New here-a question on technique

The first thirty years are the worst

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Astroline1
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New here-a question on technique

Post by Astroline1 »

Hey I'm fairly new to gypsy jazz but I am quite interested and would love to learn more about this great music. I have been playing guitar for 5 or so years and just started (6 months ago maybe? maybe less months than that) changing my right hand technique and practicing much more. I no longer support my hand on the base of the guitar(like i used to do) and i have changed the way i hold the pick(i used to hold it with the thumb, index and middle :shock: ). I found tablature for the first django song I am going to learn, Minor Swing, in a guitar magazine, and i have been cracking away at it for a few days now. The question I have is is it really neccesary to play the rest stroke technique? At this point in time I can get a nice sound doing strict (for the most part) alternate picking and a floating wrist, so it doesn't seem neccesary to change my picking style yet again. any thoughts?

thanks a lot :D

-Shane
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justjack
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Post by justjack »

Shane, welcome to the club.

I'm sure you'll hear from Stu about this (picking technique, to Stu, is like air to most others) but I'll say this: it'll make a HUGE difference in your playing if you take it up. It's especially true if you end up playing in a Hotclub style band; the projection you'll gain using it makes a huge difference, and the picking style itself lends itself to many of the phrases idiomatic to the style. Tough work, but worth it in the end if you want to make a go of it.

If you're familiar with Michael Horowitz's Gypsy Picking book, you'll get some good tips via his forum:
http://djangobooks.com/forum/index.php
There's a section devoted to the book alone, as well as a separate one for technique. See you there.

Best,
Jack.
(And if you don't know the book, check it out!)
Stefan
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Post by Stefan »

I understand your concern Astroline.....I'vw decicated most of my life getting the alternate picking down to (as close to as I can) science....I feel very comfortable playing "regular" jazz this way. I think I will settle trying to get the style and feel of gypsy jazz down. And not to piss on anybodys parade, but you can get pretty "LOUD" using regular alternate picking too. I'm afraid If I change, that will hurt/affect the reest of my playing, whish still is 85%..i.e Jazz, blues, Classical and rock...And country for pete's sakes.

Any of you guys have any experience of playing other styles with the rest stroke?
devinci
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Post by devinci »

George Benson has.
kcox
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Post by kcox »

I think Stefan has a point, but please note that he has dedicated most of his life to alternate picking. I think it can be assumed that he already has a great technique, and changing that might not be such a great idea at this point.

However, if you've only been noodling around for the last 6 years then why not make the change now? I can assure you that of the developping musicians I know in this style, those who dedicate themselves to the rest stroke are advancing much faster than those who haven't made the leap of faith. In terms of tone, projection, style, and authority they leap ahead in just a matter of months...again, these are developping musicians with no rigorous training or practice routines prior to this style.

Best,

Kevin
c'est chaud!!!!!!!
Astroline1
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Post by Astroline1 »

Hey thanks to everyone for the replies. Maybe i wrote it a little unclear, but its not that i just started really playing 6 months ago, its just i started changeing my picking style 6 months ago and working to perfect it(or get it better). I've been in a band (rock/jazz/blues/indie/experimental :lol: )for a 2 or 3 years now so i play a good amount of time. I think I'm quite a good enough alternate picker, and it seems this would be a big step to change to the rest stroke. Would i be able to play everything i can play now just as easy as i can with alternate picking? would it be difficult to play the other music i play if i took up the rest stroke teqnique? it may seem like im asking a lot of questions, but i'd like to know a lot about it because if i choose something typically i want to go the full way and put 100% in it; hopefully knowing its worth while

thanks again!

-Shaneeeeee
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justjack
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Post by justjack »

Just to make sure we're on the same page...within what's come to be called 'Gypsy Picking' there's still a very healthy amount of alternate picking. The rest stroke doesn't neccesarily change that; when you're playing a line on any one string, in fact, you'll almost always use alternate picking. The big rules of this style boil down to:

1) Always use a downstroke when changing strings.
2) Always use a downstroke when changing strings.

There are a couple of other things-angle of attack, etc., but I'm sure someone more expert can weigh in on those. The main sticking point for most people is using a downstroke on a descending arpeggio (i.e., from the high E down towards the low E); to many, it's just counterintuitive, and there's no doubt that, if you're not used to it, it'll slow you down considerably at the start. From what I've seen, though, sticking with it will bring huge rewards.
Astroline1 wrote:Would i be able to play everything i can play now just as easy as i can with alternate picking?
To tell you the truth, I've found that just learning to play this stuff has made everything else seem like a piece of cake. I wouldn't worry too much about the picking.

Best,
Jack.
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Schoscho
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Post by Schoscho »

Okay, here are my 2 cents:
when I started playing guitar more than 30 years ago, I started with playing gypsy swing. So this certain technique was the one I actually did begin with.
And - no, there were NEVER any problems when playing other stuff. I did Heavy Metal, played Queen-Covers, Blues, Country&Western, you know, a lot of styles.
And I never used anything different than the picking style I was used to - the gypsy style.
It works. It`s fine for any style. It isn`t just "pick downward and pick hard - keep picking hard". It is a lot more. Anyway, I guess one does not learn this within two or three years. It needs some time. But when you "got" ist, you will be able to play whatever style you like.
Listen du Bireli and you`ll know what I mean.
DennisC
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Post by DennisC »

well before changing techniques i had dedicated MANY years to technique , alternate picking and all that crap... i had gotten quite good at it if i may say so myself

when i switched techniques, it took about 6 months to sorta get the hang of it; not only that it;'s allowed me to understand how the right hand mechanics should truly function... in other words, it's improved my old technique (more refined and relaxed) and i can switch back easily between both techniques (although i have very little use for the old one now)
Stefan
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Post by Stefan »

DennisC wrote: and i can switch back easily between both techniques (although i have very little use for the old one now)
If that is the case. I will devote time to the rest stroke technique. Thanks for the info.
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