Gypsy Jazz Minor Swing Style Solo


This cheeky little number uses a backing track in the style of Minor Swing by the great Django Reinhardt. The piece is edging into advanced level territory due to the alternate picked arpeggios, fast chromatic pull-offs, and sweep picking – but what a lot of fun to play!

If you’re not familiar with Jazz soloing, you’ll need to understand that it’s best not to just noodle over the chord changes with one scale, like is common with blues and rock. In addition to scale playing, you can follow or anticipate each chord in the progression with arpeggios and clever note choice. For example, before the Dm7 chord is played in bar 3, I play a 3-note downward chromatic walk (G-F#-F) at the end of bar 2 which anticipates the Dm7 chord. How so? The last note of the walk (the F note at fret 6 on the B string) is actually the minor 3rd of the Dm7. Another example: just before the E7 chord in bar 6, I start a 3-note upward chromatic walk (F#-G-G#) at the end of bar 5, with the last note being the major 3rd of the E7 chord.

The great Jazz guitarists can do this kind of clever playing on the spot with their eyes closed because they know the progressions, scales, and chord tones so well. Us mere mortals however will need to think about the progression and plan in advance, but it’s certainly worth it, as it will give your playing a refined sound and give you a good knowledge of the fretboard.

As always, below the YouTube video you’ll find the backing track to play along with, and below that, the tablature. Aren’t I nice?!

Feel free to ask questions or just share your thoughts in the comments!

Watch the video:

Play along with the backing track:

Read the tab:

Gypsy Jazz Minor Swing Style Solo

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