In our JM-Lexicon you may find some answers on many questions about Jazz and especially Jazz-Manouche or Gypsyjazz.


    All terms that get explained here are sorted in alphabetical order and contain examples or explanations.

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    Alternate Picking describes a picking-technique for guitar.

    Every beat is just played always up-and-down (up- and downstrokes) with the pick, never changing direction whether what string is beeing played.

    The Apoyando ( IPA :  [a p o ´ja n d o ],  span.  for  „locked on“ or  „lean on“) is a Picking-technique on the guitar that originally comes from classical guitar-playing.  While playing Apoyando the finger gets layed (locked) onto the next following string, resting there until the next beat.

    Arpeggio (Pl.: Arpeggios) is the musical name for a chord where all notes aren´t played all together at once,
    but after one another in short spaces. An Arpeggio is also known as a „broken chord“.

    See also JM-Learning -> Solotechnique -> JM-Arpeggios

    A Chord is any harmonic set of two or more notes that are played at once. For example if you play three notes beginning from the root-note of a major-scale in steps of triads at the same time, this will be a so called  „root-chord“ or „major-chord“. Major-chords may be described as a triad of major quality built upon the root-note.
    Example: the chord C-major contains the notes C, E , G – which remain to be the 1st, 3rd. and 5th. note of the scale.  Commonly in Jazz so called „altered chords“ are beeing used, e.g. chords with four-, five- or  six-notes, mostly as one, two or more notes added to a basic triad.
    The Chords and their symbols often vary in their description in music-notation. One and the same chord can be marked with different labels. Example: the chord G-major7 can be notated as G-major7 or Gmaj7 or GM7 or G∆7 or even as Gj7. In the book on hand i use the following terminology for the chords (all Examples in C):

    C        - Major-chords (C = C-E-G = Step: 1-3-5)
    C7        - Major-7th-chords (major-triad + add. minor seventh, Step: 1-3-5-b7)
    C7/9        - Major-7th/9th-chords (major-triad + add. minor seventh and ninth, Step: 1-3-5-b7-9)
    Cmaj7        - Major-7th-chords (major-triad + add. major seventh, Step: 1-3-5-7)
    Cm        - Minor-chords (minor-Triad, Cm = C-Eb-G, Step: 1-b3-5)
    Cm6        - Minor-6st-chords (minor-Triad + add. sixth, Step: 1-b3-5-6)
    Cm7        - Minor-7th-chords (minor seventh, Step: 1-b3-5-b7 )
    Cm11        - Minor-11th-chords (minor-Triad + eleventh, Step: 1-b3-5-11)
    C7/13        - Major-7th/13th-chords (root, third, minor seventh, thirteen, Step: 1-3-b7-13)
    Cm7b5         - half-diminished-chords (root, minor third, flatted fifth, flat seventh, Step: 1-b3-b5-b7)
    C°(dim)        - diminished chords (root, minor third or flatted fifth, Step: 1-b3-b5-(6)

    Take care to the different chord-voicings and the different fingerings in Gypsyjazz with identical chord-names.

    The exchanging of chords with tonal relatives e.g. other „substituted“ chords is called „chord-substitution“ in Jazz-harmonic. Example :  in a jazz-chord-sequence it would be possible to play „Dm7 - Db9 - Cmaj7“
    instead of the chords „Dm7 - G7 - Cmaj7“, where Db = the Tritone of G).

    In Jazz generally all chords can possibly be exchanged thru others while improvising. Substitutions of minor- or major-paralles don´t affect the sound very much, as substitutions of dominant-chords can eventually lead into complete disharmonic in the extreme.

    The music of the hungarian gypsies, very often gets wrongly declared as „the Gypsymusic“ in peoples tongue.Csárdás (also Csárdá, Czárdász (spoken „Tschardasch“, of the hungarian word csárda = Guesthouse, Winery) is the hungarian national dance. A long, slow pathetic circledance of only men in 2/4-rhythm („lassú“) in minor, then followed by a wild growing up major dance of couples (men and women) called „friss“.

    There are different theories about this dance and where it came from. Some reported its origin in an ancient  dance of the Haiduks (an old hungarian tribe), other point to the connection to the so called Verbunkos (= advertising dances), a dance around the 18. century with that hungarian gypsybands used to advertise soldiers for the habsburgian Army.

    The Csárdás is beeing played up to today by all hungarian gypsy-ensembles, but also is part in classical music thru compositions of classical composer Franz Liszt. He composed serveral Csárdás for Piano, the most well known is his piece  „Csardas macabre“.

    Gypsyjazz (in anderer Schreibweise [Gipsyjazz]) bezeichnet im weitesten Jazzmusik die von Sinti oder Roma gespielt wird. Es handelt sich dabei um eine eigentständige Interpretation von Jazz, mit eigenen Idiomen, Akkordsubstituten uvm.Diese eigenständige Spielweise entstand in den frühen 1920er Jahren bis etwa um 1950, maßgeblich mitgeprägt vom Gitarrengenie Jean-Baptiste genannt "Django" Reinhardt und weiteren französischen Gitarristen der damaligen Zeit.

    Inspiriert durch den Jazz der frühen Jahre des 1900 Jahrhunderts, der durch viele (meist farbige) US-Soldaten welche nach dem 1. Weltkrieg in Europa blieben gespielt wurde, begannen Musiker wie Django Reinhardt, Marcel Bianci, Baro oder Sarrane Ferret uvm. diesen Jazz auf ihre eigene Art zu interpretieren (siehe auch "Jazz-Manouche".

    Gemeinhin besteht "Gypsy-Jazz" oder "Jazz-Manouche" aus einer MIschung von verschiedenen Stilen wie Jazz, Latinswing, Valse Musette, italienischen oder neapolitanischen Liedern, spanischem Flamenco, ungarischem Çsardas und der Musik der Sinti und Roma selbst.

    Allen gemeinsam ist eine große Virtuosität in der Darbietung, große Kreativität und Ideenvielfalt und eigene Phrasierungen sowie eine eigenständige Swing-Rhythmik.

    "Gypsy-Jazz" oder "Jazz-Manouche" gilt gemeinhin als der einzige, echte und authentische europäische Jazzstil.

    The „Hot Club de France“ (HCDF) was a Group of Jazz-Fans from France, founded by Charles Delauney, the man who „discovered“ Django Reinhardt in the early 1920ies and later on became his mentor and manager for a certain time.

    The HCDF organised Jazz-concerts, published a little, french Jazz-Club-newspaper und was involved into many of the later recordings, especially for „Django Reinhardt & the Quintette du Hot Club de France“ (QHCDF), the group which was also named after the organisation.

    Charles Delauney was the one who also organised tours for many famous american jazz-musicians within France, such as Duke Ellington, Louis „Satchmo“ Armstrong, Benny Goodman and others more. He was also responsable for organizing meetings and recordings between these musicians and Django Reinhardt.

    The word "Interval" (latinum f. gap, space, displacement) stands for the space between the defined 12 tones of our western tonesystem so the intervals are the spaces between the tones. The intervals are described with latin numbers which are the first 10 of the Latinum.

    There are different intervals, we describe the musically most useful ones.
    According to their space between the base tone these are (examples in C):

     Intervall  Description  Step Meaning Example
     Perfect unison  Prime lat. = 1  1 Step  first = same note C1 -> C1
     Minor second  Sekunde lat. = 2  2 Steps  1 Halfstep C -> Db
     Major second  2 Halfsteps or 1 step C -> D
     Minor third  Terz lat = 3  3 Steps  4 Halfsteps or 1 1/2 steps C -> Eb
     Major third  5 Halfsteps or 3 steps C -> E
     Perfect fourth  Quarte lat. = 4  4 Steps  6 Halfsteps or 4 steps C -> F
     Perfect fifth  Quinte lat. = 5  5 Steps  8 Halfsteps or 5 steps C -> G
     Minor sixth  Sexte lat. = 6  6 Steps  9 Halfsteps or 6 steps C -> Ab
     Major sixth  10 Halfsteps or 6 steps C -> A
     Minor seventh  Septime lat. = 7  7 Steps  11 Halfsteps or 7 steps C -> Bb
     Major seventh  12 Halfsteps or 7 steps C -> B
     Perfect octave  Octave lat. = 8  8 Steps  Repetition = 8th step C -> C2
     Minor Ninth  None lat = 9  9 Steps  Minor second + 8 steps C -> Db2
     Major Ninth  Major second + 8 steps C -> D2
     Tenth  Dezime lat. = 10  10 Steps  Major third + 8 steps C -> E2

    Jazz (pronunciation [d͡ʒæz] or [jat͡s]) is a musical genre that originated around 1900 in the southern states of the USA and was originally produced by African Americans and has been developed in many ways, often in crossover with other musical traditions and genres.

    Meanwhile, music forms are also counted as jazz, which are often only loosely or hardly connected with the Afro-American tradition.

    Jazz is often seen as an American counterpart to classical European music in terms of its artistic significance. In addition, he has opened up new possibilities for almost all other areas of music, from pop to folk.

    Contrary to the "traditional" jazz created from African-American roots in the USA, the jazz manouche (also called  gypsy jazz or string jazz ) is a purely European invention.

    It is an own jazz style which is predominantly composed of French Sinti (called Manouches or Bohemians) in the early 1920s in the Paris area and especially by musicians such as Django Reinhardt, < em

    Later, the style was copied and further developed by descendants of the Manouche or Sinti musicians. Today, musicians such as Stochelo Rosenberg, Bireli Lagrene, Fapy Lafertin, Angelo DeBarre or David Reinhardt  are among his most prominent representatives.

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    Jazz draws on a predominantly European sound system and uses European melody and harmonics, musical forms (for example song form), as well as European instruments (wind instruments, piano, guitar, violin, accordion, double bass, drums). However, these European components are used in jazz in their own way.

    Jazz draws on a predominantly European sound system and uses European melody and harmonics, musical forms (for example song form), as well as European instruments (wind instruments, piano, guitar, violin, accordion, double bass, drums). However, these European components are used in jazz in their own way.

    Central is a special rhythm (swing, groove), intense, improvisational and spontaneous interaction (including call and response) and a vocal expression-oriented sound formation. These elements, especially rhythm, can be traced back to the musical perception of African music cultures.

    → see: Jazz harmonics and jazz rhythm

    The newer currents of jazz also have individual musical and aesthetic characteristics, which make them recognizable as jazz (see

    The history of jazz is "primarily a history of individual and collective stylistics, improvisation strategies, phrasing and intonation methods, in short: an interpretation history.

    But this also results: Jazz does not exist (anymore) - in the course of jazz history it becomes increasingly difficult to agree on a uniform definition of this term and to define jazz music solely on the basis of its musical means of design.

    Jazz-Manouche is the french word for „Gypsy-Jazz“, Jazz music played by Sinti or Manouche

    Jazz harmonics describe the architectural construct on which jazz music is based.

    Although the principles of vocal guidance and step theory developed in European music are also partly applied in jazz music, these can often only be used to a limited extent in jazz or are used in different jazz styles in markedly different weights. Thus, functional theory (prevalent in German-speaking countries) is in many cases difficult to apply to jazz harmonics, especially since harmonic progressions typical of jazz, such as sequences or chords, are difficult to represent on non-diatonic stages.

    Typical of the harmonics of jazz is that the chord material, in contrast to classical art music (or even more numerous, other current currents such as pop music) in which three and four sounds dominate, usually based on four sounds, which are then often called "option tones" by means of additional "option tones." (also engl. tensions), which regularly results in chords with five, six or more sounds, which are typical for the tension-charged sound of jazz. A likewise extremely important feature of jazz harmonics is the frequent use of aged (modified) and substituted (replaced) chords. This extension to four sounds makes chord combinations and sounds possible that were previously unheard of or at least unusual. Already J. S. Bach used elements that are common in jazz today, but in Bach's time these were rather musical defects.
    Furthermore, there is a strong attachment to the melody and general aesthetics of the blues. This has an effect on the harmonic level due to a certain preference for chord material, which corresponds to the melodic effect of the blue notes. In addition, the characteristic blues melody and the requirements of the improvisation prevailing in jazz mean that melody and accompanying harmonies are less strictly related to one another than is common in the largely conceived (composed) music of Europe.

    Also modal scales (for example Doric or Lydic) and modal chord turns (for example, a mollusc dominant taken from the Mixolydian, or a digested subdominant in a minor sound species taken from the Doric) are often used in jazz from the fifties onwards (modal jazz).

    In addition to the harmonious characteristics, certain rhythmic shapes often contribute significantly to jazz music (for more information see Swing (rhythm)).

    (Source: WikiPedia)

    A jazz standard is a melody with a defined harmony sequence, which often serves as the theme and material of a jazz improvisation.

    As a rule, the topic is presented at the beginning and at the end of the piece; in between improvisations (almost always in a soloist sequence).

    Such standards have been derived from hits, chansons, musicals, film music and own compositions by jazz musicians since about 1930. They belong to the basic repertoire of a traditional oriented jazz musician and are summarized in the so-called "real books" which comprise well over 1,500 titles. (see also "The REAL Gypsyjazz Book")

    Since the 1940s, bebop musicians used such well-known songs and wrote new melodies about their chord sequences or kept the melody, but changed the chord sequences (harmonies) of these songs.
    In this way, new standards emerged, whose newly developed topics are referred to by the technical term bebop head.

    Many jazz musicians play these melodies and improvise about them or about the chord sequence formed by melodies. The musical agreements for this vary from style to style.
    Some jazz groups also make use of a selection of jazz standards generally accepted in jazz, to which various musicians can often quickly communicate together. This standardisation forms the basis for a general understanding. So they can give a concert without rehearsal, even if they have never met before.

    Standards also play a unifying role at the spontaneous jazz musicians' meetings, the so-called jam sessions.

    The rhythm „La Pompe“ („pompe“ = french for „to pump“) is the swingjazz-rhythm that was made famous by the  „Quintette du Hot Club de France“ and Django Reinhardt, yet mainly influenced by the playing of Django Reinhardt´s younger brother Joseph „Nin-Nin“ Reinhardt and the other rhythm-guitar-players of the QHCDF e.g. Roger Chaput, Marcel Biancci and others more.

    mario macafferriMario Maccaferri, Mario Macafferri, born in 1900 in Cento near Bolgna, died 1993 in Paris and was a well known classical guitarrist and student of the famous classical guitar-meastro Segovia.
    macafferri ga40 plastic

    Macafferri was also a guitarmaker and the developer of the legendary D- and O-hole Selmer-Guitars (acoustic Jazzguitars), the Model „Orchestre“ and Model „Jazz“.  He worked for the Selmer-company in Paris/France between 1932 and 1936.

    Later on he was also developer and maker of plastic mouthpieces for saxophones. In the early 1950ies he built another legendary guitar: the „Plastic“-Macafferri-Guitar, a guitar that was completely made out of plastic.

    Maccaferri war später u.a. der Erfinder von Plastikmundstücken für Saxophone und baute Anfang der 1950er Jahre eine weitere legendäre Gitarre: die „Plastik“-Macafferri-Gitarre (Bild rechts: Mod. GA-40).

    Jean Baptiste „Django“ Reinhardt (* 23. Januar 1910 in Liberchies, Belgium; † 16. Mai 1953 in Samois-sur-Seine near Paris), Jazz-Guitarrist, Composer and Bandleader of the famous "Quintette du Hotclub de France", is worldwide marked as the father and founder of european Jazz.

    Joseph „Nin-Nin“ Reinhardt, the younger brother of the famous guitarrist Jean Baptiste „Django“ Reinhardt, was Django´s steady companion and also Rhythm-Guitarrist.

    For all his life he was standing in the shadow of his famous and outstanding brother. Himself beeing also a very respected and talented guitarrist, was he nevertheless missing the genius and brilliant creativity of his older brother. In the 1960ies he released some unsuccsessful records as a soloartist.

    The so called rest-stroke (engl. for Apoyando = to rest) comes from the classical guitar-playing, which is a picking technique for the right hand. (See "Gypsyjazz Guitar", chapter „Introducing Sologuitar“, Page 77).

    Selmer is a french company and maker of saxophones and clarinetts since early 1900 which was founded by Henri Selmer in 1898.

    Later on also maker and distributor of the famous D- and O-hole-Guitars, the Model „Orchestre“ and Model „Jazz“ (acoustic Jazzguitars without pickups), designed and developed by Mario Maccaferri and made famous by Django Reinhardt who played these kind of guitars until his death in 1952.

    In the time between 1932-1952 just about 1.000 of these guitars were built. The Selmer-company later on specialized in building saxophones and clarinetts ever since the guitar-production was canceled in 1959.

    More Infos on Selmer at (see JM-Guitars & more -> Selmer-history)

    The Sweptstroke is a special picking-technique for guitar.

    To „sweep“ means that if serveral strings should be played one after another the pick doesn´t leave the strings at all, though beeing sweeped from one to another.

    The „Swing“ is a flowing, e.g.  „swinging“ Rhythm, especially played in Jazz, but also used in other musical styles  like Country-music for example.

    The „swinging “ effect is built by three basic elements:

    *    the Shuffle, which is the ternary interpretation of a „binary Rhythm‘ (the interpretation between
    subtle delays of notes on the counting-time „and“, leading up to the real ternary, triadic extreme)
    *    the offbeat, on the emphasis between beat and basic pulse (on the counting-time „and“),
    *    the backbeat, also the emphasis of the „weak“ counts (which on a 4/4 beat are the „2“ and „4“).

    This rhythm is one of the most important element of Jazz. Also in „new classical music“ (Igor Strawinski and the more) this Jazzelement is beeing utilised, specially in some Tangos. The most clear historical example are the also irregular playable „Notes inégales“ in french Barockmusic.

    Swing / Jazz-Manouche

    The Swing was one of the most popular styles in music jazz history. It started mid to end 1920ies.
    Due to the economy crises musicians started playing in " Bigbands ", as they couldn´t get jobs alone anymore.
    The Swing had its great time between 1935 and 1945. Kansas City Jazz and Western Swing are initially regional sub-styles of swing, but from the mid-1930s they also gained national and international significance. During this time the gospel also took over much from jazz harmonics and later influenced the "rhythm and blues" with it.
    In Europe, gypsy jazz or jazz manouche developed since the late 1920s (see also our articles JM-History (1-3) . The most famous representative of this style was Django Reinhardt.
    Gypsy jazz emerged as a kind of "European offshoot" of Anglo-American swing and was influenced by many European musical styles. In particular the Valse Musette and the Hungarian Csárdás, but also flamenco, classical and Balcan music combined with the music of the Sinti have influenced this type of jazz significantly.Gypsy jazz differs greatly in its tonality from traditional jazz due to the used playing techniques of the different musical styles that were used in gypsy jazz.

    Gypsy jazz or jazz manouche was also called "string jazz" because it was mainly played with string instruments such as guitar, violin and double bass. First of all in the occupation of the early Quintette du Hot Club de France from about 1932.

    Later, from ca. 1942-44, Django Reinhardt experimented with more modern styles of jazz in his later lineups of the Quintette du Hot Club de France and integrated them into his style of guitar playing.

    A „Tritone“ is a musical interval which contains three (tri-) whole-tones (-tonus).
    The diminished fifth-position (from the root-note) would be such. Example: G, Tritone = Db).

    Up until the late midage the Tritone was also called „devils interval“ or „the devil in music“ (lat. „diabolus in musica“) because of it´s harmonic difficulties in singing and playing.


    Gypsyjazz Guitar -a Tribute to GypsyjazzGypsyjazz Guitar – a tribute to Gypsyjazz
    Gypsy-Jazz bzw. Jazz-Manouche ist der erste in Europa entstandene Jazzstil.
    Seine Einflüsse kommen aus dem französischen Musette-Walzer, dem ungarischen Çsardas oder dem spanischen Flamenco, sowie der Sinti-Musik selbst, die von den Sinti-Musikern in Swing-Phrasierung interpretiert wurde.
    Ziel des Buches: Nicht nur eine umfassende Gitarrenschule für Gypsy-Jazz Gitarre zu verfassen, die die rhythmischen und solistischen Aspekte der Gypsyjazz Gitarren-Spielweise vermittelt, sondern auch den Respekt gegenüber der uralten Tradition der Sinti.

    Inhalt Teil 1: Rhythm Guitar: Comping, La Pompe-Rhythmus, Dead Notes, Gypsychords, Voicings, Blues-Kadenz, Chord Substitution
    Inhalt Teil 2: Solo Guitar: Reststroke Picking, Arpeggio Picking, Sweptstroke Picking, Skalen, Arpeggien, Solo Licks

    Verlag: Alfred Music Publishing GmbH; Auflage: 1 (15. Oktober 2011)
    Sprachen: Deutsch / English ISBN-10: 3933136865 – ISBN-13: 978-3933136862

    148 Seiten, mit Play-alongs und Noten & Tabulatur + Audio-CD Preis: 25,80

    Erhältlich bei Amazon, Alfred Verlag oder