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  • rsclosson 5:39PM

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Gypsy picking Joscho licks

edited December 2011 in Licks and Patterns Posts: 2
Hi everyone, first time posting here. After a few years flirting with learning this style of guitar playing, I've finally bit the bullet and picked up a Gitane d500, a Wegen Pick, and a copy of Gypsy Picking.

Aside from slowly working through basic exercises, I wanted a study piece to aspire to, so I chose something I can already play reasonably well (i.e. hit most of the notes at tempo) using alternate picking: the melody and first solo break chorus of the well-known Joscho Stephan youtube version of Django's Tiger: [url=

I've already noticed a couple licks in this tune that seem like they'd be almost impossible with "strict" gypsy picking, so I hoped I could post them here and maybe someone would have some insights (apologies in advance if either of these has already been thoroughly discussed in the past).

First, a lick that comes up in various forms/keys and is apparently quite common (there used to be a video on youtube of Joscho teaching the lick himself and discussing the picking; unfortunately it seems to be gone now and I never wrote it down):


I understand it's a pretty standard lick to use over an Am6, but is there a "correct" way to pick it? I find it problematic to get to the last 4 notes on the D string (which are played a bit quicker than the first part of the lick); it sounds like they definitely need to start with a downstroke, but then it's very awkward to also play the C on the G string as a downstroke. Does Joscho (or do other players) make an exception here and play the C using an upstroke?

The other example is the F#m arpeggio (played over an A6 around 0:38):

When I've alternate picked this tune, I've played this part with a pull-off from the high note on the E string, then an up stroke on the B string, then a downstroke sweep on G->B->E, then an upstroke for the next high note. Anyone happen to know how Joscho does it, or if there's a better "gypsy" way? It seems like it'd be impossible to gain enough speed without using the upstroke on the B when descending...

Thanks in advance; I look forward to learning more and hopefully contributing something to the forum!



  • dennisdennis Montreal, QuebecModerator
    Posts: 2,154
    joscho plays with a hybrid technique ,he 'll sometimes do alternate picking or sweeps when playing at extremely fast speeds... but that is not to say you can't go fast with traditional gypsy jazz picking... jimmy rosenberg , angelo debarre, stochelo rosenberg are text book gypsy pickers and they can play ridiculously fast...

    even joscho at non super sonic speed uses gypsy picking ...

    anyway for those licks you posted, traditional gypsy picking works just fine and guys like stochelo (who kinda invented that last lick) do it that way...
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