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still trying to figure out wrist angle (with pictures)

periclimenespericlimenes Santa Ana, CANew
edited January 2008 in Gypsy Picking Posts: 140
Hi All,

I'm sorry that this is super basic, but I want to make sure I am doing this right. Here's a pic of my arm/wrist positioning from the front. Does this look right?


I find that when I strum and pick, my wrist is relaxed and hanging down toward the ground as in the top pic, but the angle of the wrist in relation to the arm looks like this from the top:


Is this correct? In looking over footage on this site (esp. Stochello Rosenberg), alot of people seem to hold their wrists like this:


Is this a matter of whatever is comfortable, or should I force myself to hold my wrist as in the last picture?




  • aa New York City✭✭✭✭
    Posts: 800
    rest your arm on the guitar. the pick can poin towards the neck a little more.
    Learn how to play Gypsy guitar:
  • satyrsatyr New
    Posts: 13
    you are resting your forearm on the body of the guitar, that's bad.

    you should bring the elbow down a little so you're resting the bicep on the body and you're hugging the guitar more. this brings the hand down and makes the angled wrist, that you show and that stochelo and many players use, more natural. the hand and forearm are free and floating and the wrist is relaxed and the picking comes more from the rotation of the free forearm then actually using the wrist. this is where the strength comes from!

    it takes time to develop this new type of control where you can make small movements accurately, like trying to write with your weak hand almost, but once you get the hang of it, that's the essence of the technique in my feeling.
  • B25GibB25Gib Bremerton WA✭✭✭✭ Holo Busato, Dell 'Arte Hommage, Gitane D-500
    Posts: 170
    Peri -
    Your statement that your wrist is relaxed when you strum and pick is a good sign. The angle of your wrist to forearm could be a little more angled but it is probably a matter of personal comfort. The extreme angle you show in your last picture is extreme and is not attainable by all players. But, you should move your picking attack back toward the bridge to at least the edge of the sound hole for good treble clarity and punch for this style. You can always move forward again for specific mellower tone when you want.
    There is nothing wrong with having the crook of the elbow on the top edge of the upper bout, as your angle of forearm to wrist/hand will keep the total forearm to wrist off the top of the sound board which will then not dampen the sound and will not restrict free motion for rhythm and solos. If you have your bicep on the top edge of the upper bout, you will be more forward into the sound hole with your picking as you would also if you lift the headstock of the guitar higher from the floor. From you picture it looks like you can move your elbow down towards the floor and attain a better position for this style.
    Hope this helps some.
  • satyrsatyr New
    Posts: 13
    sorry but this makes no sense too me, about bringing the bicep to rest on the guitar making you pick closer to the soundhole. the way i feel it and the way that i see nearly every gypsy player (stochelo, jimmy, angelo, etc...) is with the whole arm lower and further back, and your hand is naturally in the right place to pick very close to the bridge.

    of course perhaps the whole playing position makes a big difference as well. i cross my legs when i play and do raise the neck at a higher angle, and hug the guitar high and close to my body, so perhaps the position the peri holds his guitar makes such a position of the picking hand uncomfortable.
  • steven_eiresteven_eire Wicklow✭✭✭✭ Dupont MD50
    Posts: 172
    to me the first photo you posted looks a bit uncomfortable for playing

    most people move their arm back further and lower, something like this:
  • B25GibB25Gib Bremerton WA✭✭✭✭ Holo Busato, Dell 'Arte Hommage, Gitane D-500
    Posts: 170
    Cause and effect of changing one variable at a time is what I'm trying to point out. Lifting the headstock of the guitar higher from the floor will cause your picking point to be farther from the bridge which is not what you want if your already into the sound hole. As to the crook of the arm verses bicep and where your hand moves is cause for confusion in a written context so I won't try further. The larger Favino body style seems a little easier to pick closer to the bridge for taller players as has been mentioned in previous discussions.
  • aa New York City✭✭✭✭
    Posts: 800
    try out all of these things.

    some, like bireli come from around the guitar...others like jimmy or mozes come more from above.
    Learn how to play Gypsy guitar:
  • richdaiglerichdaigle SLC,UT✭✭✭✭
    Posts: 181
    I'd put the giant wrist watch on your left hand... :wink:
  • aa New York City✭✭✭✭
    Posts: 800
    maybe go up higher on the lower bout, so that your forearm is really dangling.
    Learn how to play Gypsy guitar:
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