John Jorgenson

UltraspontaneUltraspontane ✭✭
edited March 2011 in Gypsy Picking Posts: 47
Hey guys.

I've been studying how my favorite gypsy jazz guitarists play. John Jorgenson is one of them.

John picks differently than the gypsies do. At least it appears that way.

Check out 40 seconds in to this vid where he really gets cooking.

When John plays fast runs, he straightens his wrist out and uses his arm motion to pick the notes.

Do you guys know if he still uses the rest stroke technique when doing that?


  • dennisdennis Montreal, QuebecModerator
    Posts: 2,161
    john's an amazing player, but yes he has his own technique. I really like how he mixes a lot of Charlie Christian (at least to my ears) to his playing.. In fact, I would actually really like to see him release a western swing album with the django repertoire and on a sweet archtop
  • patrus le sommelierpatrus le sommelier ✭✭✭✭
    Posts: 208
    maybe you see my video interview already with John during DjangoFest.
    it was a very good moment!
  • UltraspontaneUltraspontane ✭✭
    Posts: 47
    Yeah, I watched that whole interview. Good stuff.

    I guess I'll have to ask John about this personally when I see him in concert this March.
  • StevearenoSteveareno ✭✭✭
    Posts: 349
    Thanks Ultraspontane, that's a really nice clip of John. Funny to see him playing in front of a stack of Marshalls! Also his guitar appears have something stuck in the sound hole (maybe a feedback buster) and is missing the moustaches. :?:
    Swang on,
  • HotTinRoofHotTinRoof Florida✭✭✭
    Posts: 308
    I feel that overall John has a flatter wrist angle. No? I don't recall him speaking about it on his DVD.

    Don't forget he has quite a background of playing country guitar - his playing hangs with the likes of James Burton, Vince Gill, Albert Lee, Brent Mason, Redd Volkaert and Steve Wariner - all plucking sensations. I first heard John when I stumbled onto the Hellcasters. He's also on Brad Paisley's virtuoso piece "Cluster Pluck" and plays one hell of a lick @ 2:33 If you haven't heard this tune, enjoy.
    streaming restricted, you need to watch on youtube.

    John has experience playing other types of music and is quite successful with it - a guy who can wear many hats with his playing abilities! I think this reveals itself in his picking during the quicker runs you mention. My impression is when it comes down to playing more up tempo passages the player will assume a style most comfortable - mind you not forgetting the heavier gypsy picking style in this case - but still taking a few liberties. :D

    I've actually adjusted how I hold a pick for gypsy jazz because I was by habit grabbing strings with my middle finger during what should have been up strokes. :lol:
  • UltraspontaneUltraspontane ✭✭
    Posts: 47
    Got to see him and his Quintet live last night, and since everyone was flying high after the show, I didn't want to bug him with guitar technique questions.

    I did get a close seat, and got to observe his picking and it looks like he uses both the rest stroke technique and something that looks like alternate picking at higher speeds. It's really hard to tell though. Whatever it is, it sounds great.
  • gitpickergitpicker Beijing/San Francisco✭✭✭✭ Gibson, Favino, Eastman
    Posts: 213
    Oh John is just as much a guitar junkie as the rest of us. He would have been happy to answer technique questions for you. Yes we were all in a great mood because the sound was so amazing at Swallow Hill. He has his own way of picking but he makes it work! Thanks for coming to the show! -doug
    Live life and play music like it's your last day on earth. One day you'll be right- Russel Malone
  • UltraspontaneUltraspontane ✭✭
    Posts: 47
    Hey Doug! Yeah, the show was the best yet. The sound was perfect. And you guys were playing great.

    How are you liking playing with the Quintet? You're sounding good with them.

    All right, you've given me the courage to ask. I'll ask him next time, which should be at the Guitar Town festival at Copper Mountain this August.
  • ShawnShawn Boise, Idaho✭✭✭✭
    Posts: 296
    I like the fact that John comes from a different musical background than a lot of Gypsy Jazz guitarists, which I think helps with his inventiveness and creativity. I have to say that seeing him live I was expecting to see his guitar skills, but his skills on the clarinet completely blew me away...didn't even realize until that moment that he was a multi-instrumentalist.
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