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What does your forearm do during La Pompe?

periclimenespericlimenes Santa Ana, CANew
edited February 2013 in Gypsy Rhythm
In reading Gypsy Rhythm, I thought the arm was heavily involved in the downstroke. For example, in figure 9 in the book, it looks like the whole forearm is lifted up so the hand is level with the upper bout. Then in figure 11, the whole forearm is down so the fingers are almost even with the bottom of the guitar. In reading elsewhere around the forum, it seems like most of La Pompe is in the wrist. Should I be trying to execute la pompe with mostly the wrist?

Comments

  • MichaelHorowitzMichaelHorowitz SeattleAdministrator
    You definitely want to use your wrist to generate most of the motion. The forearm does move, but it's more of a sympathetic motion.

    'm
  • langleydjangolangleydjango Langley, WA USA✭✭✭✭
    My forearm goes into the other room to watch TV while my wrist does all the work. Lazy bastard.
  • Ryan FlahertyRyan Flaherty New EnglandNew
    It's in the wrist babe.
  • PassacagliaPassacaglia Madison, WI✭✭✭✭
    Stuart, you'll find a world of differences in what rhythm players do. From personal experience, I know it's easy to get lost - not for lack of information, but for an absolute tidal flood of information now available. You'll see anywhere from players who move the forearm almost not at all, entirely strum with their wrist, to players who use the wrist, and allow the arm to follow in sympathetic movement, to players who maintain a rigid wrist and strum entirely, or nearly so, with their forearm.

    Best advice I ever got, was find a rhythm player whose sound moves you, and do everything you can to do what in traditional Japanese martial or zen training they call, "steal the mind" of that player. Watch as many vids as you can, listen to as much music featuring them, and try to capture what they do. I'm in the middle of doing this now, and suspect I will be for at least a few years to come. It can be challenging, focusing on one thing, but from my own experience, in my opinion it does pay off, over time. Deeply so.
    pas encore, j'erre toujours.
  • I believe it's incorrect to say the motion is generated by the wrist. The angle between the hand and the forearm remains fixed so there is no wrist motion.. The movement comes from rotation ( supination and pronation) of the forearm. Also, the greater the angle between hand and forearm the greater the range of motion at the pick.

    Norm
  • PassacagliaPassacaglia Madison, WI✭✭✭✭
    normsfun wrote:
    I believe it's incorrect to say the motion is generated by the wrist. The angle between the hand and the forearm remains fixed so there is no wrist motion.. The movement comes from rotation ( supination and pronation) of the forearm. Also, the greater the angle between hand and forearm the greater the range of motion at the pick.

    Norm

    I understand what you're saying, though I'm not sure it's not just semantics. Let's just say, the wrist swings like crazy in many player's style; the forearm remaining fixed (take a look at Hono), or moving with the wrist motion (see Nous'che), depending on the player, sometimes the tempo and feel of the song.

    Lots of different approaches, but in the approach I've learned, it's wrist, wrist, wrist.
    pas encore, j'erre toujours.
  • anthon_74anthon_74 Marin county, CA✭✭✭✭ Alta Mira M 01
    I think it is also important to consider the speed of the song being played. When watching a lot of players, I find that the faster the song (limehouse blues), the more the slightly, bent from the wrist, hand rotates from the forearm, and the less the entire forearm moves up and down.

    For tempos a little slower (djangos tiger), I find it nice to let the whole forearm bounce up and down.

    My personal favorite player to watch in terms of rhythm is first time 2013 DIJ teacher Adrien Holovaty.
    For the more bouncy, straighter wrist rhythm technique, watch gonzalo play rhythm.

    cheers !

    anthony
  • As Duke said if it sounds good it is good.

    The only downside to the more forearm motion in the plane of the top is that in this genre, particularly for those that start later in life, if a personplays a lot, a few hours a day...if that motion occurs at higher speeds there is a chance of developing rsi.

    Tis I know from first hand experience. Several years ago, after two weeks of many hours a day practice , down in Florida I ended up with acute ?? Sub or ?? Achomial bursitus. :shock: My right arm couldnt get the guitar out of the overhead on the plane.
    The Magic really starts to happen when you can play it with your eyes closed
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