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A year on

edited May 2011 in Gypsy Picking Posts: 3,707
ABout a year ago I changed from alternate to rest stroke picking and I promised to update after a year.

So a year later minimum 2 hrs a day most days some way more I am happy to report that what Michael said is true. It ain't easy but it comes pretty naturally now and I can pick most things at the same pace as I used to.

The biggest change I note is my phrasing. I much prefer how I say stuff now. Some listeners have been kind enough to say they notice a difference to the good. I had a pretty difficult time fitting it in in Jazz Combo class as we were doing modern type jazz stuff and the rhythm is different but in the end I made it work last semester.

This semester as our combo took on an electric guitar player I am playing soprano sax for lead and on my own working on about half rest stroke lines and the other half gypsy rhythm.

For any who are wavering over converting I highly recommend it. A lot of effort but so rewarding for this style of music :wink:
The Magic really starts to happen when you can play it with your eyes closed
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Comments

  • redbluesredblues ✭✭
    Posts: 456
    Very encouraging post my friend, I admire your dedication,

    redblues
  • SpartanSpartan New
    Posts: 27
    Good stuff! I've just started trying to learn this style and come from a strict alternate picking background. I think for most things alternate picking is the way to go, it's the most natural efficient way of picking.

    However this might not be the case for Gypsy jazz. I don't know what the situation is as regards picking in GJ, do they all use rest stroke picking? If it's the easiest way to get the sound and phrasing right then rest strokes sound like the way to go alright in that style, it's not as adaptable to other forms of music though and might ultimately limit the players style.

    As far as people listening being able to tell the difference, i find that hard to believe, unless they're actually guitar players, though i may be wrong, it's usually only players that pick up on these small nuances of sound.

    As far as someone using the rest stroke method all the time in place of alternate picking, i don't think that's a good idea as alternate picking has been shown time and time again to be the most versatile form of picking and the most efficient for the vast majority of styles.
  • dennisdennis Montreal, QuebecModerator
    Posts: 2,161
    yes it's pretty much only guitarists who will notice these things hahahah but i can defintiely tell when someone is gypsy picking most of the time...

    in fact, i was able to hear when bireli swtiched between gypsy style and alternate picking on the album Move
  • SpartanSpartan New
    Posts: 27
    dennis wrote:
    yes it's pretty much only guitarists who will notice these things hahahah but i can defintiely tell when someone is gypsy picking most of the time...

    in fact, i was able to hear when bireli swtiched between gypsy style and alternate picking on the album Move
    Hi Dennis, definitely guitarists will be able to tell the difference.

    I'm just starting playing this type of stuff after playing guitar for 30 years so it's interesting learning a new approach.

    As far as the different techniques, i sort of think it's better to be good at them all if possible that way you can do anything.

    I've just ordered Michael's "Gypsy Picking" book so am looking forward to working on the patterns in there and hoping that eventually i can get to a standard where i can at least entertain myself! :D
  • LinkLink New
    Posts: 12
    Hello to all, first post but been lurking and absorbing for some time. Thanks to all for the information passed around here.

    I've been playing guitar for many years, no great shakes but passable on a good day, and have been in love with the style since the early 90's after watching the Django Legacy documentary and a little later being knocked out by RT at the North Sea Jazz Fest when released. Life took over at a leter point but it has always been my real passion musically.

    I've 'dabbled' over the years and winged things in a few setups but late last year decided to get well and truly stuck in. The information available now is on a different planet to a few decades back and am having a ball! I'm thiiiiiiiis close to nailing a decently phrased Mont St Genevieve at tempo without tripping up!

    Anyway, I'm around mid-way between where Spartan and Jazaferri are at a guess with regard the fabled 'gypsy technique' and it seems to me, at this point, that although I can get away with alternate picking many phrases there are some where, to my ear at least, which just don't swing right unless you nail them in time honoured fashion. A run down in the aforementioned MSG springs to mind for example. So I am persevering as much for the challenge as to phrase things that just feel 'right' to me and am starting to find that I can switch back to alternate picking without any real pain anyway. I really do think that it is worth persevering with, it adds to the arsenal of tricks available and isn't a replacement.

    Apologies for being a little long winded but I'll use the excuse of it being my first entry if I may?

    Link
  • GJFANGJFAN New
    Posts: 20
    Been a avid alternate picker for years and consider myself pretty good at it but I decided to try the gypsy style picking a few months ago. I use Michael Horowitz's book on gypsy picking and a couple of tunes from the Rosenberg Academy that have the picking written in the way Stochelo does it as my practise material. I have certainly hit a wall from time to time as far as speed goes but it's a lot of fun along with the frustration and most days I can get the metronome up a notch or two. It's going to be a long term project but I will stick it out. Hopefully one day the gypsy picking will be as automatic as the alternate picking.
  • SpartanSpartan New
    Posts: 27
    GJfan, yeah i'm the same, i've spent my whole guitar playing life alternate picking and it probably is the most versatile style for most things, but definitely not for GJ, reading what most of the seasoned guys on here say, so that's why i ordered Michael's GJ book. I don't think it would sound right doing GJ with alternate picking, reading between the lines all the accenting and stuff like that wouldn't sound right.

    So i'm just gonna take it right back to basics and start really slowly. At the end of the day it's a hobby for me, i don't play as a career or anything, so as long as i can have fun with it and get up to a decent level then that's what i'm looking for. :)
  • redbluesredblues ✭✭
    Posts: 456
    so as long as i can have fun with it and get up to a decent level then that's what i'm looking for

    words to live by, namely "fun"
  • GJFANGJFAN New
    Posts: 20
    Trying to learn gypsy picking is the most fun I have had on the guitar in a few years. It's really quite humbling but at the same time amusing trying to play a downstroke when your brain is screaming upstroke. I get a few laughs out of it every time I practise. Fun is certainly the right word.
  • SpartanSpartan New
    Posts: 27
    That's it! fun is where it's all at. That feeling when you learn a song or a technique, or just improve a bit, is worth all the effort.

    I'm never gonna be a famous guitarist or anything like that, i don't want to be, just to get myself up to that decent level where i can sit down with the guitar, have fun, entertain myself and say something good with it! :D
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