Kent Gypsy Jazz Guitar Lessons | Jonny Hepbir Teaches Django Reinhardt Style Guitar In Margate

Updated: Nov 20, 2019



Django Reinhardt style, Gypsy Jazz guitar lessons are available in Kent U.K.


Whether you're an absolute beginner or an experienced player, I've got plenty of top pro tips and cool methods to help keep you learning, improving and enjoying this amazing guitar style!


I teach via one-to-one, hourly, day sessions, workshops and Skype.


The video above is one I recorded back in 2012 but only just released it on my Gypsy Jazz YouTube channel.


There are two screens running to demonstrate both rhythm and soloing techniques used in Gypsy Jazz.


The rhythm style I'm playing is generally referred to as 'La Pompe'. You can see and hear why this amusing/affectionate nickname has stuck over the years. There are many versions of this type of accompaniment, all with their own subtle variations . It's also much harder to do than you would think if you're not used to it. I keep the chord voicings very simple when I play this type of rhythm so the soloist has a nice, solid 'band' to play over.


I've been fortunate to learn and hone my rhythm style over the years from playing with some of the best Django/Gypsy Jazz players in the world.


From about 2009 to 2013 I had a few excellent jam sessions in Germany with one of my all-time favourite players, Lulu Reinhardt. I was really practicing hard around this time to emulate the amazing sound and swing feel Lulu and his brothers got when they played. Check out the Titi Winterstein Quintet and Hans'che Weiss Quintet recordings from the 70's & 80's if you haven't heard them. If you've been playing this style for a while, you've probably played 'Lulu Swing' or 'Noto Swing' at some point, two classic Lulu compositions which are always fun to play.


For melody and improvisation, the general term a lot of guitarists use these days is 'Gypsy Picking'. This phrase only came into existence in the early 00's. I prefer to think of it as a rough reference/guide to the technique used by Django and the Gypsies for articulation on the guitar. I don't however think it should be used to describe the technique as a specific concrete method to adhere to for learning. There are so many variables and it takes years to develop your own style.


At the end of the day, it always comes back to the originator, the master, Django Reinhardt. Django had many different versions of rhythm playing in his bands over his years and I would totally recommend checking out his extensive back catalogue, there's always fabulous gems waiting to be discovered.


Bottom line is, you can play Django/Gypsy Jazz tunes on any type of guitar with a pick or fingerstyle, there are no rules, it's only a bunch of chords and notes that are always open to interpretation. However if you want to emulate the characteristics, embellishments, timing and phrasing of the man and his people, then you have to delve a bit deeper.


Gypsy Jazz guitar lessons in Kent with Jonny Hepbir

I've been playing and teaching Gypsy Jazz professionally for over 25 years. During this time I also taught guitar in two schools, state and private, for 18 years and was also a College music lecturer.


I now teach/coach Gypsy Jazz exclusively as well as playing with my BANDS around the U.K and also fill-in for other Django-style groups occasionally.


If you'd like to learn more and discuss your requirements, please drop me a line at info@jonnyhepbir.co.uk or call 07712 332 967 I'm always happy to talk about Gypsy Jazz!


To see my teaching page, short demo videos and read a couple of testimonials from past students, please click HERE


To see videos from various jams with German & Dutch masters, please click HERE.


Here's a chilled version 'All Of Me' played with my friend and master Gypsy guitarist, Ducato.





COntact US

Tel: +44 (0) 7712 332967

Email: info@jonnyhepbir.co.uk

Jonny is based in Margate, Kent, UK

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