Gypsy jazz version of Super Mario Bros 2 song

Written by Adrian Holovaty on January 22, 2006

Today I stumbled upon, an online community of amateur musicians who make recordings of video-game music. This sounded fun to me, so I spent some time recording a guitar version of the Super Mario Bros 2 level-one theme, in the style of Django Reinhardt (gypsy jazz).

After I spent a while recording and mixing this, though, it was just my luck to find out isn't accepting new registrations, so I can't actually post the song to the site. I guess I'll just post it here:

Gypsy jazz Super Mario Bros. 2 by Adrian Holovaty

It was recorded on a small computer microphone, so the sound quality could be a lot better. Hope somebody gets a kick out of it.

UPDATE: By popular request, I've posted the chords for my arrangement.


Posted by David W. on January 22, 2006, at 7:23 a.m.:

Adrian, you are a man of many talents.

As my wife said when I played it for her -- that makes total sense! A very appropriate style for that song.

Posted by Chris on January 22, 2006, at 8:26 a.m.:

This went straight to my iPod. It's there with "Inspector Gadget." I love it.

Posted by Jure on January 22, 2006, at 2:43 p.m.:

Very nice song. Thanks for sharing this.

Posted by excellent! on January 22, 2006, at 5:51 p.m.:

This is excellent Adrian! They always say Good musicians are good hackers (they=Paul Graham? dunno). This proves that "they" are right :)

very nice! (to_ipod(True))

Posted by Wilson on January 22, 2006, at 7:51 p.m.:

Oh, brilliant. Further proof that the soundtracks from the Mario games are some of the finest musical compositions of our time. You know, the calypso theme from Mario 3 might work too.

Posted by Ryan on January 23, 2006, at 2:25 a.m.:

Brilliant! It just sounds so good like that. Put it on a jazz guitar compilation, and people who'd never even heard of Mario would be digging it.

Posted by George on January 23, 2006, at 6:51 a.m.:

This is amazing. You are a man of many talents.

Posted by Chris on January 23, 2006, at 5:06 p.m.:

Nice work. Did you chop off some fingers to get that Django style?

Posted by Adrian on January 23, 2006, at 8:03 p.m.:

Chris: Yes.

In hindsight, it was a bad idea.

Posted by Aaron on January 24, 2006, at 11:04 a.m.:

I find it interesting that your last post mentioned Django, the web framework. How ironic.

By the way, I love the playing. Did you arrange it yourself??

I am thinking you need some beatz, bass, synth, and a sweet remix. :) It's perfect for it because it's just guitar... hmmm... I just happen to be capable of such a thing. Maybe you could send me split tracks? Solo track and rhythm guitar track.

Posted by Laura on January 24, 2006, at 4:47 p.m.:

Wow! the perfect style for this song. You did a great job. :) I'll share this with some friends...

Posted by Adrian on January 24, 2006, at 5:35 p.m.:

Aaron: Yes, I did the arrangement. Drop me a line, and I'd be happy to send you the raw tracks for remixing.

Posted by WorldMaker on January 28, 2006, at 9:33 a.m.:

If you are still interested on publishing it, check out It is at this point huge and ever growing. Just a wide range of people retouching old classic video game music.

Posted by anonymous on January 31, 2006, at 6:13 p.m.:

Hello -

I really loved this! My best friend is a gypsy jazz musician. Is there any way to download this in some sort of mp3 format, rather than Quicktime? (with your permission...of course...)


Posted by Adrian on February 1, 2006, at 12:08 a.m.:

anonymous: It *is* an MP3 file! Right-click on it and click "Save link as..." to save it to your hard drive. (That menu text varies by browser.)

Posted by rob on February 1, 2006, at 3:04 a.m.:

adrian, i just wandered by this site looking for some tabs, could ya post up some maybe for this song? please :)

Posted by Mike Coleman on February 1, 2006, at 6:39 p.m.:

That's really good! One question: How many tracks is that? Or, to put it another way, how many of you would it take to play this live?

Posted by Adrian on February 1, 2006, at 7:42 p.m.:

rob: Unfortunately I don't have time to transcribe the lead guitar part, but I may be able to jot down the chords.

Mike: It's three tracks -- two rhythm tracks and a lead guitar. To play it live, you'd only need a rhythm and a lead. I used two rhythm tracks simply to make the sound a little beefier.

Posted by Armin Ronacher on February 3, 2006, at 7:38 a.m.:

Wohoo. Sounds great. You should try a jazz version of some of these cool Zelda background themes :)

Posted by Adrian on February 5, 2006, at 9:01 p.m.:

Ask and ye shall receive. I've transcribed the chords.

Posted by Joe Murphy on February 6, 2006, at 10:10 a.m.:

Holy shit. I loved that game when I was young -- I remember debating at length with my best friend Jason on why Mario 2 was superior to Mario 3. Thanks!

Posted by Vic on February 17, 2006, at 10:36 p.m.:

Wow we must be kindred spirits. I some ago too! Your chord voicings and phrasing are nicer though.

I have been known to quote smb1 over rhythm changes all the time. Usually it just gets funny looks.

Posted by Adrian on February 17, 2006, at 11:34 p.m.:

Vic: Nice work! Sounds great. Thanks for sharing it!

Posted by Toad on February 21, 2006, at 5:21 a.m.:

Howly crap that'sgood

Posted by Pack on March 2, 2006, at 6:42 a.m.:

Dude this is the sweetest versions ever

Posted by anonymous on March 25, 2006, at 2:11 p.m.:

This is so great!

Posted by cookie on March 28, 2006, at 7:57 p.m.:

hi everybody, i'm a french clarinet player, and i search the notes of this song.. mario jazz.. can u help me?

Posted by Alex on April 2, 2006, at 2:01 p.m.:

Absolutely great tune! Well played and very cool transcripted. Also thanks for posting the chords. I'll try this at home.. ;)

Posted by Blake on April 2, 2006, at 9:53 p.m.:


This is excellent! I've been meaning to track you down, 'cause we used this song on the outro of our first Nintendo podcast. I didn't know who to give credit too but it has since been updated. See Infendo Radio show number 1.

Any chance you'll remix some more Nintendo tracks?

Posted by Lach on April 3, 2006, at 7 a.m.:

Freaking hilarious Adrian, and some very nice playing!

Posted by Pete on April 25, 2006, at 7:23 p.m.:

This is fabulous, ive heard it before on

could you do the zelda theme tune with gypsy jazz, i love it! ;)

Posted by Daryle Smith on May 28, 2006, at 10:59 p.m.:

I love it, it brings back the times when I was like four or five when I used to watch my mom and grandmother play i'm only 15 mow so...

Posted by Don on May 29, 2006, at 3:50 a.m.:

That is the nicest ,coolest thing I have heard for a long time. I was listening to " 5000 Policemen" by Phillip Catherine the other day, and was thinking, Wow- I miss this kind of music! Hearing this , made me pull that out again, as well as all my Django vinyl-Thank you for the smile! Do you mind if I learn how to play it, and share it with my friends? I of course will give you all the credit, and direct them to your site!


Posted by Alex on June 1, 2006, at 5:19 p.m.:

hey this is really awesome

i came across a video of someone playing this tune and ive been looking for tabs ever since

thanks for the chords, but im honestly dissapointed that you dont have the tabs for the lead guitar

thanks anyway, im going to keep looking:D

haha i could never do something like this

besides, im just a kid haha.

Posted by Ricky on August 11, 2006, at 6:18 p.m.:

Amazing!! I'm a heavy metal fan who recently has been interested in gipsy jazz. I even bought an introductory book to start learning whatever I can from this style of music. I just find it relaxing, amusing, interesting, etc... And by coincidence I was browsing the web for SMB2 theme song and by coincidence I ran into your song. Wow! I look forward to the day I can come up with something like that! It sounds so cool and like it must be so fun to play. Thanks for your contribution to the music comunity.

Posted by Celacanto on August 14, 2006, at 2:36 p.m.:

Amazing, just great

Posted by Gio on August 18, 2006, at 11:38 a.m.:

Very , very, very very, AWESOME!!! you are the men. i ve never heared something like this, u got time, rithym and that " i dont know" thing that makes it the best SMB song in the world.

Comments have been turned off for this page.