Gypsy jazz upright bass, Vol. 1
Arnoud van den Berg
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Gypsy jazz upright bass, Vol. 1

An expert shows you how to play in the style.
Gypsy jazz
Preview course

In this video course, Arnoud shows you how to play upright bass in the style of gypsy jazz — the acoustic swing music of Django Reinhardt. Read full description…

In this video course, Arnoud shows you how to play upright bass in the style of gypsy jazz — the acoustic swing music of Django Reinhardt.

Gypsy jazz is different from straightahead jazz, because the rhythm is provided by a rhythm guitar instead of drums. This calls for a different feel in the bass playing. Here, Arnoud dives into details on certain things you should and shouldn’t do when you’re trying to get a good sound in a gypsy-jazz band.

The course is divided into three parts. First, for those of you who are coming from electric bass, Arnoud covers basic upright bass techniques. He talks about scales and some exercises to build strength and tone. Then he covers subtleties of bass playing that are particular to gypsy jazz — how to sound “in the style.”

Finally, the bulk of the course focuses on playing real bass lines on standard tunes in the repertoire. The goal there is to give you plenty of specific bass lines to practice, and also to give you an idea of how Arnoud builds bass lines in general.

The intended audience is beginner to intermediate upright bass players, or advanced players who have never played gypsy jazz. Perhaps you’ve played bass for a while but are new to the style, or perhaps you’re already playing gypsy jazz but want to get tips from somebody who’s been doing it for a long time.

Like everything on Soundslice, this course is fully transcribed and has interactive notation synced with the video. Everything is notated in standard notation and tab.

Enjoy the course!

Full course

Full course is 55 minutes across 34 parts
Beginner position tips
Tips for people coming from electric bass
Right-hand exercise
Position exercise #1
Position exercise #2
Scale exercises
How to practice with a metronome
Playing with gypsy jazz guitarists
Keeping it simple
Tips on volume
Different approaches to the “two” feel
Turnaround example with different feels
Tips on walking bass lines
Repertoire intro
“I Can’t Give You Anything But Love” (two feel 1)
“I Can’t Give You Anything But Love” (two feel 2)
Christophe changes
“I Can’t Give You Anything But Love” (walking bass)
Major blues performance
Minor blues performance
Rhythm changes performance (two feel 1)
Rhythm changes performance (two feel 2)
Rhythm changes performance (walking bass)
“Joseph Joseph” performance (two feel 1)
“Joseph Joseph” performance (two feel 2)
“Joseph Joseph” performance (walking bass)
Bossa technique
Bossa (“Bossa Dorado” performance)
Bolero (“Troublant Bolero”)
Ballad (“Danse Norvegienne”)
“Minor Swing” bass break
“Minor Swing” performance

About the artist


Arnoud van den Berg is an experienced bass player in the international gypsy-jazz scene. He’s been a member of the Robin Nolan Trio since 2007 and accompanied the great Jimmy Rosenberg for several years. He also tours and records with Mozes Rosenberg and Paulus Schäfer.

Originally inspired by Paul McCartney, Arnoud started with blues and rock on electric bass before switching to the upright. He began playing gypsy jazz around the turn of the century and has played with many of the modern Dutch greats. He lives in Amsterdam.

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