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Rest strokes and other questions

BluesBop HarryBluesBop Harry Mexico city, MexicoVirtuoso
edited June 2005 in Gypsy Picking Posts: 1,378
Hi Michael! Great book! Thanks a lot!
I have a few questions though:
1) When playing an "imaginary" rest stroke (following through all the way) on the high E string I keep hitting the top of my guitar with the pick. Should I change my picking angle just for that string so I´m picking away from the top instead of into it? or whats the trick?
2)Is it ok if I pick directly on top of the soundhole? Because playing closer to the bridge my wrist bends down to much and it´s a little uncomfortable.
3)Is it ok to cross my right leg on top of my left to raise the guitar ?
4)Can you give me some basic guidelines as to how to go about adjusting left hand fingerings so they work better with GP?
5)I read somewhere in this forum that Raphael Fays learned to play with his fingers closed by holding a wine cork inside his hand , Do you recomend this?
6)Any idea when your "Gypsy Rhythm" and "Gypsy Patterns" books will be released?
And finally 7)I´m playing live with a straight ahead jazz band twice every week so I can´t take a six month hiatus from performing as you said in your book, so I was wondering if using a non-plectrum technique (with the thumb a la Wes) would help so I don´t start mixing my old technique with the GP?
Sorry for the bombardment but I´m new to this and want to start right.
Thans for your help and thanks again for producing such fine material.
Cheers!
-Bop Harry

Comments

  • MichaelHorowitzMichaelHorowitz SeattleAdministrator
    Posts: 5,812
    1) When playing an "imaginary" rest stroke (following through all the way) on the high E string I keep hitting the top of my guitar with the pick. Should I change my picking angle just for that string so I´m picking away from the top instead of into it? or whats the trick?

    Yes, your angle of attack should be such that you don't hit the top. I don't think it's all that different of an angle from a regular rest stroke. The main difference is that you can follow through.
    2)Is it ok if I pick directly on top of the soundhole? Because playing closer to the bridge my wrist bends down to much and it´s a little uncomfortable.

    I'd say the traditional tone comes more from the bridge. However, many famous players such as Boulou Ferre and Jimmy Rosenberg pick closer to the sound hole to get a warmer sound. As long as you keep your wrist arched it's fine.
    3)Is it ok to cross my right leg on top of my left to raise the guitar ?

    I can't think of any player that does that. Personally, my leg would fall asleep if I did that. You might be better off with a foot stool or you might try using the side of your left foot to prop up your right foot. If you can get all the hand positions right while crossing your legs then I guess it's OK.
    4)Can you give me some basic guidelines as to how to go about adjusting left hand fingerings so they work better with GP?

    At some point I'm going to write a lesson about this. In general you want to finger things so that they fit into the picking patterns in Gypsy Picking. Usually the more symmetrical you can make something the better. For example, if you can finger something so that it's always three notes per string it'll be faster then if it's a mix of different odd and even note groupings.
    5)I read somewhere in this forum that Raphael Fays learned to play with his fingers closed by holding a wine cork inside his hand , Do you recomend this?

    I heard that too.....I guess it could help you keep your hand off the guitar. Very few players actually play with their hand totally off the guitar. Django didn't.....but it is probably the most versatile technique. But it's harder.
    6)Any idea when your "Gypsy Rhythm" and "Gypsy Patterns" books will be released?

    Gypsy Rhythm is almost done...I haven't been able to finish it for a number of reasons: new kid, moving, lots of traveling, etc. I should be able to wrap it up this summer.
    And finally 7)I´m playing live with a straight ahead jazz band twice every week so I can´t take a six month hiatus from performing as you said in your book, so I was wondering if using a non-plectrum technique (with the thumb a la Wes) would help so I don´t start mixing my old technique with the GP?

    That's an interesting approach...if you can play gigs with your thumb that would probably be a good way to keep your picking "pure." One advantage of the thumb is that it uses a lot of the same principles as Gypsy Picking. Rest strokes, lots of down strokes, etc.

    Good luck!

    'm


    Sorry for the bombardment but I´m new to this and want to start right.
    Thans for your help and thanks again for producing such fine material.
    Cheers!
    -Bop Harry[/quote]
  • BluesBop HarryBluesBop Harry Mexico city, MexicoVirtuoso
    Posts: 1,378
    Wow! Thanx for the fast reply :D and Congratulations for your new kid!
    Good luck!
    P.S:Any chance you could come to Mexico to give a Workshop?
  • MichaelHorowitzMichaelHorowitz SeattleAdministrator
    Posts: 5,812
    Maybe you should organize a Django South of the Border fest!!

    I'd come...especially if it's in January. Baja would be nice....

    'm
  • zavzav Geneve, SwissNew
    Posts: 94
    BluesBop Harry wrote:
    7)I´m playing live with a straight ahead jazz band twice every week so I can´t take a six month hiatus from performing as you said in your book, so I was wondering if using a non-plectrum technique (with the thumb a la Wes) would help so I don´t start mixing my old technique with the GP?

    Yes, it's fine to use thumb technique. I play also a flamemco guitar, so I totally agree that thumb technique has a lot of common with the GP, especially flamenco pulgar, because like GP it's played mostly using wrist motion (as you could see, Wes had rather long thumb so he played almost only with the thumb, not using wrist, and he rest his wrist on the top of the guitar, wich is not the way of GP again). As I play GP exercises my pulgar technique improves and vise versa.

    Another (and more corresponding :wink: to your nick) examples - are the way how a lot of acoustic blues players did - for example you could see that fine 60-70xx videos of Lightnin' Hopkins (If you are interested, I could give you them).

    Good luck!
    Anton
  • BluesBop HarryBluesBop Harry Mexico city, MexicoVirtuoso
    Posts: 1,378
    Michael: I´m not sure if I could organize a festival since I don´t have the money nor the time this would need, plus I don´t know many people here that are into Django and Gypsy Jazz, but I´ll see what i can do about bringing you to my school to give a clinic or something, I just finished this course and won´t be back to school untill late August but I´ll come back to this then.
    Thanx.

    Anton: Sure I´m interested I LOVE Lightnin´!, actually I´ve been into blues for a lot longer than jazz.Is it possible for you to send me that video?
    About the thumb: I played last night and even though I cheated and played a couple of solos with the pick, It seemed to work just fine with the thumb (on an electric guitar of course) and I´m able to concentrate on learning GP when playing with a pick on acoustic. I´ll take your idea and focus on the things thumb and GP techniques have in common.
    Thanx.
    -BopHarry
  • zavzav Geneve, SwissNew
    Posts: 94
    Harry, please send me a contact e-mail to
    <!-- e --><a href="mailto:zav1979@gmail.com">zav1979@gmail.com</a><!-- e -->

    Thanks.
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