couldn't figure out how to re-post this and delete the one in in the technique section. anyway...
i've been using the book, but i'm having trouble getting down the best way to hold the pick. the concave part of the wegen makes me think that either the tip of thumb, or the first joint should connect right there.i def get more momentum when i grasp right at the first (closest to the tip) joint of my thumb.
also, my index finger keeps on getting in the way of the rest-stroke by not letting the pick fall to the next string. at what angle should my index finger be in relation to the string? i've checked out the videos, but the close-ups are sort of ambigious. do you have any pictures?
furthermore, should i be stroking each string with my hand in the same position (using my forearm to move the hand to a different string)? should i let my right hand relax to the point that it is virtually limp, like a dead hand (like a classical guitarist)? that's what michael's hand looks like in the book. it feels like there is greater stroke resolution/control when I do that, but the sound isn't as driven.
could you explain play-relax a little more...am i supposed to keep my hand as relaxed as possible all the time, or only when i'm not playing. should any adjustments be made when playing at very high speeds? should i get my hand to the point where tremolo and phrase picking are indistinguishable (that's what it looks like when django plays)?
Learn how to play Gypsy guitar:http://alexsimonmusic.com/learn-gypsy-jazz-guitar/
You should avoid holding the pick with the tip of your thumb...it'll cause you to press too hard and tense up. As mentioned in the book, your thumb should make contact somewhere between the first joint and the center of your thumb so that the tip of your thumb hangs over the edge of the pick.
The picture on p.12 and p.14 of the book show the index finger position. In general I'd say the top of your index finger is parallel to the strings But if your finger is bumping into the strings too much you could tuck it in more. However, it's totally normal for your index finger to be grazing the strings while you play.
Your pick stroke should be primarily from the wrist with forarm only acting as a "crane" to help you position your hand over the right string. When done properly wrist motion is louder and more relaxed then forearm motion.
To train your hand to do play-relax, you do the required motion (which requires some effort) and then totally relax when you're in the rest position. You have to do this very slowly and be hyper aware of your level of tension. If you do it for 6 months slowly you'll begin to do it automatically at faster tempos. Even for a split second you'll be able to take advantage of the that little bit of relaxation which makes all the difference.
Yes, I'd say that's true. Because you should be using big relaxed motions to get the right sound and volume for single note lines. Most folks use way too small of a motion when starting out.
in the jazz a veinne dvd, it looks like angelo debarre's thumb sticks out a lot, and his sound seems brighter than bireli's or stochelo's (who has a more controlled, but warmer sound). by the way, did stochelo study with anyone?
as for the motion, should i exaggerate my wrist movements to compensate for the loss of power which my forearm used to provide? is there a place where i should feel tension as i'm learning this technique (like a sore muscle)?
Learn how to play Gypsy guitar:
Well. it's a little different for everyone depending on physiology. It's pretty normal for the side of the thumb to make contact with the strings when playing this way.
I don't know if there is a relationship between thumb position and brightness. Stochelo mostly learned from Waso Grunholz.
Yes, big movements are good. You really shouldn't feel very much tension. Let gravity do the work!
when you say practice slow, do you mean like snail pace (40-60bpm), or just not lightning-fast or upbeat? also, should i accelerate the tempo as each practice session progresses (e.g. starting at 40 for the first half an hour, and upping it by 10[?] every other), or should i be patient and wait several months before even messing with the tempo control on the metronome?
your responses are helping alot.
Learn how to play Gypsy guitar:
I pretty much stayed around 40-60bpm in the first month or two. If you can't play the picking paterns with complete confidence and good tone then you're playing too fast. I know it's boring, but it pays off big time later on.
Again, if you're playing well at a certian tempo then try moving the metronome up 5 or 10 bpm. If you can't do it then go back to where you were.
I'd be careful doing that. If I understand you correctly you're doing exactly what I say not to do in the book. Gripping the pick with the tip of your thumb tends to cause unnecessary tension. I've never seen a Gypsy use this grip. They always let the tip of their thumb hang over the pick.
Yes, I tell folks to use a 45 degree angle for better tone.
I'm not familar with those terms....I don't think I have a joint on the tip of my thumb. Maybe I'm an alien or something.
Could you post a photo of your pick grip, that would be cleaer.