i am big fan of swing music and 30s and 40 music and gypsy jazz. I was wondering on guitar how do you play swing music. what chords do you use and what kind of strumming patteren.
first of all, google "swing guitar lesson" and "django guitar lesson" with maybe "beginners" tagged on here. First thing you'll want to get down is the manouche-style swung rhythm.

Once you have that, look at learning the chord progressions (ignore soloing for the moment) to

Minor Swing
It Don't Mean A Thing
Cou Cou (Django and Fishtank Ensemble have done versions)
All Of Me
Limehouse Blues
China Boy
Oo Be Doo (from The Jungle Book)

And get the book "Django: Know The Man, Play The Music"
they're coming to take me away
thanks man i looked at youtube just found alot of dire strait song. i got the manouche thing almost down it just trying to get the quick up down stroke in middle of the strumming down. thanks man
I don't have enough experience in the field of jazz yet to give a good explanation how to go about playing it, but i will give you this piece of advice that is in my opinion necessary if you want to play swing, or any style of jazz for that matter.

Work on your ear. Having a good ear is something that 99% of these people share. I would advice you on starting with simple tunes and try working them out by ear, it will benefit you more in the long run. Getting into jazz and fusion was the reason i started working on my ear, and it has done wonders to my playing even though i haven't been doing it for that long.

Chordwise you want to look into extensions of chords. Like major/minor/dominant/diminished 7th chords, 9th chords, 11 chords and 13 chords. Then add extensions to those chords aswell (for example D7b9) You also want to work on your voicings of chords. Some tunes may have chord like D9, but that doesn't mean that the guitar is going to play all the notes of that chord (D F# A C E ), it might just be a 3 or 4 note voicing, like leaving out the 5th or even the root.

As said, easiest way to get into playing swing music is just learning tunes. Now, just because it's the easiest way to do it doesn't mean is will be easy. Especially if you aren't used to the style or learning by ear. Of course you could learn some other way, but i personally recommend learning by ear.

Hope that helps in any way.
Good luck!
Fusion and jazz musician, a fan of most music.

Quote by Guthrie Govan
“If you steal from one person it's theft, and if you steal from lots of people it's research”

Quote by Chick Corea
"Only play what you hear. If you don't hear anything, don't play anything."
thank you guys so much. I tried playing back ground guitar to some big bad voodoo daddy. i did pretty decent. I hope i get better at it i love swing music. I just got tired playing stuff everyone esle wanted me to play for their band i said screw it and play the stuff i wanna play to bad alot people don't like that music.
Listen to jazz and blues drummers. The absolute most important aspect of playing swing is being able to...you know, swing. Those guys can swing like no one else. Pay attention to the ride cymbal.
Last edited by TheHydra at Aug 8, 2013,