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A Downstroke Dillema...

Milo_TheGodfatherMilo_TheGodfather Maui, HawaiiNew
edited August 2007 in Gypsy Picking Posts: 4
I had a question about the gypsy picking technique,. I was just curious about the logic behind using a downstroke for every string change. I find it cumbersome during some runs and just wanted to ask what advantage this picking gives. In a run such as this, I find alternate picking to be much faster than using a downstroke for the string change.

E-----------------------7---6---4--------------------------------------------I
B-------------------------------------7---6---4------------------------------I

I also find it strange when doing large sweeping (or rest stroke) runs such as a A7 arpeggio. Ascending up the run is smooth, but when decending the picking becomes choppy as opposed to a traditional sweep (using upstrokes when decending).

E----------------------------------------------------5----6-----I
B-----------------------------------------5----8----------------I
G------------------------------------6--------------------------I
D--------------------------5----8------------------------------I
A-----------------4----7----------------------------------------I
E-------------5--------------------------------------------------I

Does using a downstroke for every string chance create a certain tone?
The reasoning for this type of picking interests me, and is something that has hung me up a little during my studies.
Thanks again
"the first time I ever heard of mass production, I imagined a row of nuns whittling crosses....."
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Comments

  • stublastubla Prodigy Godefroy Maruejouls
    edited April 2005 Posts: 386
    [quote="Milo_TheGodfather"]I had a question about the gypsy picking technique,. I was just curious about the logic behind using a downstroke for every string change. I find it cumbersome during some runs and just wanted to ask what advantage this picking gives. In a run such as this, I find alternate picking to be much faster than using a downstroke for the string change.

    E-----------------------7---6---4--------------------------------------------I
    B-------------------------------------7---6---4------------------------------I

    I also find it strange when doing large sweeping (or rest stroke) runs such as a A7 arpeggio. Ascending up the run is smooth, but when decending the picking becomes choppy as opposed to a traditional sweep (using upstrokes when decending).

    E----------------------------------------------------5----6-----I
    B-----------------------------------------5----8----------------I
    G------------------------------------6--------------------------I
    D--------------------------5----8------------------------------I
    A-----------------4----7----------------------------------------I
    E-------------5--------------------------------------------------I

    Does using a downstroke for every string chance create a certain tone?
    The reasoning for this type of picking interests me, and is something that has hung me up a little during my studies.
    Thanks again[/quote]


    ..Ah!...the problems of 'going down'....the strings!
    Its difficult f**k knows...... BUT
    My god!....the advantages!
    Great tone
    Sheer drive
    Volume and projection
    Rhythmic strength...my timing has improved markedly since i changed my RH technique.
    Mostly importantly--being able to project long phrases; the GJ picking technique allows you to give a momentum to your phrasing that you just can't achieve with straight alterate picking.
    Listen to those famous long triplet arpeggios in Django's "Blues Mineur" for example--to get the accents in the right places and the phrasing like Django you must use GJ picking.
    BTW-these long triplet runs are unique in Jazz imo and i'm sure they reveal the subtle influence of Musette on Django-
    In Musette they appear frequently unlike in American Jazz.

    I think guitarists have just been lazy all these years
    Classical violinists have known about 'bowing' directions and the importance of this technique in 'phrasing' for centuries--the correct use of the pick is just the same.
    Listening to Django or even(as i did tonight....just got back....NYC watch out!!!) someone like the superb Ritary Gaguenetti,one is struck by the 'authority' of their phrasing.
    BTW--Ritarys new CD "Ma Melodie" is fantastic .


    Listening to Django is like listening to a great violinist like Jascha Heifitz;as Charlie Parker said "....Jascha has such a terrific beat!"

    If you ARE used to alternate picking of COURSE it feels unnatural and 'strange' at first.
    Its bound to--you need to reprogram your technique;but its worth the work and the frustration imo.
    Don't forget its meant to be fun :-)

    "it don't mean a thing if you ain't got that TONE!!"
    Cheers
    Stu
  • MichaelHorowitzMichaelHorowitz SeattleAdministrator
    Posts: 6,153
    As Stu mentioned...it's all about tone, volume, and the "Gypsy Sound." Alternate picking just doesn't give you that authoritative feel to your playing. Also, many of the idiomatic phrases and arpeggios used in Gypsy jazz are actually much easier using the rest stroke technique. I can't tell you how many times I've seen guys trying to execute basic Django runs (that any Gypsy kid can pull off) with alternate picking and failing miserably. There's a real marriage between Django's music and the rest stroke technique. It's hard to have one without the other.

    Good Luck!

    'm
  • djangologydjangology Portland, OregonModerator
    Posts: 1,018
    Does using a downstroke for every string chance create a certain tone?

    its not about tone. similar to what Michael says above, i think that by sticking to rest stroke (downstroke technique) you will therefore not be able to play certain "jazzy sounding" patterns and therefore you will hopefully avoid these and you will end up being forced to use alternate patterns (very likely more arpeggiated) and you will ultimately sound closer to "gypsy".

    if you stick with alternate picking then you will probably end up incorporating licks into your vocabulary that will end up drawing you away from sounding gypsy.
  • Posts: 101
    Mostly importantly--being able to project long phrases; the GJ picking technique allows you to give a momentum to your phrasing that you just can't achieve with straight alterate picking

    That's one of the best ways I've heard it put yet, Stu, nicely said.
  • Milo_TheGodfatherMilo_TheGodfather Maui, HawaiiNew
    Posts: 4
    Thanks! I will Definately start working on my picking technique , I didnt realize the benefits where so great.

    I just have one more question... Not exactly about picking but about fingering with my left hand. I Got the book L'esprit Manouche and It has some chord Diagrams that involve Chords with the usage of the thumb. The problem I am encountering is that my hands are really small! My thumb doesnt make it far enough around the neck to use it in holding a chord. Has anyone had to deal with a problem such as this?

    I guess I shouldnt complain tho.... Django did it with two fingers :)
    "the first time I ever heard of mass production, I imagined a row of nuns whittling crosses....."
  • zavzav Geneve, SwissNew
    Posts: 94
    Thanks! I will Definately start working on my picking technique , I didnt realize the benefits where so great.

    I´ve started to play with pick about a year ago, and I chose a rest stroke technique at once, because all the advantages was clear just from the begining (and even on ordinary folk guitar).
    The problem I am encountering is that my hands are really small! My thumb doesnt make it far enough around the neck to use it in holding a chord. Has anyone had to deal with a problem such as this?

    Well, all Manouche technique is very "natural" and SHOULD be comfortable (well... sometimes after little bit :lol: training ) - that is a key point. So, if you couldn't use your thumb - DON't use it! :) I don't use thumb, and one of the reasons - is the same, I's not very comfortable to do it with my fingers.
  • MichaelHorowitzMichaelHorowitz SeattleAdministrator
    Posts: 6,153
    For more on use of the thumb and Gypsy style chords see this thread:

    Thumb Chords


    Also, check out this eLesson: Beyond Three Note Chords
  • djangologydjangology Portland, OregonModerator
    Posts: 1,018
    I think guitarists have just been lazy all these years

    stu has it right with this one also. lazy guitar players playing short phrases all these years... LOL... now its time for a change. :-) just think of all the untraveled licks that have yet to be discovered because for the last 50 years guitar players never thought ahead more than 20 notes on a single lick...

    a good example is the break at the beginning of Matcho Wintersteins Noto Swing (on the Titi Winterstein album "Djinee tu kowa ziro")... a long solo 8 bar break that seems like one giant lick... inspiring stuff. :-)
  • BarengeroBarengero Auda CityProdigy
    Posts: 527
    djangology wrote:
    Matcho Wintersteins Noto Swing (on the Titi Winterstein album "Djinee tu kowa ziro")... a long solo 8 bar break that seems like one giant lick... inspiring stuff. :-)

    Hi djangology,

    the guitarist isn´t Matcho Winterstein. It is the great Lulu Reinhardt! And a fantastic solo intro!

    Best

    Barengero
  • ElliotElliot Madison, WisconsinNew
    Posts: 551
    djangology wrote:
    I think guitarists have just been lazy all these years

    stu has it right with this one also. lazy guitar players playing short phrases all these years... LOL... now its time for a change. :-) just think of all the untraveled licks that have yet to be discovered because for the last 50 years guitar players never thought ahead more than 20 notes on a single lick...

    a good example is the break at the beginning of Matcho Wintersteins Noto Swing (on the Titi Winterstein album "Djinee tu kowa ziro")... a long solo 8 bar break that seems like one giant lick... inspiring stuff. :-)


    ...Ever hear Jerry Garcia's solo on Turn On Your Love Light?
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