basic assumptions in gypsy picking

rafapakrafapak ✭✭
in Gypsy Picking Posts: 221

as far as i remember the most important one is that when we change strings we use downstrokes no matter if we go from E6 towards E1 or from E1 towards E6. are there any assumptions in relation to playing 3,4,5 notes on single string if we dont change this string ? can we do whatever we want (mixing downstrokes with upstrokes )as long as we play on single string and we dont change this string ?


  • Posts: 79

    Surprised no one has responded but yeah, if playing notes on the same string you can use alternate picking or downstrokes - the main "rule" is exactly as you say tho, always switch strings with a downstroke. But back to playing multiple notes on the same string, I know some players who always use alternate picking as a rule and others who use downstrokes whenever possible; personally, I tend to switch it up depending on what I'm playing, primarily because certain phrases are intended to be played w/alternate picking while others sound much better when played with downstrokes imo. Don't forget either that not every note/phrase is even picked to begin with - hammer-ons/pull-offs, finger slides, sweeps, etc. are all used within the style as well.

    Also, our host Michael has written some pretty well-known books that can help with this - would definitely recommend Gypsy Picking if you're just starting out.

  • billyshakesbillyshakes NoVA✭✭✭ Park Avance - Dupont Nomade - Dupont DM-50E
    Posts: 1,335

    I'd say that sometimes, if I have a multi-note phrase and the last note would be on an upstroke, I might make that a double-down just so I can give it the emphasis.

  • flacoflaco Shelley Park #151, AJL Quiet and Portable
    Posts: 98

    Some people for triplets will pick D U D D U D. There are some patterns that address this in the Gypsy Picking book.

  • pdgpdg ✭✭
    Posts: 472

    Also, the tempo will affect whether or not you switch directions on the same string. For slow tempos, most GJ players growing up in the tradition will play multiple down strokes. Even fast tempos may allow two down strokes in a row. In some groups of players, down strokes are the rule unless it's too fast to execute them.

  • MichaelHorowitzMichaelHorowitz SeattleAdministrator
    Posts: 6,154

    As mentioned above….slower tempos and quarter notes will usually be all down strokes. You can use upstrokes whenever you want on the same string but downstrokes have superior tone and projection so most players favor them. As far as faster 8th note phrases, generally you will be alternating when on the same string but there are a lot of special situations like when dealing with odd note groupings and triplets which are covered in the book.

  • rafapakrafapak ✭✭
    Posts: 221

    thanks for replies

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