Alternate VS Rest-Stroke pickers

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Alternate VS Rest-Stroke pickers

Postby emicad » Fri Sep 16, 2005 8:58 am

Hi to all, i have an idea, why don't we make a list of guitarists that uses rest-stroke and alternate picking? For me is a good idea cause is important when listening to an artist to understand well his phrasing and to study seriously his style, i hope it's an interesting subject for you :wink:
I start with 3 integralists of the rest-stroke/gypsy picking:
Tchavolo Schmitt
Romane
Stochelo Rosenberg
And now 3 alternate pickers:
Gary Potter
Robin Nolan
Sylvain Luc (not exactly a "gypsy jazz" guitarist but anyway involved in the genre).
I have a lot of other names for both "factions" (it's a true war :D ) but i want to hear something from others, otherwise for what reason i must to write this thing, don't you think? :wink:
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Re: Alternate VS Rest-Stroke pickers

Postby emicad » Tue Oct 18, 2005 8:35 am

emicad wrote:Hi to all, i have an idea, why don't we make a list of guitarists that uses rest-stroke and alternate picking? For me is a good idea cause is important when listening to an artist to understand well his phrasing and to study seriously his style, i hope it's an interesting subject for you :wink:
I start with 3 integralists of the rest-stroke/gypsy picking:
Tchavolo Schmitt
Romane
Stochelo Rosenberg
And now 3 alternate pickers:
Gary Potter
Robin Nolan
Sylvain Luc (not exactly a "gypsy jazz" guitarist but anyway involved in the genre).
I have a lot of other names for both "factions" (it's a true war :D ) but i want to hear something from others, otherwise for what reason i must to write this thing, don't you think? :wink:

Bad guys...
:( :evil: :(
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Postby BachelorNo2 » Thu Oct 20, 2005 11:16 pm

I don't know about Rest strokers vs alternate pickers. But i've only been playing with a guitar pick for the past year and am a little unsure of the difference between the two. Alternate pickers use down and up strokes to play notes. Rest strokers do the same too but rest their picks on the adjacent string to cause extra bounce and leverage. To my eyes, when I see both techniques, they look and sound the same!

OT: I've been practicing my picking a lot recently, doing chromatics up and down the fret board. Are there any other exercises one can suggest to help me with my picking? I'm still not fast enough and am sloppy as hell. I guess I'm not sure what school of technique I belong to when alternate and rest picking is concerned!
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Postby cap_django » Fri Oct 21, 2005 2:15 am

the rest-stroke is a little more involved than that. if the alternate picker is well adapted to the acoustic guitar and has managed to imitate the rest-stroke sound, then it'll be hard to hear a difference. serge kreif comes to mind. however, i still hear a suttle difference in the phrasing and the monstrous authority that the rest-stroke gets.

visually you should be able to tell a difference, at least in the gypsy jazz genre, because rest-strokers would usually play with their wrist off of the top and most of the movement comes from the wrist. alternate pickers/free stroke people usually push the pick through with their fingers.

rest stroke players:
Django, jimmy rosenberg, joseph reinhardt, angelo debarre

free stroke/alternate:
serge kreif (don't know of many others.)

and the man who transcends both methods, and beyond: BIRELI LAGRENE
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Postby BluesBopHarry » Fri Oct 21, 2005 7:25 am

Well I´m not an expert, but as far as I know the so called "Gypsy Picking"
technique employed by Django, Stochelo, Bireli, etc. Is not only about rest-strokes its also about downstokes.
The general rule of thumb seems to be "downpick every time you change of string regardless of direction", plus the raised wrist, rest-strokes and the movement being generated mainly from the wrist too.
Also Serge Krief recently changed his technique, but on the "Django Legacy" video he was still gypsy picking it.
I´m not sure Romane is a gypsy picker, judging from his book "L´espirit
Manouche" he is not.
Other players that use the GP technique are Paulus Schaefer, Angelo Debarre, the Rosenbergs, Tchavollo, Dorado and Samson Schmitt, and most other gypsies playing this style.
John Jorgenson, Gary Potter, Howard Alden are not gypsy pickers
For more information on GP get the wonderful book "Gypsy Picking" by Michael Horowitz, trust me it´s worth it allthough you will have to put in quite a lot of time to get the benefits it offers.
Good luck!
-Harry
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Postby emicad » Fri Oct 21, 2005 9:18 am

BachelorNo2 wrote:To my eyes, when I see both techniques, they look and sound the same!

Isn't the same thing, the approach, the sound, attack, timing and phrases are differents and if you see players in action you can see this thing better looking the right hand movements.
BachelorNo2 wrote:OT: I've been practicing my picking a lot recently, doing chromatics up and down the fret board. Are there any other exercises one can suggest to help me with my picking?

You need some exercises to improve your right hand technique? What kind of "school" you want to follow? Tell me this so i consider what kind of exercises you need, at first i tell you to take the Horowitz "gypsy picking" book as also BluesBopHarry suggests and "Astouce de la guitare manouche Vol.1" by Sami Daussat & Angelo Debarre.
BachelorNo2 wrote:I'm still not fast enough and am sloppy as hell.

A question of time and practice, not of technique, Wes Montgomery played only with a thumb at incredible speed i've never get with rest-stroke or alternate picking! :shock:
BachelorNo2 wrote:I guess I'm not sure what school of technique I belong to when alternate and rest picking is concerned!

To have the right sound for this genre i suggest to follow the tradition and use the rest-stroke for a long list of reasons, but you must to see well where this technique limitates your playing style, in my personal case i've never had too much problems playing this way but i've made some changes cause after a long priod of training i found the connclusion that to have a clean and natural sound there are some things i prefer to play alternating the picking, i speak about phrases during the solos, cause i think that licks must to be played in the original right hand technique, otherwise it's better using some other solution. Let me know if you want to know more about my personal changes to discuss about it.
Bye
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Postby emicad » Fri Oct 21, 2005 9:33 am

cap_django wrote:the rest-stroke is a little more involved than that. if the alternate picker is well adapted to the acoustic guitar and has managed to imitate the rest-stroke sound, then it'll be hard to hear a difference. serge kreif comes to mind. however, i still hear a suttle difference in the phrasing and the monstrous authority that the rest-stroke gets.

What you mean with "imitate the rs sound"? I think the difference is clair, if you listen to Martin Taylor, Gary Potter and other alternate pickers you can see a clair difference of phrasing sound and touch from other gp guitarists.
Serge Krief is an integralist of the rs picking, he's not an alternate picker, you can send a pm to Clausci to speak about his technique cause he went to France and have seen him live, but i don't know if during his carreer have changed technique.
I agree with you about authority of the sound but i repeat, in some cases for me follow that way become a problem, a longer way to follow instead a short and effective way.
cap_django wrote:visually you should be able to tell a difference, at least in the gypsy jazz genre, because rest-strokers would usually play with their wrist off of the top and most of the movement comes from the wrist. alternate pickers/free stroke people usually push the pick through with their fingers.

For me playing without putting nothing on the guitar's top using the wrist's weight is the real correct way to play the guitar, no difference from rhythm and solos, same positions of the right hand. After this you can choose to follow the right hand technique you prefer but this thing is essential to have a good sound and stay relaxed.
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Postby emicad » Fri Oct 21, 2005 9:41 am

BluesBopHarry wrote:Well I´m not an expert, but as far as I know the so called "Gypsy Picking"
technique employed by Django, Stochelo, Bireli, etc. Is not only about rest-strokes its also about downstokes.
The general rule of thumb seems to be "downpick every time you change of string regardless of direction", plus the raised wrist, rest-strokes and the movement being generated mainly from the wrist too.
Also Serge Krief recently changed his technique, but on the "Django Legacy" video he was still gypsy picking it.
I´m not sure Romane is a gypsy picker, judging from his book "L´espirit
Manouche" he is not.
Other players that use the GP technique are Paulus Schaefer, Angelo Debarre, the Rosenbergs, Tchavollo, Dorado and Samson Schmitt, and most other gypsies playing this style.
John Jorgenson, Gary Potter, Howard Alden are not gypsy pickers
For more information on GP get the wonderful book "Gypsy Picking" by Michael Horowitz, trust me it´s worth it allthough you will have to put in quite a lot of time to get the benefits it offers.
Good luck!
-Harry

Romane is one of the well-known best gypsy pickers ever seen, i have his book but i must to check it before saying you're wrong (about the book), anyway as in most of the cases, the book is in collaboration with some other artist or tab writers of different styles. About the right hand i've never seen him changing a string without use a downstroke :D
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Postby BluesBopHarry » Fri Oct 21, 2005 10:24 am

Yes... I´ve never seen him play i´m just going by what I read in that book, but you´re probably right since it was done in colaboration with Derek Sebastian.
I also read he´s not a "true" gypsy picker though, because he plays with a locked forearm instead of a loose wrist.
Regarding GP I should also mention (for those out there new to this) that it does use alternate picking while on the same string, but depending on the tempo and desired phrasing sometimes consecutive downstrokes may be played (on the same string).
Swing on!
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Postby emicad » Fri Oct 21, 2005 11:33 am

BluesBopHarry wrote:Yes... I´ve never seen him play i´m just going by what I read in that book, but you´re probably right since it was done in colaboration with Derek Sebastian.
I also read he´s not a "true" gypsy picker though, because he plays with a locked forearm instead of a loose wrist.
Regarding GP I should also mention (for those out there new to this) that it does use alternate picking while on the same string, but depending on the tempo and desired phrasing sometimes consecutive downstrokes may be played (on the same string).
Swing on!

Have you some article or something speaking about Romane's hand or forearm? Personally, looking at him playing i can see isn't too much important is the movement starts from forearm or wrist, the result in his case is the same, high volume, clear tone and beautiful sound but i must to try both ways to be sure. The most important thing is to not put nothing on the top of the guitar.
About GP i know all the precise rules but i repeat there are a lot of cases in which follow this rule, in particular to change strings ALWAYS with downstrokes often limitate the phrasing and unsettle the timing but i repeat, it's my case.
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Postby BachelorNo2 » Fri Oct 21, 2005 4:39 pm

emicad wrote:
BachelorNo2 wrote:To my eyes, when I see both techniques, they look and sound the same!

Isn't the same thing, the approach, the sound, attack, timing and phrases are differents and if you see players in action you can see this thing better looking the right hand movements.
BachelorNo2 wrote:OT: I've been practicing my picking a lot recently, doing chromatics up and down the fret board. Are there any other exercises one can suggest to help me with my picking?

You need some exercises to improve your right hand technique? What kind of "school" you want to follow? Tell me this so i consider what kind of exercises you need, at first i tell you to take the Horowitz "gypsy picking" book as also BluesBopHarry suggests and "Astouce de la guitare manouche Vol.1" by Sami Daussat & Angelo Debarre.
BachelorNo2 wrote:I'm still not fast enough and am sloppy as hell.

A question of time and practice, not of technique, Wes Montgomery played only with a thumb at incredible speed i've never get with rest-stroke or alternate picking! :shock:
BachelorNo2 wrote:I guess I'm not sure what school of technique I belong to when alternate and rest picking is concerned!

To have the right sound for this genre i suggest to follow the tradition and use the rest-stroke for a long list of reasons, but you must to see well where this technique limitates your playing style, in my personal case i've never had too much problems playing this way but i've made some changes cause after a long priod of training i found the connclusion that to have a clean and natural sound there are some things i prefer to play alternating the picking, i speak about phrases during the solos, cause i think that licks must to be played in the original right hand technique, otherwise it's better using some other solution. Let me know if you want to know more about my personal changes to discuss about it.
Bye



Hi! Thanks for the responses guys.
I indeed do have that astuces book, in fact, i only purchased it fairly recently from my local music store. I guess i shall try to work through the exercises in my spare time. I really want to learn how to rest stroke!!
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Postby emicad » Sat Oct 22, 2005 11:52 am

BachelorNo2 wrote:Hi! Thanks for the responses guys.
I indeed do have that astuces book, in fact, i only purchased it fairly recently from my local music store. I guess i shall try to work through the exercises in my spare time. I really want to learn how to rest stroke!!

The combination of these two books (G.Picking and Astouce) is the best way for me to understand the rules, if you want to learn something of the genre there are a lot of great books, for example L'esprit manouce by Romane, all his tab+playback books, and many others by various artists.
I hope you'll make a detailed and useful study
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Postby BachelorNo2 » Sat Oct 22, 2005 12:46 pm

hey emicad! I haven't got Horowitz's Gypsy Picking book. I can't seem to buy it on his website because I haven't got a credit card! And they're not selling it here either. So I've got to make do with the only the Debarre, Daussat Astuces book for now. Ey ey ey my head is getting fizzled out.
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Postby BluesBopHarry » Sat Oct 22, 2005 11:28 pm

BachelorNo2:
You can find almost all the information you need at: www.djangobooks.com in the Gypsy Picking and Technique sections, read carefully and watch the videos/photos people have posted, and try to get Horowitz´s book as soon as you can, for me is the guide to this technique, and is really cool that you can ask him any questions and he will answer, watch a lot of videos and if possible live performances of the real guys too.
Emicad:
I read about romane technique here:
http://www.djangobooks.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=640
And dont get me wrong i do like his playing, but he doesnt seem to be a purist of GP.
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Postby BachelorNo2 » Sun Oct 23, 2005 9:56 pm

I feel that I should update a little. I've been practicing none stop for the past few days and am certain that the rest stroke technique is the one for me! I've mainly been working through the astuces book, watching bireli DVD of other rest strokers as well and am having a lot of fun with the technique. It's starting to feel really natural now, and my wrist just floats over the strings. I've been watching a lot of Django in the Le Jazz Hot clip too. I have a long way to go though to feel fully comfortable playing in this way.
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