First off thanks for you excellent book. I got my copy last week and dug right in. You mention placing the right forearm one the guitar one to two inches below the elbow (I don't have the book with me right now, so I may not quote exactly). You further mention that the right hand should fall roughly midway between the soundhole and the bridge, and John Jorgenson's video, which I also ordered agrees.
My problem is that I am a tall guy with long arms. My hand ends up over the soundhole, more to the neck side. The string tension there is too soft to dig in, and now I understand why I was having some of my problems with the rest stroke technique.
So how do I adjust? To get my hand whereit should be, I have to put my armon the guitar much further from the elbow, which seems to give me less mobility. The alternative is to drop my arm farther down towards the bridge end of the guitar. I can get my hand in the right place and my elbow 1-2 inches from the guitar, but then my arm is coming in too nearly parallel with the strings, which means I can't hold my wrist in the proper position.
I am only 6'2" so we're not talking basketball player proportions here, and my arms are not freakishly long. They are just too long to easily find the textbook position. Any suggestions? BTW, Gypsy Picking is a terrific book. The most systemtized picking technique I have seen since my classical days.
I've never been a guitar player, but I've played one on stage.
I'm actually 6'2" as well! But I guess my arms aren't as long. Although, you'll notice that the Dunn guitar I have in the photos of the Gypsy Picking book had a very small body. So I sort of had that problem. I think one thing that helps is making sure you have a nice arch at the wrist. With that Dunn guitar I think I arched my wrist more then I do now so that I could get the right position.
Now I have a Favino which has the biggest body size of any Selmer. You might look into getting a guitar with Favino proportions. I think it will help!
I agree with Horowitz that a Favino size guitar will be a more natural fit to your height.
I must be making the adjustment in increments, because I notice that I am staying behind the soundhole almost all the time now, and occasionally even get halfway to the bridge, especially paying rhythm. I still have to watch my wrist, because after years of electric guitar, it wants to creep downwards towards the strings.
Mike, I know you have heard this alot, but Gypsy Picking is quite an amazing book! I have learned more in a couple of weeks than I ever believed possible. I can see where someone would keep coming back to this book for years. I got professional help, by the way. I have managed to hook up with Barry Warren of the H.C of Philadelphia for lessons. First lesson was this past Sunday, and it was a big step forward.
I had noticed that -- wasn't sure if it was a small guitar or if Michael was a giant...
thanks Michael...I'm glad the book has helped you out. And nice to hear you found Barry...he's been to Europe a lot to study with Fapy so he's a great person to the trad. style learn from.