I want to start learning how to play gypsy jazz and was wondering what some standards of the music are. Songs, techniques, gear (guitars, picks, and strings) all that good stuff.
Study Django Reinhardt. He may or may not have originated the style, but there's no one playing it now who doesn't take influence from him!

To be honest I don't know a huge amount about it beyond names to give you so here's a short list:

  • Stochelo Rosenberg (and the Rosenberg Trio)
  • Bireli Lagrene
  • Angelo Debarre
  • Joscho Stephan

At least, they my personal favourites. Really I think the important thing is to listen to as much as possible, and try to get a sense of how they build the songs and solos. Really listen to everything going on.

Hopefully someone else will be able to help more, but I think that's a good starting point
R.I.P. My Signature. Lost to us in the great Signature Massacre of 2014.

Quote by Master Foo
“A man who mistakes secrets for knowledge is like a man who, seeking light, hugs a candle so closely that he smothers it and burns his hand.”

It is an acoustic genre, and the favoured guitars are based on the original Selmer and Maccaferri designs, of which there are a few makers. The look is OK, but I've no idea how close the inexpensive ones are to the originals in performance. - They were long scale and designed for very light strings. Django's ensemble used the large soundhole ones for rhythm, and the small soundhole for lead.

I'm a fan of Stochelo Rosenberg and his trio, but there is a lot of good stuff on Youtube.
Hi Nerdbiscuit,

I've made a series of free video lessons teaching aspects of gypsy jazz lead guitar and rhythm guitar. You might find some of them useful, check them out here.

You can also find over 50 free backing tracks to use on the site to help you practice. You can find those here.

All the best and I hope you enjoy learning this fun style!


Harry (Head instructor @ Studygypsyjazz.com)