Right hand struggle

I've been playing for years....rock pop jazz blues, you name it and always struggled with plectrum technique but got through it all with reasonable success

Problem is now the wonderful GJ guitar world....for the life of me i can't get this 'rest stroke' malarkey, WTH. I really want to get it on as it seems really fluent.

Can anyone help?



  • Lango-DjangoLango-Django Niagara-On-The-Lake, ONModerator
    Posts: 1,858

    Yep, I second Willie’s motion. This book worked wonders for my right hand technique.

    I found the examples with no left hand fingerings particularly valuable.

    Good luck!


    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."
  • geese_comgeese_com Madison, WINew 503
    Posts: 467

    I found this course from @dennis very useful when I was first starting out.

    Mores than any book since it includes video examples. Lots of useful licks as well.

    An added plus is that the whole DC Music School catalog is on sale right now.

  • lorenzoplorenzop Madison Wi TucsonNew Risto Ivanovich
    Posts: 30

    Regarding this book - I notice the musical example come on a CD, is there also a link to audio files online?

    Does book get into other skills such arpegios/triads, ornamentals like string bending, vibrato, pull-offs?

  • jonpowljonpowl Hercules, CA✭✭✭ Dupont MD-100, Altamira M01F
    edited November 2021 Posts: 707

    Filippo Dall'Asta will be doing some in depth right hand technique instruction starting soon. You have to be a member of his Gypsy Jazz Makeover Facebook group. I like his on-line lessons and have noticed improvement with some of the guys who actually did the homework, etc. I will post a link when I find it, and I believe it will be multiple days, and no cost, at least to start. Free workshop:

  • nomadgtrnomadgtr Colorado Bumgarner, Marin, Holo, Barault
    Posts: 123

    I was just like you Henrik, I spent many, many years playing rock, blues and big band jazz. It took me a good two years to unlearn my old right hand technique and Michael's book was a big help initially. I also used a small makeup mirror I borrowed from my wife to look at my right hand while i played along with YouTube videos of some of the pros. What I learned from that is that each of them have subtle nuances that differentiate them from each other ever so slightly. This is due to the differences in our body dimensions. So don't get too hung up on doing it exactly like this guy or that guy. The pros themselves will tell you this as well if you ever meet up with them along the way. Get the principles down and find a position that is above all comfortable for you. If you start experiencing strain in your right hand stop playing and analyze what positioning is causing that strain. If you're doing it right you should be able to play tirelessly for an hour or more. When you're analyzing the strain break it down into the x, y and z axes so you're looking at up/down, in/out and rotation angles in your hand and wrist. Staying relaxed is the key to this picking technique which means practice, lots of practice. With practice comes confidence which leads to relaxed muscles. When your muscles tense it actually reduces your potential power that can be applied. I hope that helps!

  • WillieWillie HamburgNew
    edited November 2021 Posts: 840


    The book contains arpeggios, but the more advanced things are in books like "Gypsy Fire", I think. As I only just started to really deal with my right hand, there should be more appointed ones in this forum to deepen this matter. I had the impression that "Gypsy Picking" will help me learn the basics; therefore the note.

  • crookedpinkycrookedpinky Glasgow✭✭✭✭ Alex Bishop D Hole, Altamira M & JWC D hole
    Posts: 922

    To be honest I struggled with Gypsy Picking. It didn't make any sense to me at all - that says more about me than it does the book. And then there were all the "masterclasses" and "workshops" where every person had a slightly different take on how to do it. I struggle along with my own technique but I've always got the feeling that I should be doing something different but I don't know what or how.

    always learning
  • filippodallastafilippodallasta Berlin, GermanyNew
    Posts: 25

    Hi @Henrik I am running a free online 4-day workshop to teach guitarists to master the right hand technique for Gypsy jazz guitar. Would love to have you, and the workshop is free!

    Here is the link to sign up:

    Any questions give me a shout,


  • SwedeinLASwedeinLA New
    Posts: 42

    I just now, a week ago started this whole process of gypsy style picking. I want to learn this style in additional to my regular style. I am not looking to unlearn my style, which is a completely different voice. I am going to check out that book suggested.

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