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Has anyone got one surefire guaranteed exercise/riff for the right hand rest stroke technique that they swear by?.
As it's the right hand technique you want to develop, it doesn't matter what you're doing with the lefthand, so any repetitive exercise will help - the simpler the better really as you want to be focusing on the right hand rather than worrying about the left hand. Stephane Wrembel starts out with open strings, you can't get much simpler than that.
A good tip is, whatever you play with the left hand, vary between playing quarter notes, eighths, triplets etc. And make sure you play with a floating or semi-floating hand, that's an essential but often overlooked aspect of the technique.
Michael's book on Gypsy Picking is full of exercises which will sharpen your technique. The two I found most useful are ascending and descending 'D' shape arpeggios on the top four strings, I think inspired by a run in Improv. no.1, and simple Diminished arps up and down the neck.
I have one I learned from Wrembel. . .
1st is only right hand, Metronome on 60-80:
rest stoke E, A, D, G, B, E quarter notes; then 8th notes (down and up on one string, then singles but faster), then triplets (D U D, then singles, but faster)- all rest strokes.
Next part E, E, A, B, D, G, D, G, A, B, E, E. -quarter notes; 8th notes (down and up on one string, then singles but faster), then triplets (D U D, then singles, but faster)- all rest strokes.
Last part E, D, A, G, D, B, G, E, G, B, D, G, A, D, E - and yes, you guessed it: quarter notes; 8th notes (down and up on one string, then singles but faster), then triplets (D U D, then singles, but faster)- all rest strokes.
Learn a waltz. Any one will do, I like "Dolores".
He taught me the same thing, but we use the Segovia C Major scale as the base. This exercise is incredible for honing in on a number of technical deficiencies. Some days it's my picking technique, others it's the feel of each group of notes. A really good "dojo" exercise for sure.
I also echo Wim Glenn as well. I have been working on Montagne Ste. Genevieve since I started learning this style, and that is a technical exercise in a lot of different ways while still (obviously) being an fantastic song.
I've been learning waltzes lately too. Keeping in the Wrembel vein, I recommend learning Bistro Fada. Then learn Indifference as well. Same chord harmony so you get 2 for the price of 1!
As others noted, learn some musical material. Waltzes, head melodies, even compose something yourself that will target what you feel as deficiencies.
It always struck me as odd, common as it is in the music world in general, to practice fairly non musical exercises in order to learn how to play something musical. Seems like an extra, unnecessary step.
@JSanta - indeed- but I like the isolation of the open string one. The Segovia scales (not just C lol!) are great too, I usually combine those with some Barry Harris ideas (up and down to the 7, up and down to the 9, add a note between the 5th and 6th up to the root. one octave then two; and of course, in quarters, 8ths, triplets).
I'd like someday to sit and figure out how to combine Barry's descending 7th rules with Segovia scales, but have not done this yet. Also small arpeggios through that fingering set (Ie. Maj 6, Min 6, Min 6, Maj, Dom, Min 6, Dim 7, repeat), but have not done that ever either.
@Buco I dunno - I like the devision of work from technical to musical during my practice (but that's a personal thing & we all do whatever works!)
@Wim Glenn - waltzes!!! yes please. Lately Rive D'un Soir and Latchaben. (oh, Delores . . hmm. . . have to work on that one!). I would like to work up Panique and La Gitane someday.
@bbwood_98 Whatever works, for sure. I definitely did my fair share of various exercises. After a while I noticed that I'm getting better at playing the exercises but the underlying technique which I was targeting isn't really popping up in my playing. For that to happen I had to learn or compose something that I can actually play in the song and practice that while improving. At some point I thought "why am I doing it like this, it's this extra step that I don't really need, why not skip the exercise part and go straight to musical examples that I can use while improvising?".
Exception to that are exercises like the one I learned from the forum. It's also from Stephane, and is designed to improve finger strength and flexibility.
Buco NOVA, DCDeity August 5 Posts: 4,001
Good call fella cheers.