Picking Exercises From "Gypsy Picking"



  • PassacagliaPassacaglia Madison, WI✭✭✭✭
    Posts: 1,466
    Just as a point of interest, Will, and in support of the notion of avoiding weights for this:

    I used to swim competitively at a fairly intense level, practiced over 20K meters daily. It was during these years that "The Science of Swimming" came into vogue, and a lot of good research into what improves athletic performance came out. One take away was, at the end of the day, very commonsensical. To get better at something, do the something.

    Meaning that the complexity of which nerves, tendons, muscles (and what precise part of muscles) involved in a given task, and the rate of fire and so forth involved in that task, cannot easily be replicated by doing something else. So, in my case, when I was too sick to get in the pool, that meant I trained on a dry-dock "swimming" machine, which at least tried to replicate the resistance, ROM and so forth, of actually swimming. Weight training was out.

    I suspect all that stuff's now highly dated. Still, I find it potentially apropos - your RH's demand is highly complex while playing - and suspect weight training will do nothing for your picking. With the others, I'd offer the best way to improve your RH is, well, play alot. Just thought the above might be germane and of some interest, as there has been some study on this, however dated.

    pas encore, j'erre toujours.
  • PassacagliaPassacaglia Madison, WI✭✭✭✭
    Posts: 1,466
    Chimorh - crossed in the mail. Awesome post.
    To quickly build technique and speed work on Robert Conti's "The Precision Technique" every day. This was one of Denis Chang's many educated suggestions that have helped me immensely, and as Denis also suggests, work on waltzes.

    Never come across this. Denis recommended this to you? Intriguing.

    Hope this isn't too far off mark, but I've been working to develop a daily practice regimen, lots of help from a couple friends. Admitting my needs are different from yours, Will - I'm very committed to rhythm playing, and soloing definitely takes second fiddle - but I also recall something I got from Kamlo, at last DIJ - start every practice day with rhythm playing.

    Aside from any benefits musically (off topic) I also wonder if that's not a bad idea, simply to safely warm your hands up. I'm no spring chicken and tend to flareups anyway, so anything I can do to protect my playing hours, I'll do. For me, that means some simple rhythm progressions as shown in Christiaan's/Nous'che's rhythm course.

    Doing these with attention to different "flavors," meaning, how dry and clipped I make them, gives me a means to work my right and left hand with attention to looseness, ease, how much sound can get out with how little effort. You probably work this way anyway, whatever you do, and I hope this isn't off topic. Just just wanted to toss it out if it's helpful.

    pas encore, j'erre toujours.
  • chimorhchimorh
    Posts: 20
    Yes Paul, I think it was Denis who mentioned the Conti book some time ago on this site and it has helped enormously in improving my technique, precision and speed. He has some video clips on his website. He does ridicule 2 by 4 picks as he calls them and also advocates alternate picking but the exercises ...I call them gymnastics for guitar....have improved my playing even if they are boring to do and initially almost fingers used to ache but I suppose they've now got stronger as a result

    Yakov Hoter demonstrates some static stretches on his site to be used before playing and I've been surprised at how effective these are in warming up and strengthening all those small muscles and tendons in the hand that actually get brutalized when we play. I would never have thought of the stretches but I always use them now and I think they've also improved my technique.

  • PassacagliaPassacaglia Madison, WI✭✭✭✭
    Posts: 1,466
    Cool, thanks, Will.

    Oddly enough, I use a series of "standard" Aikido stretches on my fingers and wrists.

    pas encore, j'erre toujours.
  • BonesBones Moderator
    Posts: 3,179
    Hi Chimorh,

    What are the "Astuces de la guitare Manouche"?

    Also, I did a search on the Djangobooks store website and didn't find "The Precision Technique".

  • PassacagliaPassacaglia Madison, WI✭✭✭✭
    Posts: 1,466
    Hey Bones - Astuces de la guitare Manouche is a method series by Angelo Debarre and Samy Daussat.

    The precision technique is Robert Conti (Chimorh can obviously speak to this, but I looked it up after exchanging earlier).

    pas encore, j'erre toujours.
  • Lango-DjangoLango-Django Niagara-On-The-Lake, ONModerator
    Posts: 1,710
    OK, you guys have talked me out of my RH "exercise plan", and as soon as I finish painting the @#$% dining room I'll go check out your suggestion at RA, Hemert.

    Truth is, I'd love to build up those muscles exclusively by practising more, but I think I may have already reached the maximum amount my marriage will tolerate. :mrgreen:

    However, as far as "muscles gettting in the way of playing" are concerned, one of the finest non-European players at Django Camp last year was a body builder from Hawaii whose name I can't presently recall... this guy was built like The Hulk, and his playing sounded like I do... in my dreams... :shock:
    Paul Cezanne: "I could paint for a thousand years without stopping and I would still feel as though I knew nothing."

    Edgar Degas: "Only when he no longer knows what he is doing does the painter do good things.... To draw, you must close your eyes and sing."

    Georges Braque: "In art there is only one thing that counts: the bit that can’t be explained."
  • PassacagliaPassacaglia Madison, WI✭✭✭✭
    Posts: 1,466
    Emmett Mahoney, Will. Great player, nice guy. Goes by "Emmett Ray" here, he might be able to talk more about this.

    I don't think weight training in general does anything - it just won't strengthen your hand for picking. Weight training doesn't "make you tight," that's a myth (though it's important to stretch and warmup to avoid injury, and otherwise keep your body limber).

    pas encore, j'erre toujours.
  • Developing some but not all of the muscles that are used in an activity changes the balance and will usually result in a degradation or limitation of performance though.

    Also, the laws of physics do enter into this as well. The more mass there is the more energy to accelerate and decelerate and in most cases this takes a detectable time difference. At our level, probably not a issue LOL...but for those who are picking eigths at speeds over 260 probably becomes more of a concern
    The Magic really starts to happen when you can play it with your eyes closed
  • Somewhat related wit regards to strength.

    I recently was on vacation in Barbados, as the little lady likes to surf. I haven't been out in quite a while, so I took a lesson. I didn't want to be pushed into a wave, which is very common with beginning classes and was adamant about paddling into my own waves.
    While I landed a few decent waves, I found that my right arm (my picking and la pompe arm) seemed much stronger than my left. Consequently, I found that I found myself turning to the left quite a bit. Maybe it's my imagination, but it kind of amused me to think that my right side sholder and arm muscles are stronger because of the GJ.

    Anyway, carry on.
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