Out of print
Please see the updated and expanded version:
Gypsy Swing & Hot Club Rhythm for Mandolin by Dix Bruce. You’ll learn chords, comping, and melodies, then let the band back you up as you practice chords and soloing. You play all the leads while the band backs you up. Beginners can practice basic skills while more advanced players can hone their improvisation chops, each at their own individual learning pace. Includes standard notation, tablature, chord diagrams, lyrics, playing tips, and more.
Book with CD
Each song is presented on the recording at slow and regular speed. First you’ll hear the melody played on mandolin at a slow speed with just guitar backup, then it’s repeated at regular speed with the band. The back up band is a classic “Hot Club”- style rhythm section with two acoustic rhythm guitars, string bass, plus rhythm mandolin so mandolinists can hear just how the Gypsy Swing comp sounds on mandolin. Split track mixing on the recording allows the student to hear just the melody (while reading along in the book) or just the rhythm section, or both for maximum flexibility and specific study.
All the melodies are played on mandolin. Then the band plays several choruses and you play all the leads. Songs may be repeated, at slow or regular speed, as many times as you wish in order to perfect phrases, melodies and solos in a band context. Potential for improvement is unlimited
We’ll jam all night long! Check out audio samples and read some reviews below. Also available: Gypsy Swing & Hot Club Rhythm Vol. II for Mandolin.
The Sheik of Araby slow MP3. The slow version includes the lower octave melody with just guitar back up. If you adjust the balance on your player to the right or left, you can hear only melody or only rhythm chords. If you’re listening on headphones and you don’t have a balance or pan control, take one phone off.
The Sheik of Araby up-to-speed MP3. The up-to-speed cut is shortened to save space on the server. The full band version from the book is about 3:40 so you can get a serious jam session going. The melody has been left off on the band cut so you can be the star! Be sure to practice your chords in addition to the melodies.
Special Books/CDs/DVD offer:
Includes both of Dix Bruce’s Gypsy Swing & Hot Club Rhythm book/CD sets ($15.95 list each) plus Dix Bruce’s Swing & Jazz Mandolin DVD: Chords, Rhythm, and Songs ($24.95 list) for our lowest price ever: $39.89. That’s two book/CDs sets plus DVD with over 100 minutes of great video swing & jazz mandolin instruction. You’ll save over $17.00! Click here.
Watch Dix demonstrate how to work with the Gypsy Swing & Hot Club Rhythm sets on mandolin.
Watch Dix demonstrate how to work with the Gypsy Swing & Hot Club Rhythm sets on guitar.
The band, l. to r.: Jason Vanderford, Steve Hanson, Dix Bruce.
Table of Contents:
Introduction to Gypsy Swing
How to work with the book and CD
Swing Guitar Rhythm
The Sheik of Araby
Some of These Days
After You’ve Gone
Baby Won’t You Please
Swing in Minor
St. Louis Blues
Swingin’ Like ’42
Customer Comments and Reviews:
I’ve just received your two books on Gypsy Jazz. they are not only “GREAT” but FABULOUS”!
You did an excellent job on presenting the material in both Standard Notation, TAB and Chord Charts. I also found your suggested fingering extremely helpful. Also your example on playing in different octaves, which helps the student to learn the guitar finger board was also helpful.
I actually didn’t expect so much information on this type musical genre. Your book is more than a Song Book. It’s a actually a complete Intro course on Gypsy Jazz! Bravo Dix!
In closing, I hope that you will publish Volume # 3 in the near future.
J. A., Chicago, IL
I just wanted to thank you for your Swing Mandolin Instruction material. I have Gypsy Swing Vol. 1 and have really enjoyed it, and just recently took advantage of your sale to get Gypsy Swing II and the (Swing & Jazz Mandolin) DVD. This is by far the best value in music tuition I’ve ever gotten…I appreciate all the time and effort you are putting into these projects. I’m having a blast and learning a ton!
D.S. – Issaquah, WA
For many Folk and Bluegrass mandolinists, the idea of crossing over into jazz and swing is both intriguing and daunting at the same time. … This is why when books like Dix Bruce’s “Gypsy Swing & Hot Club Rhythm for Mandolin” come along, we feel its “bridgeworthiness” is worthy of a shout out … this book will be what the doctor ordered … The book contains 12 great swing standards popularized by the six-string jazz patriarch, swing fiddle partner Stephane Grapelli, and their legendary Hot Club of France. It includes both standard and tab notation, suggested chord fingerings, some relevant history, and helpful interpretive commentary for each of the songs.
The backing CD alone is worth the price of admission. Where else are you going to get the talents of guitarist Jason Vanderford, bassist Steve Hanson, and guitar/mandolinist Dix himself, as close as your CD player or computer? The recording is clean accompanying arrangements, indeed not mystifyingly complex, but very musical and quite typical of what you’d find in most Gypsy Jazz jam sessions.
Included in its 40 pages are some practical audio tips; each song has a slow version to introduce the tune before a full-fledged band version. Song selection is adequate for a healthy taste of Django, and you’re likely to do at least one of them at any given jam … All in all, this is a wonderful resource for any budding jazz or gypsy mandolinist. It’s a great introduction for the beginner, and a more advance player can always use the fabulous CD for working up both soloing and comping skills.
Gypsy Swing & Hot Club Rhythm for Mandolin Reviewed by David McCarty in “Mandolin Magazine”
On his latest instructional project, master musician and instructor Dix Bruce tackles the topical subject of one of the hottest acoustic sounds around, the Hot Club-style swing jazz popularized by Django Reinhardt and Stephane Grappelli in the 1930s and ’40s. This rapid-fire, highly stylized distillation of Gypsy rhythms with popular jazz songs and original compositions has endured for more than 70 years and is today enjoying a worldwide boom in its popularity.
Originally, Django’s hot string quintet employed a bass, violin, lead guitar and two rhythm guitars. Mandolin never entered the picture. But as the music has crossed the Atlantic, David Grisman in particular has incorporated the eight stringed instrument into a variety of swing and Gypsy jazz style sounds, giving it a legitimate place in the style.
Players used to chopping bluegrass G-chords will find themselves swamped with more sophisticated chord shapes and carefully defined rhythm style that this genre demands.
Enter Dix Bruce to help guide the way with the first instructional project I’ve seen devoted exclusively to playing this style on mandolin. Over a 40-page tutorial and a well designed CD, Bruce gives a fine overview of how to move from traditional bluegrass styles to the swinging styles of the ’30s, ’40s and today.
Basing his chords around common seventh and minor forms for the most part, Bruce quickly gets the student away from the major chord tonalities found in bluegrass and Celtic music. His rhythms cleanly accentuate the two- and the four count beats to give the music that essential swing Sound.
On each tune, he plays a clearly enunciated version of the melody at a moderate speed so the student can follow along in the accompanying tablature or notation. For someone just getting started in the style, this is the near-perfect introduction. … Gypsy Swing and Hot Club Rhythm will point any mandolinist with a sincere interest in swing music in the right direction, giving them a solid foundation rhythmically and melodically to delve into this utterly fascinating musical style. Play on, Django!