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As someone with a fingerpicking/rock ‘n’ roll background starting to study Gypsy, I love Jimmy Rosenberg for the fact that his right hand is open when he plays. Rest stroke picking is kind of natural to me — fortunately — since I started using what was described to me as “economy picking” in an effort to play faster. But I can’t seem to shake the fingerpicking habit of touching the top of the guitar. Jimmy gives me hope that I might succceed in learning to credibly play GP
Lightly touching the top of the guitar like stochelo or a more floating open hand line Jimmy going to have little impact on developing a strong gypsy jazz technique. Both options are valid. If you mean anchoring your finger on the top that will be a problem
That’s great to hear. I do tend to keep my right hand anchored in the same spot, but only if I’m Travis-picking; if I’m playing with a pick, the fingers float as necessary.
You can probably make anything work with enough practice. Naturally some things will be easier (or more effective) played one way rather than the other.
For example, if I am doing le pompe with the upstroke, then my fingers are closed, hand and wrist floating. Hand wrist and elbow work in conjunction to provide the needed action to get the desired upstrokes and down strokes.
For solo/melody notes, my fingers rest on the pickguard loosely. I can "finesse" notes from the strings if I use mostly wrist and finger action. I can also do a more controlled 4-on-the floor strums this way if my amplified setup is not favorable for upstroke le pompe. I can also "bully" notes from the strings if I use more elbow like I am letting the weight of my arm pluck the note out of the string. Using the weight of my arm to get the note provides a little more volume as well.
That said, I have found that if I stiffen and straighten up my fingers and anchor them on the pickguard, with most of the movement coming from the elbow, I can do tremolo cleaner and more efficiently than any other hand position or technique. The notes seem to "pop" out nice and consistent when I do it this way. For me, it is much easier and "effective" to "pop" the notes out than trying to "finesse" consistent tremolo using wrist action.
Your mileage may vary with these different techniques. I would imagine that in the heat of a jam, Django may have taken a few liberties with his own playing techniques for the sake of hitting the notes that he wanted.