days, I think he's more engaged in his Transfusion Gypsy Jazz Club and building a community there. It is a montly subscription, but they go over songs each month and have some group webinars covering all the aspects. In addition, there is a forum and archive that has all the past months. So, pretty much any song that you might fancy, you could find it there. Usually, he offers a 30-day free preview with no committment required. You might want to write him at [email protected] to see what offer is going on now. There might be others here who are in it now or have been in the past.

    Alternatively, another online teacher that focuses on helping bringing guitarists into the genre is Yaakov Hoter at He has several courses that cover topics such as La Pompe, Soloing with Triads, Arpeggios, etc. He also has a coaching program where you get access to all his courses during the time you are in it. I think he offers a free video "assessment" to see where you are and how he might help you. You could write him at [email protected]. He's got an upcoming part-video/part-live webinar you might sign up for to see how you like his instruction. (He also has videos on youtube.) Here's the course sign-up:

    Good luck.

  • luckylucky New
    Posts: 39

    There’s no one better than Robin for a beginner, he’s like the Bert Weedon of gypsy jazz. There are other courses and teachers if you want to go into the subtleties of technique and music of the genre but to get started Robin’s great. His gig book was my bible for a long time. As I progressed I did have to unlearn a lot of his arrangements but I would never have got anywhere without him

  • billyshakesbillyshakes NoVA✭✭✭ Park Avance - Dupont Nomade - Dupont DM-50E
    Posts: 1,336

    I just logged into my Fast Track course and to give you an idea what's in the box. Keep in mind, as it is now ver 3.0, some of the videos are older and some are newer. He's added content with each version. The course deals with 6 songs:

    Bossa Dorado, All of Me, J'attendrai, Lulu Swing, Nuages, and Swing 48

    Each song will have multiple ~5 min videos (one each for the following topics)

    Melody - shows you how to play the basic melody

    Chords - shows you the some chord grip options (there is a pdf as well)

    Backing Track

    Soloing ideas - discussion on some of the key notes to walk through the changes

    Quarter Note Drill - walking through song changes playing quarter notes evenly and continually

    Eighth Note Drill - same as above but with eighth notes

    Slick Moves - 5 separate videos showing you little licks or ideas/quotes over parts of the song.



    Wrap-up - Putting it all together with the various ideas.

    Finally, there are a few bonus additions. One is an updated video walking through the wrap-up and adding different ideas for the main songs. Also, a miniature version of the above for 2 other songs: Mokum Swing and Paquito. Mokum Swing is a Robin Nolan original that is a contrafact for Bossa Dorado. So, essentially there are new ideas that you could incorporate over what you learned with Bossa Dorado. Paquito is another common song in the genre and you get a mini-lesson on it.

    So that gives you an idea of what the content is of that course. I think he more or less does the same thing now monthly in the Transfusion Club, perhaps even including the above. Plus, I think he's pretty responsive and so if you are posting solo ideas or recording yourself doing la pompe, etc, he will comment on it or send you a mini-video. Sometimes you see these response videos show up as mini-YT video lessons. It will essentially come down to how you want to learn. With the courses, you'll get something static and then that is it. With the Club, you pay as you go, but you get a little more input from him and perhaps from others in the community. (Note: I am not a member there, but I know a bit about how it has operated in the past. I think technology has allowed better input and tuition through these clubs rather than static lessons. It's just all down to how you learn best I guess.)

  • zmandozmando New
    Posts: 3

    Thanks so much for the info everyone! I'll definitely Give Robin's jazz club subscription a try. Looks like he offers a free 14 day trial, so I'll start with that. Thanks!

  • Posts: 50

    I'd like to chime in on Yaakov Hoter's courses, esp. for beginners. His complete arpeggios course really helped get me pointed in the right direction. Really takes the mystery out of it.

  • zmandozmando New
    Posts: 3

    And as a followup question, will some of the basics taught by Robin and Yaakov also serve as a helpful foundation for learning other early jazz/swing styles besides Gypsy? Definitely looking to expand my bluegrass/folk/country chops into the gypsy/swing/western swings worlds so I can get more comfortable playing over songs that aren't just I IV V folk tunes.

  • Posts: 50

    Can't speak for the Robin Nolan courses but I would say yes for some of Yaakovs . Nolan, Yaakov and Denis are all very good teachers and the great thing is they all have a lot of free material available on YouTube, so you can get a good idea of their teaching styles.

  • luckylucky New
    Posts: 39

    In Robin’s case probably not. He’s very good at distilling gypsy jazz into easy to understand and manageable concepts but if you’re interested in going more in depth then people like Denis Chang are on another level. Robin doesn’t really do history or technique, which is very enabling for the beginner but frustrating for more advanced players.

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