DjangoBooks.com

Welcome to our Community!

It looks like you're new here. If you want to get involved, click one of these buttons!

Related Discussions

Who's Online (0)

Today's Birthdays

FranVac shaneb stylist

Find Strings w/ Hand Off Top

Craig BumgarnerCraig Bumgarner Drayden, MarylandVirtuoso Bumgarner S/N 001
edited February 2005 in Gypsy Picking Posts: 794
For me, the hardest part of making the switch from my old electric solid body technique to gypsy picking is locating the strings reliably without my 3rd and 4th fingers planted firmly on the top or my wrist on the bridge to give me a reference. So, when the going gets tough, my hand grabs the top like one grabs a railing when stumbling on stairs. Tone and volume suffer noticibly.

Going from one string to the next isn't so bad as the rest stroke puts the pick in the right place, especially if phrase is working down (toward the ground) the stings, but a jump of 3 or more, especially up (toward the ceiling), is, for me at least, pretty unreliable with a hand free of the top. Is there a concept within "gypsy picking" as to how one keep a reference? Is this just a matter of practice?

Craig
«1

Comments

  • MichaelHorowitzMichaelHorowitz SeattleAdministrator
    Posts: 5,891
    Is there a concept within "gypsy picking" as to how one keep a reference? Is this just a matter of practice?

    Hi Craig,

    There are two ways:

    1) Lightly drag your fingers across the top of the guitar. Django often did this, so does Fapy, Stochelo, and many others. However, you have to make sure you're not planting your fingers because then that deadens the top.

    2) Keep your fingers in a loose fist (nothing touching the top) and graze the tops of your fingers against the strings as you play. Django also did this sometimes, Raphael Fays is the only one I can think of who always plays this way. It's probably ideal but seems to be harder to master.


    In both methods you'll find that the side of your thumb and part of your index finger often make contact with the strings at times. I think this helps too.

    Other then that it's just practice. I'd suggest making up a few exercises which concentrate on different string skipping combinations.

    Good luck!

    'm
  • Funny, I never planted my fingers on the guitar body. The only part of my hand the touched the guitar was the side on the bridge.

    Michael: I seem to have naturally addopted the 2nd of those two postions. You think it's worth me forcing myself to adopt the other?
  • MichaelHorowitzMichaelHorowitz SeattleAdministrator
    Posts: 5,891
    If you're playing well with your fingers curled into a fist then I'd stick with that. It's ultimately more flexible, but plenty of guys drag their fingers including Stochelo, Fapy, and Django.

    But if you're touching the bridge with your hand then you're doing it wrong. There should be absolutely no contact with the bridge!

    Good luck!

    'm
  • If you're playing well with your fingers curled into a fist then I'd stick with that. It's ultimately more flexible, but plenty of guys drag their fingers including Stochelo, Fapy, and Django.

    But if you're touching the bridge with your hand then you're doing it wrong. There should be absolutely no contact with the bridge!

    Good luck!

    'm

    Sorry, I meant it was the only part of my hand I used to rest on the guitar prior to me delving into this style :D
  • stublastubla Prodigy Godefroy Maruejouls
    Posts: 386
    [quote="Michael Horowitz
    2) Keep your fingers in a loose fist (nothing touching the top) and graze the tops of your fingers against the strings as you play. Django also did this sometimes, Raphael Fays is the only one I can think of who always plays this way. It's probably ideal but seems to be harder to master.

    'm[/quote]

    Hi Michael
    I've been working on the 'Fays' technique too--seemingly his father taught him to hold a wine cork in his curled 'loose fist' right hand...f.....ing difficult!
    Bireli and Matcho amongst others(after Django) do the same thing with a cigarette.....lethal fun :-)
    What i've noticed though is that after awhile(like anything) it becomes easier and EVEN when you let the right hand fingers dangle there seems to be extra strenghth--so much of the right hand technique is changing habits--it takes time and patience but Boy! ....is it satisfying!
    Stu
  • MichaelHorowitzMichaelHorowitz SeattleAdministrator
    Posts: 5,891
    Hi Stu,

    One thing it's nice for is when you're quickly switching back and forth between lead and rhythm. Or when you're playing bass and chord style. I usually do all the bass runs with the Fays technique. Leaves the hand free to strum the strings when need be.

    'm
  • aa New York City✭✭✭✭
    Posts: 800
    yo michael,
    i've been doing the fays thing. i find that alternate picking strokes (for tremolo) feels more like turning a key in a lock (using a twist of the forearm) than putting out a match. it feels like there is more control. but i wonder if the control is really an illusion, or a misleading path for impatient beginners.
    -a
    Www.alexsimonmusic.com
    Learn how to play Gypsy guitar:
    http://alexsimonmusic.com/learn-gypsy-jazz-guitar/
  • MichaelHorowitzMichaelHorowitz SeattleAdministrator
    Posts: 5,891
    a wrote:
    i find that alternate picking strokes (for tremolo) feels more like turning a key in a lock (using a twist of the forearm) than putting out a match.
    -a

    Sounds like not enough wrist motion....if I understand what you're describing, twisting the forearm would be a very difficult way to generate a tremolo. You should really focus on the wrist motion....that's they key.

    'm
  • ChadChad Bellingham, WashingtonNew
    Posts: 45
    stubla wrote:
    it becomes easier and EVEN when you let the right hand fingers dangle there seems to be extra strenghth--so much of the right hand technique is changing habits--it takes time and patience but Boy! ....is it satisfying!
    Stu

    It does become easier. The power and tone that come from the "Gypsy Picking" style of playing is immense. I was at a jam at some folks house last weekend, and when I would solo, even though I was still hitting many wrong notes, the guitar sang with such a voice. A couple of the other players asked about my Gitane. They said it sounded like it was amplified. It is a fairly loud guitar, but I demonstrated that even with their guitars, the picking technique is the thing that makes it really happen. I may still be playing wrong notes, but I am playing them with more authority by gum!
    Chad
    Wholly Man
  • Craig BumgarnerCraig Bumgarner Drayden, MarylandVirtuoso Bumgarner S/N 001
    Posts: 794
    Stu Wrote:
    seemingly his father taught him to hold a wine cork in his curled 'loose fist' right hand

    By gawd it works! Definitely keeps the fingers off the top and the wrist off the bridge. Tone is awesome, BTW! Thanks Stu!

    Craig
Sign In or Register to comment.
Home  |  Forum  |  Blog  |  Contact  |  206-528-9873
The Premier Gypsy Jazz Marketplace
DjangoBooks.com
USD CAD GBP EUR AUD
USD CAD GBP EUR AUD
Banner Adverts
Sell Your Guitar
© 2020 DjangoBooks.com, all rights reserved worldwide.
Software: Kryptronic eCommerce, Copyright 1999-2020 Kryptronic, Inc. Exec Time: 0.043337 Seconds Memory Usage: 3.450798 Megabytes
Kryptronic