Review: Gypsy Picking (The Quarter Note - Dusty Strings Newsletter)
The Quarter Note - Dusty Strings Newsletter - Summer 2003 - by Erling Rockwell
How many times have you tried to execute that new hot guitar lick you just learned only to find that your picking hand was too slow to keep up with your fretting hand? I think most guitarists will agree that obtaining an efficient picking technique is undoubtedly one of the most difficult hurdles for guitar students of any style. Michael Horowitz's new book Gypsy Picking is unique in that it offers a systematic approach to deal with this under discussed topic of guitar technique. In this 64 page book, Horowitz, a member of Seattle-based Gypsy jazz group Pearl Django, explains the very efficient and loud "rest-stroke" picking technique he learned from the Sinti Gypsies of Holland as part of his dissertation research. The rest-stroke technique (which was used by Django Reinhardt) is explained clearly through a series of 45 examples in both standard notation and tablature. The examples were transcribed from recordings or learned directly from the playing of Gypsy guitar masters such as Django Reinhardt, Stochelo Rosenberg, and Fapy Lafertin. Detailed fingerings, picking suggestions, and photos show you how to play all those fancy Django licks just like the Gypsies do. Additionally, the included CD has recorded versions of all the examples. Horowitz also includes inspirational quotes and photos from his Gypsy teachers, giving the reader a sense of their wonderful musical culture. Gypsy Picking is a "must" for anyone interested in Gypsy jazz but is also highly recommended for guitarists of any style who wish to improve their picking technique.