Video Review: Gypsy Style Arpeggio Picking by Howard Alden

Review by Az Samad

My favorite thing about a great guitar lesson is when I know that I can apply what I’ve learned. I may not be able to master it immediately but I love being able to confidently know what to practice. It’s the best part of learning from a master – saving my time and going full speed ahead to improve my playing.

This master class by Howard Alden does exactly that. In just 21 minutes, I learned how Howard uses a beautiful texture and technique that he calls gypsy jazz arpeggio picking. From my forays to learn the gypsy jazz style over the years, I’ve seen this particular technique used. Although somewhat familiar, I’ve never really seen anyone explain how to apply this to jazz standards outside of the gypsy jazz style.

I love seeing Howard demonstrate variations both harmonically and rhythmically to expand the technique. As I started to get into the sound, I found myself getting new ideas of how to play familiar standards. It opened up new ways to express myself. This was powerful stuff!

The other thing that I like about this video is the sheer level of focus within the video. The video address this one topic and only one topic alone. This helped me develop my skill as I watched the video.

All in all, if you’re curious about this technique, the video might be a worthwhile to help you on your journey!

Pros: Great focused lesson to help you develop your gypsy jazz arpeggio picking skills.
Cons: None
TLDR: If you want to incorporate this beautiful sound into your playing, get this now.

January 23, 2019

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