Gypsy Picking VS Economy Picking



  • MichaelHorowitzMichaelHorowitz SeattleAdministrator
    Posts: 6,154
    ghodaddyyo wrote:
    Now for those one finger chromatic glissando runs... They're killing me! They are not smooth at all, and I can often hear my pick hit right as my finger is directly on the fret wire. If I slow down, it sounds to staccato (I hope that's the right term) cause I'm making brief pauses at every fret instead of a synchronized, smooth glide up the neck. Also, I'm not sure about thumb pressure behind the neck when using this technique. I'm experimenting with no pressure to slight, to firm...

    The thing is that the glissando chromatic runs are never slow. So if you're practicing them slow they will always sound weird. If the song is at a slow tempo, then play the run as 16th notes or as 8th note triplets. Straight 8ths will sound weird at slower tempos.

    Good luck!

  • YannYann Luxembourg (Old Europe)New
    Posts: 47
    Michael Bauer,
    Playing that one upstroke on an offbeat still allows the rest stroke where the accent is needed, and in my view can actually enhance phrasing, since it gives me a chance to set up that next accented note. I started practising this and I defy anyone to tell which note is the upstroke. In a fast descending arpeggio, that one upstroke is imperceptible, yet it allows the hand to relax just long enough to avoid stumbling and losing the feel due to too many consecutive downstrokes. I thought it was a nifty solution to the problem.

    I suppose that if the overall rendition of this arpeggio picking style is nice to your ear, that's what matters most in the end. Yet, working the traditional way for arpeggios, even with several downstrokes in a row, has many positive side-effects: by increasing the strength and nervosity of your right wrist for arpeggios, you increase it for everything else and your whole playing is affected. This is the reason why when I switched to traditional Gypsy swing, I decided to respect those constraints (well at first they're mostly seen as constraints). I'm now starting to feel better with this technique though I still have a long way to go...

    The other thing. In your post you mention the stumbling that happens when you play arpeggios. That may indicate that you want to play too fast too early. The best way to practise in my opinion is to play them without stumbling as fast as you can with a metronome, and ideally every day. You'll quickly notice progress.

    My own Manouche guitar page in the works: ... toc-en.htm
  • Michael BauerMichael Bauer Chicago, ILProdigy Selmers, Busatos and more…oh my!
    Posts: 1,002

    I agree and am trying to get there, but there are times we have to play a song, not just practice, and while I keep working daily on always playing a downstoke when switching strings, if I have to play a song for someone, I'd rather use one upstroke in a well-chosen spot rather than have the whole thing fall apart in front of whoever's listening. My goal is still the same as yours: all downstrokes. But until I get there, I have found Kruno's suggestion a great way to get through a difficult spot or two without looking like a klutz to whomever is listening.

    I've never been a guitar player, but I've played one on stage.
  • dnasurferdnasurfer New ZealandNew
    Posts: 3
    sounds like im on the same path as you
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