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Flatpicking to Gypsy picking

Gene RaweGene Rawe ✭✭ Olivier Marin
edited February 2013 in Gypsy Picking Posts: 66

Wondering how people have made the leap from alternate picking to the gypsy style. I am coming from a bluegrass background of alternate picking; after my next performance I intend to devote time only to gypsy style rest stroke playing. How have others made the leap? Is it possible to eventually become competent in both styles of picking?


  • Yes. I made the switch several years ago. I dont use alternate any more. It took me about 2 years of a few hours a day (i am not youg any more :lol: ) to get to the point where I was doing it without conscious effort and I am pretty sure in fast playing the odd alternate thing happens.

    Michael's book on gypsy picking was very useful and also used Dennis Chang's CD's. no local teachers here. There are a number of alternatives now that werent available when I did mine.
    The Magic really starts to happen when you can play it with your eyes closed
  • Charles MeadowsCharles Meadows WV✭✭✭ ALD Original, Dupont MD50
    Posts: 432
    I am in the middle of the transition. I had gotten pretty proficient in the alternate picking (following Chris Thile's advice that alternate up down picking with proper accents is almost always preferrable, and that the double down strokes lead to excessive tension) and still want to slip back into it at times. I have been playing some gypsy stuff alternate picked, and then going back and changing to reststroke picking pieces at a time, after my left hand knows the song. I think I am going to by Michael's book though. I still am undecided as to whether or not I am going to do reststroke style for all the gypsy stuff!

    I think somewhere here Christian Hemert commented that some of the different gypsy "schools" are a little different in how many downstrokes they use.

    I am currently doing mostly Angelo Debarre stuff, and he seems to do mostly gypsy style with some alternate at very fast tempos.
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