I've spent quite a bit of time developing Economy picking from both Frank Gambale's method as well as Jimmy Bruno's. I've abandoned Frank's approach as Jimmy's approach came more natural to me in a useful manner. It has improved my picking by leaps and bounds.
Since I started getting into gypsy jazz, I became aware of their technique and their rules. One in particular, I'm having a really hard time with due to it's awkwardness and not understanding the reasoning behind it's use. It's the rule of "always start with a down stroke when switching strings". I learned this from Stephane Wremble's book. He gave several examples of instances where it would be natural for me to use an up stroke as I'm descending strings. Instead of continuing my upward sweep stroke, I have to skip over the string in order to accomodate a down stroke. It seems awkward and inefficient to me. Can anyone expain the reasoning and advantage for this?
It would be important to me as I'm interested in the Gypsy Picking book, but I fear it will be a drastic change to my playing and a difficult undertaking.
Thank you in advance for your replies.
"Aw, that's just pillow talk baby!"
The important thing to keep in mind is that "efficiency" is relative to the final result. Gypsy Picking might seem awkward at first, but it's much more efficient at getting volume, tone, and speed on an acoustic instrument then alternate free stroke picking. Also, it gives you the phrasing and tone that is part of the aesthetic of this genre. So if you're serious about Gypsy jazz it's worth giving it a try. Believe me, it works! 1000s of Gypsy guitarists can't be wrong...
You should definitely start with Gypsy Picking...it has precise instruction on how to play with rest strokes. There is plenty of musical content as well. Once you get the hang of it you can move on to Gypsy Fire or Unaccompanied Django.
Now, I just got a guitar ( a Manouche, at last) and I found out in the first 10 minutes. After plucking around in my usual Stratocaster fed manner with a puzzled look on my face, I finally settled down, held the guitar properly, put my arm in the right place, let my hand fall to about 4:00 on the oval hole, picked, no, more like struck, correctly with rest strokes, and BAM, there was the sound!
These guitars DEMAND that you play them correctly. Walking looks easy, but you still have to take the time to learn to do it, and do it the right way.
I've been playing rhythm and taking a lead chorus or two in a weekly jam where we play a handful of gypsy jazz tunes like Douce Ambiance, Minor Swing, Swing 42, and a few others I've forgotten. I'm doing my best to approximate "la pompe" from what I've been able to gather from books, videos and CD's. Although my guitar teacher is great with teaching theory and contemporary jazz, he won't get into the gypsy thing with me as he prefers a more "modern" teaching approach. I can appreciate that, as "style" is more of a personal choice. I can't wait to get this book and gaining some authenticity to these songs. I am slightly hesitant on how it'll affect my ability to play straight ahead jazz or gig with my rock band, but after pouring through these archives I feel like it's worth it to give it a shot.
Okay, enough rambling! Poor way of looking for encouragement!
The Sarods used to come with rounded tips. Unfortunately they don't make them that way anymore. You'd probably want to round them off a bit...and because they're are wood they won't last like the Wegen or Moustahce picks do. But they're a lot cheaper!
You might want to check out this lesson on la Pompe: La Pompe
Check out Bireli's right hand on this video...that should provide some inspiration!
http://www.djangobooks.com/archives/200 ... tml#000539
That's the path to success....good luck!
Maybe sometime in the future, all those descending downstrokes won't trip me up, but for now, Kruno's little trick allows me to concentrate on the music, keep my hand more relaxed, and actually incorporate it's use in a place that enhances, rather than detracts from my phrasing.
The gypsy picking technique is great, and I agree that it is a must to get the right feel, but let's face it, there's a bit of hazing involved, too (if we had to do it, so do you!), and a common sense solution such as Kruno's which doesn't detract from the feel of the music and is employed sparingly can make the transition for straight ahead jazz and blues-rock players alot easier.
I'll tell you this: I spend alot less time tripping myself up and alot more time concentrating on the feel of what I'm playing. If too many consecutive downstrokes is killing you, try Kruno's solution to the problem.
Now for those one finger chromatic glissando runs... They're killing me! They are not smooth at all, and I can often hear my pick hit right as my finger is directly on the fret wire. If I slow down, it sounds to staccato (I hope that's the right term) cause I'm making brief pauses at every fret instead of a synchronized, smooth glide up the neck. Also, I'm not sure about thumb pressure behind the neck when using this technique. I'm experimenting with no pressure to slight, to firm...
Okay, one step at a time. I found this site cause I was wondering why my playing wasn't sounding more authentic when I played Django tunes, and since finding this site, I've made very marked improvements, so I'm enjoying the success I've picked up along the way. Wish I had more people to jam with in this style though!