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Picking Exercises From "Gypsy Picking"

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  • Lango-DjangoLango-Django Niagara-On-The-Lake, ONModerator
    edited May 2013 Posts: 1,710
    My twenty-nine year old rock guitarist son gave me a tip yesterday... I was a bit skeptical about it at first, but it seems to work pretty well, so try this for yourself and see what you think.

    Hold your pick so that the very tiniest amount possible sticks out from between your thumb and finger.

    In fact, it doesn't really matter very much if your first finger actually touches the strings as you are playing, because that string isn't the one you are striking with the pick anyway.

    It's like instead of painting with a long paintbrush, suddenly you are painting with the tiniest brush imaginable.

    I'm still getting used to the feeling, but wow! I get more control and speed, my upstrokes are more powerful, and if there is any difference in volume, I really don't notice it.

    Please try it and tell me what you think!

    Will
    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."
  • Lango-DjangoLango-Django Niagara-On-The-Lake, ONModerator
    Posts: 1,710
    ***crickets***

    ...feel free to chime in anytime, guys...

    :roll:
    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."
  • hanear21hanear21
    Posts: 62
    This just reminds me of the way Stochelo shows how to hold the pick in Denis Chang's "In the style of DVD." There's just a tiny sliver of pick that he uses. I personally can't play that way, but I imagine it helps with speed...
  • BonesBones Moderator
    Posts: 3,179
    Hey Will,

    I tried it. Feels pretty good that way. Can't yet tell if it improves accuracy or speed but I'll stick with it for a while and see.
  • I do that. and the back of my finger does hit strings but it does work for me
    The Magic really starts to happen when you can play it with your eyes closed
  • Lango-DjangoLango-Django Niagara-On-The-Lake, ONModerator
    Posts: 1,710
    I like the way it feels, too, Mike. My only problem is that somehow while I am busy playing, that little #%^! pick manages to sneak back to its old position...

    :!: :!: :!:
    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."
  • Lango-DjangoLango-Django Niagara-On-The-Lake, ONModerator
    Posts: 1,710
    UPDATE! NEWS FLASH! :D:D:D

    I just went out and bought a few Dunlop "Jazz Stubbies" to try out.

    These are mini-size picks, in fact about half the size I'm used to. Dunlop makes them in thicknesses of 1mm, 2mm and 3mm. For me, the 1mm felt way too light, the 2mm felt just a bit light, and the 3mm felt just right.

    I think I'm going to stay with this pick for awhile, because I really like it... that is, unless I decide to upgrade to something like one of those expensive Blue Chip picks Jazzaferri likes.

    But even if I do that, I think I'll stick with this mini size... they stay in one place and don't wander off back to Old Habits-ville, like the other ones did.

    For those that have never tried this size pick, I think you'll be surprised as I was. I'd seen them before but never dreamed of actually using one. Surprise! it turned out to be exactly what I needed... And it only took 40+ years of playing to achieve this revelation! But the small size really complements the rest stroke picking so perfectly, in a way I'd never have expected.
    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."
  • ghodaddyyoghodaddyyo The slums of OCNew
    Posts: 41
    I went on a pick safari when I got back into gypsy jazz a few months ago. I have more picks lying around than you can believe. Every kind you can imagine (that doesn't cost an arm and a leg) Even went through a long period of doing the Wes thumb picking thing. I even have some rubber "Wedgies" and felt picks for when I want to play late at night and not annoy my wife. I kind of have different picks for different preferences. For a while I was into the tiny, pointy pick thing, then I got into the playing with the textured thumb grip ala "the Edge" from U2 thing, on and on it goes. I just love guitar playing and have heroes I want to sound like in all genre's.

    Anyway, to get back into my Gypsy Picking book, I started with a couple Wegen's I bought a while back. Those things stress me out way too much. I lose picks like crazy and when I misplaced one, I'd tear the house upside down looking for them. My wife just doesn't understand the madness! I decided to scour the net for an affordable alternative and have come to really like the Dunlop Primetones. I've tried just about all of the shapes and sizes. If you like the short stubby, you might like the Primetone version. Less pointy. They even have a short one with a rounded tip and beveled like it's been played awhile. That one is fine, but I end up holding the pick too much with my finger tips in an effort to avoid shredding my cuticles. I prefer the large 5mm rounded tip cause it has a nice bevel that makes rest stroke pick effortless and large enough where I don't totally tear up my cuticles. I tried out the 3mm rounded tip version, but they don't have that pre-worn bevel like the 5mm versions. No problem, took a file to it and they are now my favorite pick (besides the Wegens). It has really helped my rest stroke picking come along and I think I'm nearly at a point of doing it without thinking.
    "Aw, that's just pillow talk baby!"
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