Expand your chord knowledge with these easy three-note Gypsy jazz voicings

Django Reinhardt
(Image credit: AFP via Getty Images)

It may be a cliché to say that necessity is the mother of invention, but that doesn’t make it any less true. A great example of this is how Django Reinhardt managed to reinvent his playing after his fretting hand was badly damaged in a fire. All but losing the use of his third and fourth fingers led him to favor voicings that are now staples in what has become known as Gypsy jazz.

In fact, it’s common to see a jazz guitarist vamping on chords that seem to somehow outline complex harmony but without using painful stretches and energetic leaps around the fretboard. 

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Richard Barrett

As well as a longtime contributor to Guitarist and Guitar Techniques, Richard is Tony Hadley’s longstanding guitarist, and has worked with everyone from Roger Daltrey to Ronan Keating.