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How To Play The Bireli Bend – Robin’s Q&A

In this series of video lessons I’m answering your questions about playing Gypsy Jazz Guitar. This weeks question comes from Vincent in Samereau France who asks “How to play Gypsy ornaments and touches”.

This is a good question and a huge part what makes Django Reinhardt’s music sound so good. It’s these subtleties which add the charm and rich gypsy flavor to your playing.

In this video lesson I want to teach you the ‘Bireli Bend’ which is a lick I learnt from the boss of gypsy jazz guitar, Bireli Lagrene. By playing this one lick you’ll ad a ton of charm to your playing straight away.

The lick utilizes a bend.

If we play the lick in the key of A major we play the F# (7th fret B string) then bend up from the F (6th fret B string) half a step to make the same note again (F#)

Practice in time playing the F# on beat 1. Then the F natural bent up a half step on beat 2, F# beat 3, F natural bent up a half step on beat 4 and so on.

Then try it in context of a piece like Django’s Tiger for example that starts in A major and swing the two notes until it feels right.

This is an example of an easy little lick that can go along way in adding charm into your soloing straight away.

Try it in all the keys and get used to how it sounds.

Then you have it and can use it at the next session.

It’s all about learning and absorbing these little things that will go onto taking your playing to the next level.

Have fun and let me know if you have a question you’d like me to answer for you.

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How To Play The Bireli Bend