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Big City, Dunlop Gator; pick point, rounded edge?

PassacagliaPassacaglia Madison, WI✭✭✭✭
edited November 2012 in Gypsy Rhythm Posts: 1,414
Hi all,

I am fairly comfortable with using the Dunlop gator 2.0, rounded edge, for playing rhythm. I'm less comfortable with switching from the rounded edge to the point of the pick, for playing lead. Additionally, though I know it's rigid, the Dunlop for some reason feels weak when doing lead, particularly on tremolo or other picking patterns using relatively faster upstrokes.

I'm also quite taken by Stochelo's techniques, as displayed on Denis's In the Style of DVD.

At least when these were done, Stochelo seems to prefer using the Big City point, for both rhythm and lead - just bringing the point back in more so that only a nub is used for rhythm.

I'm trying to do this, use the Big City, nub of the point, for rhythm playing. It feels very strange, a bit harsh, and difficult to not dig into the strings, particularly when playing an upstroke style pompe. On the other hand, I can see Stochelo's totally loose wrist and light attack, and a bouncy, "douce" swing when playing the rhythm sections of this DVD.

I know that at least Denis and Adrian H. use the rounded edge, not sure if they do this on lead as well; I know Hono talks of using the side of the pick, which is obviously very smooth.

Others play around with this? What's been your experience?
-Paul

pas encore, j'erre toujours.
«13

Comments

  • The point of my blue chip is close to the big city. I use the point to play both as I switch too often and my hands are too old to try switching midstroke.

    It has taken me nearly a year about 10 min a day (most practice time atm is sax) to get a nice even smooth dryish rhythm attack.
    The Magic really starts to happen when you can play it with your eyes closed
  • PassacagliaPassacaglia Madison, WI✭✭✭✭
    Posts: 1,414
    Thanks, Jay. Partly, because I see and hear Stochelo do it, partly because I'm not too fond of the Dunlop on lead, so I hope what I've learned over the last few weeks isn't obliterated in trying a new kind of pick attack.
    -Paul

    pas encore, j'erre toujours.
  • sjlsjl ✭✭
    Posts: 31
    I am not an example, because I am pretty much a rookie guitarist but I play lead with the round edge of the gator without problems.
  • If you like the sound you get with the rounded edge then you are good.

    The downside is if you play that way for several years and then decide to change as the feel is sooo different it will take you a long time to change wha you have implanted in "muscle memory"
    The Magic really starts to happen when you can play it with your eyes closed
  • PassacagliaPassacaglia Madison, WI✭✭✭✭
    Posts: 1,414
    Jazzaferri wrote:
    If you like the sound you get with the rounded edge then you are good.

    The downside is if you play that way for several years and then decide to change as the feel is sooo different it will take you a long time to change wha you have implanted in "muscle memory"

    Copy that. Big believer in whatever works. The difficulty, I think, is that as a tyro, as I am, I'm not certain what "works" because I'm at the stage of seeking technical mastery; freedom, I think, comes later. I'm reminded of early Stochelo, from some article. Emulated Django, but if you asked him to transpose all his learned licks to other chords, forget it. (And no, I did not just compare myself to early Stochelo...! :D ).

    Speaking on the point, one thing I really appreciate in the "Rosenberg" rhythm sound is the lightness, coupled with power and swing, even at very low tempo and volume. This is difficult to describe, but one thing that seems to marry well with my loose joints is the "swooshing drag" of the upstroke I see watching these guys, coupled with a definitive downstroke of beats 1, 3 that goes to the lower strings only; and the good, but not overly high (no "flick the match out on the upper bout"), smack of beats 2 and 4 that covers everything.

    I distinguish this from what I see and hear in Hono, who, it seems to me, uses more muscle (quick twitch!) in his beats 1, 3, to rotate the wrist. It's a different, more forward sound, to me, horrible descriptor, but more oom-pa? Descriptors are tough, but it's something I'm getting.
    -Paul

    pas encore, j'erre toujours.
  • Way cool Paul. I see you developing your own concept of rhythm. Yes, learning from others, but YOUR ideas on it.

    Take the road that sems more difficult now, learn it right the way you really want it now, its slower at he start, but way faster in the long run.
    The Magic really starts to happen when you can play it with your eyes closed
  • PassacagliaPassacaglia Madison, WI✭✭✭✭
    Posts: 1,414
    Jazzaferri wrote:
    Way cool Paul. I see you developing your own concept of rhythm. Yes, learning from others, but YOUR ideas on it.

    Take the road that sems more difficult now, learn it right the way you really want it now, its slower at he start, but way faster in the long run.

    You are a fantastic inspiration, Jay. Thanks for your continuing gifts.
    -Paul

    pas encore, j'erre toujours.
  • BonesBones Moderator
    Posts: 3,111
    Hey Paul,

    I'm used to playing with a Wegen Gypsy Jazz pick but I just got a pack of Gator 2.0 and I'm finding that I like using the rounded edge (with the pointed end pointing toward my palm) for both rhythm and lead I think just because it's not as harsh of a sound and feels closer to what I am used to with the Wegen. I imagine if I used the pointy end for a while though I would just get used to that as well so I guess it just comes down to personal preference.
  • PassacagliaPassacaglia Madison, WI✭✭✭✭
    Posts: 1,414
    Bones wrote:
    Hey Paul,

    I'm used to playing with a Wegen Gypsy Jazz pick but I just got a pack of Gator 2.0 and I'm finding that I like using the rounded edge (with the pointed end pointing toward my palm) for both rhythm and lead I think just because it's not as harsh of a sound and feels closer to what I am used to with the Wegen. I imagine if I used the pointy end for a while though I would just get used to that as well so I guess it just comes down to personal preference.

    I grew really accustomed to that round edge of the Dunlop. When I used the Dunlop point, it just felt kind of weird, flimsy, in my hand, though I know it's very rigid. Something that has developed, using the Big City point (per Stochelo), is a feeling in my hand, the importance of a flat approach to the strings - if I am not flat, much more than when using a round edge, I can hear the sound go from mild (timid, absent) to harsh and mild again, as I dig in and describe an arc. Whether I stay with this Big City thing or not, that's been a pretty valuable find, for me, at least.

    Totally agree with you - it all comes down to personal preference. One thing that always intrigues me, though, is that "personal preference" seems to be a moving target - partly, as technical mastery is itself a moving target. What I mean to say, is that I'm never entirely sure my wanting to move on to something new is because of the (you name it)'s intrinsic nature, my failure to play properly, or my evolution, improvement, on something.

    At the end of the day, I agree with what Michael Bauer said - it's not the gear, it's the player; and ears will never let you down, if you're really listening (I think Michael is the one who said the latter - sorry, if I missed who it was who said this). I try to keep these two things in mind.
    -Paul

    pas encore, j'erre toujours.
  • One of the basic concepts of following the route of someone who plays the style yoy want to play, is to carefully learn the technique so one doesnt end up a few years down the road saying oh sh** ...now I get why he was saying to do it this way as one realizes one now has to spend a long time unlearning something to relearn it properly

    Been there ...done that .... Got the scars to prove it. For me it was rest stroke picking. If I had started off correctly years and years ago I wouldnt have spent the last few years relearning to pick using rest strokes :oops: oh well a :lol: on me.
    The Magic really starts to happen when you can play it with your eyes closed
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