Even if you aren’t into Gypsy jazz, there are a wealth of inspiring ideas to glean from Django’s impossibly fast lines.

Chops: Intermediate
Theory: Intermediate
Lesson Overview:
• Understand how to artfully navigate the changes of a 12-bar blues.
• Combine chromatic or “outside” notes with standard 7th-chord arpeggios.
• Learn how Django Reinhardt turned a perceived weakness into an advantage.

Click here to download a printable PDF of this lesson's notation.

The arpeggio can be a powerful ally on the journey to fretboard mastery. As a melodic device, it’s the most no-nonsense, straightforward way to convey the chords you’re playing over. Fast or slow, arpeggios spell out the chords to the listener, just as much as they do for the player.

Using the arpeggio as an improvisational tool lets you get outside of a modal sound and control the harmony in flexible ways. It’s common to enclose the arpeggio with passing tones inside and outside of the key. The master of this approach is, without doubt, the great Gypsy-jazz guitarist Django Reinhardt.

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