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In limbo Help!

tomcramtomcram St. Louis, MONew
edited August 2006 in Gypsy Picking Posts: 36
I am working on Gypsy Picking Technique for about three weeks. I previously played a mostly alternate picking style (even on arpeggios).
Now I find myself in the bind that Michael alludes to in his book. I am between techniques and I was trying to play some tunes with the new correct technique. But I find I am second guessing myself when I go to play, almost a hesitation, to be sure I am using the correct technique.
I am sorta experiencing almost a clumsiness.
About the only thing I can play is ascending triplets (moving to the higher strings), because I got in the habit years ago of playing most triplets - down up down. Especially on ascending passages.
However, on descending passages where you go to a (lower pitched string)
I use to sometimes use (up down up) especially on fast passages.
How long does one go through this ambiguous period?
Would it be heresy to use (up down up) for ascending passages of triplets
and then use (down up down) for descending string changes?

Thanks,
Tom
PS - Will I ever be comfortable picking again? :) Just joking but it feels like I might be here forever?
J.T. (Tom) Crammond
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Comments

  • MichaelHorowitzMichaelHorowitz SeattleAdministrator
    Posts: 5,891
    Hi Tom,


    Honestly, three weeks isn't enough to get a hang of Gypsy Picking. You're going to need a solid 6 months of slow practice to get it happening. Especially if you're unlearning your old technique. Believe, it really pays off if you put the time in. If you need some inspiration, juts take a look at some of the vids in the archive. Almost all of them show this technique in action!

    Good luck!

    'm
  • BluesBop HarryBluesBop Harry Mexico city, MexicoVirtuoso
    Posts: 1,378
    Hi Tom,
    I was in that same spot about seven months ago, and like Michael said, three weeks is far too little time, in fact I spent about one and a half months with only open strings and about 40-60bpm, gradually incorporating the left hand after. It took me about six months at an average of four hours a day, to really get the hang of it.
    A few things you can do to advance more quickly are these:

    -As Michael wrote in the book, DON'T mix your old picking technique with the GP, seriously it can really slow down your progress, instead try to play gigs or old licks without a pick, a variation of Wes Montgomery´s thumb technique worked great for me, and reserve the pick for learning GP. Also you´ll get better with the thumb, so in the end you´ll have TWO new techniques at your disposal.

    -Concentrate very hard on being relaxed.

    -Watch this video of Biréli playing "Hungaria" :shock: , if you haven't already:
    http://laguitareasicordes.free.fr/Bir%e9li/bibi.wmv
    You can really see his right hand and the chromatic phrase at the start of his solo is priceless. Don´t attempt to play any of this stuff yet, though. :D

    -Practice triads across all six strings, one-note-per-string starting on the low E, repeat notes on the high E (D U) and go back with only downstrokes, very slowly at first. This helps with ingraining the "downstroke on every new string" rule and its also a great way to map arpeggios, work out your left hand, and improve coordination between both hands.

    -Practice two-notes-per-string diminished seventh arpeggios,in groups of two, three and four notes, while following the rules of GP. Again very slowly at first, someone very wise wrote somewhere in this forum, "Fast is slow, and slow is fast" :wink:

    -Always use a metronome and increase speed over time.

    -When you get downhearted listen to Django and watch Gypsy jazz videos.

    These are all things that helped me a lot, and now i´m enjoying some of the benefits of this great technique: much louder and better tone, overall cleaner phrasing, speed, and a lot of Django´s and Gypsy Jazz lines are actually easier to play and sound way better. I still consider myself a beginner though.
    I hope this helps you and, hang in there it will come with time and its well worth the effort it takes.
    Good luck!
    -Enrique
  • klaatuklaatu Nova ScotiaProdigy Rodrigo Shopis D'Artagnan, 1950s Jacques Castelluccia
    Posts: 1,660
    -Watch this video of Biréli playing "Hungaria" :shock: , if you haven't already:
    http://laguitareasicordes.free.fr/Bir%e9li/bibi.wmv
    You can really see his right hand and the chromatic phrase at the start of his solo is priceless. Don´t attempt to play any of this stuff yet, though. :D

    Wow. I don't know if that's inspiring of just too frightening. Guess it helps when you start at the age of about FOUR! I hope it's not too late for me at 60 (?).

    By the way, it looks like the D hole Bireli is playing is a 12 fret. Doesn't seem to be cramping his style too much.
    Benny

    "It's a great feeling to be dealing with material which is better than yourself, that you know you can never live up to."
    -- Orson Welles
  • nwilkinsnwilkins New
    Posts: 431
    that's actually a 14 fret d hole :)
  • Posts: 145
    I made the mistake of mixing techniques and it took me about a year until I felt comfortable using the technique.
  • klaatuklaatu Nova ScotiaProdigy Rodrigo Shopis D'Artagnan, 1950s Jacques Castelluccia
    Posts: 1,660
    nwilkins wrote:
    that's actually a 14 fret d hole :)

    Ah, so it is - I should have watched the video all the way through. The angle and fret markers in the earlier parts threw me off.
    Benny

    "It's a great feeling to be dealing with material which is better than yourself, that you know you can never live up to."
    -- Orson Welles
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