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What does it feel like to play this lick at speed?

Lango-DjangoLango-Django Niagara-On-The-Lake, ONModerator
edited December 2010 in Gypsy Fire Posts: 1,311
I'm trying to learn this great classic GJ lick from Andreas Oberg's "Gypsy Fire":

I can only play it accurately at half-speed, but I'm going to keep on this one... it seems to me to be just one of those licks that is the mark of a real GJ expert... I'd like to put it in tab here for everyone to see but I don't want to get into copyright violation territory... I feel guilty enough just posting the sound clip here but since it's just a couple of bars I hope Andreas won't mind... Anyway, I think anyone who can actually play this lick won't really need a tab; and those that can't play it may be inspired to purchase "Gypsy Fire"...

Anyway, I'd just like to ask Andreas--- and anyone else out there with the chops to play this at full (200 bpm) speed--- could you please tell me what you notice about your left hand as you are playing this?

For example, do you consciously keep your fingers close as possible to the fingerboard? Or tilt your left hand backwards? or forwards?

What finger do you use for the higher note on each string, the third or the pinky? Or do you use your middle finger like Django must've had to do? Or once you've mastered it, can you then decide to use just any old finger you want to?

And what kind of maniacal practice routine would you recommend to gain speed and accuracy so even humble bumbler like yours truly can one day master this at full speed?
I live in a little tourist town called Niagara-On-The-Lake, Ontario, Canada, which is about twenty miles north of Niagara Falls.

If you are ever planning on visiting the beautiful Niagara area, feel free to PM me and perhaps we can get together and do some jamming.

Comments

  • BluesBop HarryBluesBop Harry Mexico city, MexicoVirtuoso
    Posts: 1,378
    Hi buddy,
    I studied Andreas book for a long time and learned every note in it. Great book!!... Still waiting for part II.
    I love to hear Andreas' opinion and far from being as proficient as he is here's my suggestion:
    That particular line you're talking about is just an Am6 arpeggio with the open A "pedal" and you just change the high E to F when the chords change from Am to Dm.
    Definitely use your pinky.
    As far as playing it up to speed I guess it's just about time and practice with a metronome until your fingers "know" where to go and you don't have to look or think about it. Try to relax as much as possible, avoiding tensing up is crucial to playing fast.
    The left hand thumb sort of pivots from one position to the next, don't keep it glued.
    Do it at a speed where you feel relaxed and comfortable and raise the speed a notch every day.

    Hope that helps.
    PS. To Andreas: Are you still releasing your "Gypsy bop" book, you can count me in for a copy. All the best.
  • Lango-DjangoLango-Django Niagara-On-The-Lake, ONModerator
    Posts: 1,311
    So what you're saying is that I should be able to play this passage without even looking at my fingers?

    Arrrrrrgh.......!

    Please pardon me while I go smash my guitar into smithereens...
    I live in a little tourist town called Niagara-On-The-Lake, Ontario, Canada, which is about twenty miles north of Niagara Falls.

    If you are ever planning on visiting the beautiful Niagara area, feel free to PM me and perhaps we can get together and do some jamming.
  • BluesBop HarryBluesBop Harry Mexico city, MexicoVirtuoso
    Posts: 1,378
    Don't smash that guitar yet!
    You can look, of course. What I meant is that you have to develop a sort of muscle memory so your fingers "know the way" without mistakes or doubts. There's no way you can play that line at speed if you're thinking of which-finger-goes-where.
    Try this (eight notes):
    [quote]------------------------------------------------------------------------8-12-------------- -----------------------------------------------7-10--------------7-10-------------------------- -------------------------5-9-------------5-9----------------5-9---------------------------------- -------4-7--------4-7--------------4-7-----------------4-7---------------------------------------- -3-7--------3-7---------------3-7-----------------3-7------------------------------------------------
    ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------[/quote]

    Do it very, very slowly and once you can play it 10 times in a row perfectly, up the metronome a notch. If you feel you're tensing up or making too many mistakes stop and slow down. If you make a mistake you reset the count of times in a row to zero. Play clean.
    Try repeating each group or pair of strings a few times
    The hardest part of this lick is the left hand so isolate that and just run your fingers through the notes without picking. You'll probably find your fretting hand can keep up with the speed after a little while. Then practice the right hand by itself (pretty much just alternate 2-notes-per-string). Finally work on both hands together aiming for perfect synchronization.
    If you do it everyday for a month for 5 minutes I bet you'll end up very close to the actual speed.
    I think the key is to stay as relaxed as possible at all times. Start slow and clean, build speed gradually over a long period of time.
    Don't give up, just take it slow.
    I hope this helps and look forward to hearing you play it flawlessly in a short while.
    Best of luck!
  • UltraspontaneUltraspontane ✭✭
    Posts: 47
    Hows the progress going?
  • Lango-DjangoLango-Django Niagara-On-The-Lake, ONModerator
    Posts: 1,311
    Well, the bad news is, I still can't play Harry's exercise very fast yet...

    But the good news is, I still haven't yet smashed my guitar into smithereens yet.
    I live in a little tourist town called Niagara-On-The-Lake, Ontario, Canada, which is about twenty miles north of Niagara Falls.

    If you are ever planning on visiting the beautiful Niagara area, feel free to PM me and perhaps we can get together and do some jamming.
  • UltraspontaneUltraspontane ✭✭
    Posts: 47
    Do you mind if I ask you how you've been practicing this lick? Specifically what methods and how much time being spent.

    Not because I have any advice to offer, I just try to be observant and I'm always curious about the specifics of how others practice and what works and what doesn't work for people.
  • Lango-DjangoLango-Django Niagara-On-The-Lake, ONModerator
    Posts: 1,311
    Okay, I'm busted... :oops: :cry: :(

    To be honest, I got so deeply into learning "Hungaria" by both Django and Romane that I've let Harry's exercise slide...

    So this afternoon I got in about half an hour of practising Harry's exercise before my wife started shouting that she couldn't stand it any more and come upstairs and help her...

    So far I can play the arp in triplets comfortably at about 120 bpm... which, I reckon, is about half the speed I'm hoping to eventually achieve.

    At the same time I'm also practising my Dm6 arp and E7 arp.
    I live in a little tourist town called Niagara-On-The-Lake, Ontario, Canada, which is about twenty miles north of Niagara Falls.

    If you are ever planning on visiting the beautiful Niagara area, feel free to PM me and perhaps we can get together and do some jamming.
  • A number of fine guitar teachers have said to play quickly practise slowly (most of the time)
    The Magic really starts to happen when you can play it with your eyes closed
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