rest strokes in GJ

SpartanSpartan New
edited March 2011 in Gypsy Picking Posts: 27
Being new to this type of playing what are the advantages of rest strokes as opposed to free strokes? I know in the classical guitar world it was a fuller tone, so they say.

What are the advantages and the disadvantages? Does anyone play their way with free strokes instead of rests? :?:


  • MichaelHorowitzMichaelHorowitz SeattleAdministrator
    Posts: 6,154

    If you search through the forums you will see this topic has been discussed in great detail. Generally it's tough to get the volume, tone, and phrasing that Gypsy players have using free strokes. Many of the idiomatic patterns and arpeggios wont work unless you've developed the correct right hand technique. There are a few exceptions...Joscho Stephan uses a hybrid technique which mixes rest and free strokes. John Jorgenson does as well. But the pretty much all the Gypsies and the non-Gypsies that study them seriously use the rest stroke technique as the vocabulary of this genre is more compatible with that style of picking.

  • SpartanSpartan New
    Posts: 27
    Thanks Michael, looks like i'll have to start concentrating on working the reststroke then.

    Do they use that technique for super fast single string stuff as well as chordal stuff? you'd think that would slow your single note playing down.
  • MichaelHorowitzMichaelHorowitz SeattleAdministrator
    Posts: 6,154
    Everything you need to know about rest stroke picking is in this book:

    Chordal work (unless it's arpeggiated) uses a strumming technique (see: so you wouldn't be using rest strokes. However, the basic floating hand position is the same.
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