Learn this powerful guitar style typified by Django Reinhardt. Gain a practical understanding of this music through a detailed exploration of both the rhythmic variations of the accompanying guitar patterns as well as improvised soloing.

Learn the trademark sounds that "put the Gypsy in Gypsy swing." Songs include classics such as "Minor Blues." "Oriental Shuffle" and "I'll See You In My Dreams."

This fascinating look at the art of improvisation in the Gypsy jazz tradition shows you how to really swing! Paul Mehling, leader of the Hot Club of San Francisco, has a comprehensive knowledge of all aspects of this powerful and infectious style, and he provides a wealth of information and playing tips to get you off to a solid start.

Before long, you’ll be playing exciting solos in the style typified by Django Reinhardt, Birelli Lagrenne and other hot players of this dynamic genre. You’ll learn the theory and playing techniques behind the music, including the exercises, scales, modes and arpeggiated picking (“the heart of the Reinhardt style”) that will allow you to come up with your own improvisations. He includes advice on fingering, use of the metronome, singing your solos and how to “focus your attention so your hands can play what your ears hear.”

Paul teaches the special elements that give this music its distinctive ring: “sweep” picking, ornaments (glissandos, trills, bends, tremolo, vibrato, etc.), diminished and augmented runs, triplets and the other special sounds that “put the Gypsy in Gypsy swing.” Includes some hot jamming with Paul and Tony Mandraccia, rhythm guitar.

Guitarists - take control of your pick technique. Paul Mehling has developed a powerful series of exercises and practice regimens that will help all plectrum (flatpick) guitarists play with greater strength, speed, expressiveness and authority.

Paul provides many paths to success for players at all levels. He shows you the basics - how to grip the pick and maintain proper hand and arm positions for fluid playing and to avoid tension and fatigue. He then takes you through a graduated series of chord and single string exercises to get your mind and hand working together. These include strumming and damping, scales, chromatic exercises, “speed blasts,” arpeggios, tremolo, sweep picking and much more.

Whether, like Paul Mehling, you are into Gypsy Jazz, or you play bluegrass, rock or swing, this lesson will give you the tools you'll need to get your rhythm strong and your lead picking fast and accurate.

“Arpeggios are the DNA of music.”
— Paul "Pazzo" Mehling

Arpeggios (chords played as individual notes) are an indispensable component of music and can become an invaluable tool in your musical bag of tricks. Many melodies are built upon arpeggios, and their intervals and patterns are the key to understanding improvisation. In short, arpeggio knowledge can set you apart from other guitar players.

Paul Mehling has methodically created a program of drills and exercises that “connect the dots,” offering a disciplined approach to practicing for guaranteed results. He starts you off with basic first-position chords, then works his way through increasingly more complex chord forms, from open position to closed shapes moving freely up the neck. He covers major, minor, 6th, dominant 7th, diminished and other arpeggiated chord forms.

Throughout the lesson, Paul provides numerous tips and points of advice to help you build your playing chops and increase your familiarity with the guitar fretboard. You’ll learn to understand how each chord is built and how improvisation grows out of these exercises.

Guitarists at all levels will gain knowledge of the fingerboard, improve improvisational skills and build left- and right-hand power and speed.

“Nothing swings like a metronome.” 
— Sonny Rollins

Jazz guitarist, musician and educator Paul Mehling says “A metronome is your best friend"; and he proves it on this hands–on, fun to use DVD lesson.

By spending a mere 10 – 15 minutes a day with this mechanical time-keeper, you will improve your practice sessions, gain a better understanding of rhythm, build speed, and develop a stronger sense of time. Above all, you’ll become a better musician, regardless of your chosen instrument.

Paul leads you through a series of basic rhythm exercises and games, clapping to various metronomic beats and then transferring them to an instrument (guitar and mandolin, in his case). He shows you how to sub-divide beats—quarter, 8th, 16th and triplets—using word associations to build confidence and competence in your rhythmic control. Throughout, you’ll be using the metronome as your guide and practice partner.

Whether you play bluegrass, blues, folk, jazz or classical, the use of the metronome will enhance your musical experience and help bring your playing to new levels.

“The nuts and bolts things to do in order to play faster, louder, better.”
— Paul “Pazzo” Mehling

Hot Club of San Francisco guitarist Paul Mehling builds on all his popular Homespun lessons with this comprehensive workout/ practice regimen for aspiring swing players. He focuses on robust warm-ups and training exercises to develop good time, tone, speed and the specific techniques needed to get the authentic “Gypsy Jazz” sound.

On DVD 1, you’ll get a thorough workout in the use of scales, vibrato, tremolo, rhythmic strumming, chord work and arpeggios, the cornerstone of Gypsy jazz - and any kind of music that utilizes a flat pick. There’s lots of great technical advice here too, as Pazzo demonstrates his approach to “ironing out” the problems encountered when learning a new song or technique, how to fix mistakes and practice efficiently - a boon to any guitarist learning this challenging style.

DVD 2 continues Paul's “nuts and bolts” exploration of Gypsy jazz and swing guitar techniques, putting all those scales, warm-ups and exercises you did on DVD 1 to practical use. His Hot Club of San Francisco band mate, Evan Price, helps out on rhythm guitar and shares his unique perspective in an informative conversation with Paul.

Rhythm playing comes to the forefront as Pazzo reviews some archetypal progressions that every swing player needs to know. He shows a variety of chord shapes and inversions, navigating around the fingerboard and demonstrating a G Minor Blues, the Cycle of Fifths (Sweet Georgia Brown), variations on the 6-2-5 progression and the ubiquitous I Got Rhythm changes, among others.

Once you’ve learned the rhythm parts, Paul shows you how to solo over the progressions by playing single-string arpeggios, chromatic runs, scales, licks, harmonics and other very hot improvisational tools. His original tune, Don’t Panic, a Gypsy-inspired tour de force, combines all the elements and will challenge any aspiring guitarist in building stamina, dexterity and fretboard knowledge.