Rest Stroke "relax" - how? And a few other questions



  • Charles MeadowsCharles Meadows WV✭✭✭ ALD Original, Dupont MD50
    edited September 2015 Posts: 432
    True. I'd be interesting in Christiaan's take on the differences between Stochelo and say, someone like Angelo Debarre, who has a monster right hand.
  • AmundLauritzenAmundLauritzen ✭✭✭✭
    edited September 2015 Posts: 236
    Hemert wrote: »
    Mostly because I believe your ears will develop naturally while seriously practicing your instrument.

    I agree 100% with this particular statement. I have come to this conclusion as I have gotten to know my own capacity for practicing through years of self analysis and adjustment. And by that I mean how much new knowledge and stimulus I can attain in a day before my brain is fried. I can, and usually do, practice a lot after that point, but then I am past the point where I can concentrate enough to make new connections as effectively. That time is often spent on maintaining repertoire.

    The amount of effective practice in a day I spend best on learning solos, because attaining this new information is most challenging for the brain. Then when that stirs I just do more braindead stuff afterwards like jam on tunes.

    If you learn enough solos, the instrument will start to play itself automatically. Lines will just appear on the fretboard. I have learned, and keep learning, all the solos on RA since the beginning. No exceptions. That being said there are few solos until recently that I could play at Stochelos speed. In the beginning it was snail pace, but I learned each and every one. Made sure to get that constant stimulus and maintenance.

    Now I know Stochelos style very well intuitively in many aspects from learning 50 or 60 solos of his, and the number keeps growing every month.
    Of course I will never be able to play like him. But I can do my best to try to absorb the aspects of his playing that made such an impact on me that made me want to dedicate so much time to trying to reproduce these musical ideals in my own playing.

    I did different ear training in the past. When I was studying with him, Jimmy Bruno had me target chord tones and build arpeggios and triads from them over progressions and tunes with different chromatic embellishments from the third all the way up the chord to the 13th. That is what took me from musically naive to being able to hear and recognize jazz language.

    I did the dry ear training in school when I was studying for my music teacher BA, as in someone plays an interval on the piano and I name it, or that person plays a note and I must sing a certain interval. That stuff bored me to tears because there was no practical application on my instrument, the guitar.

    Jimmy Brunos ear training, as well as the ear training I have gotten by learning Stochelos solos has all been practical and fun and I think that is the most important thing to make you keep coming back and being consistent with it. Because consistency and perseverance is what is going to determine if you reach your goals or not.

    There is not one right way or one wrong way, but many right ways and many wrong ways depending on what you want to achieve. Then from there it becomes a matter of self analysis in getting to know yourself and how you learn fast and effective, and calibrating your approach over years to turn you into a practicing machine that just eats musical material and internalizes it. I am not there yet, but I am getting more and more effective in my practice time utilization.

  • For some, disciplined ear training works more quickly.

    For some the " natural" approach will work faster.

    For some a combination will be best.

    If one perserveres all these ways will get you there.
    The Magic really starts to happen when you can play it with your eyes closed
  • dennisdennis Montreal, QuebecModerator
    Posts: 2,161
    i have written huge essays about the difference between stochelo 's and angelo debarre's playing on this forum on similar threads.

    re: light touch, as i've said already in this thread, christiaan's idea of light touch is not necessarily the same as mine, but at the same time we are saying the same thing. I know that he started guitar straight with this style, but for a lot of electric guitar players, light touch means REALLY light touch, and i've seen it so often.

    The idea is to get the sound to be punchy and clear. The colour you get from attacking the strings a certain way is what i'm getting at.

    if we take the following example, for isntance:

    1) electric guitar plugged to an amp, very light attack, but amp cranked so the volume is at a certain level

    2) electric guitar plugged to an amp, a stronger attack and amp set to match the volume of example 1

    So we have the same volume, but one sounds weak, and the other sounds strong and confident.

    That's what I mean by having a strong attack. A lot of electric guitar players are not used to that. However, that doesn't mean that one should play that way all the time, i think dynamics are very important too!

  • Love this thread, been lurking on it for a while, have found a lot of insightful and helpful tips and observations.
    I'm pretty new to guitar - made a beeline for this style - and a couple months ago for the first time I started getting glimpses, a couple or few bars here and there, of a relaxed wrist, and the (for me anyway) accompanying speed and power. Astonishing. Revelatory. Elegant (not my playing, but the phenomenon).
    And then I find ... I'll lose it. Just cold lose the vibe.
    But I'm getting better at retrieving/maintaining it. I believe that's partly because some of the discussion on this thread.
    I'm also thinking it might have helped when I taped up the word "swing."
    Anyway great thread, thanks everyone. As I told my wife, this is the nicest place on the internet.
  • HemertHemert Prodigy
    Posts: 264
    dennis wrote: »
    The idea is to get the sound to be punchy and clear. The colour you get from attacking the strings a certain way is what i'm getting at.
  • edited September 2015 Posts: 3,707
    I certainly agree that one needs to be able to get this sound, but there are others too that IMO one must also be able to get. Sometimes a note that is seduced out of a guitar says more than one that is punched out.

    Not sure what is meant by clear. The selmac slighly buzzy sound is a great sound but not clear in my vocabulary.

    The fact that we can amplify so well now means that dynamics are much more available to guitars in performance than they were in Django's day.
    The Magic really starts to happen when you can play it with your eyes closed
  • Posts: 4,732
    I can vouch that this simple change of relaxed grip took away a lot of what puzzled me in the past when I wondered how come I can play certain things at home and even during band practice but not live.

    As for sound, we all know it when we hear it, so you just need to critically and honestly listen to yourself and let your ear be the judge.
    Every note wants to go somewhere-Kurt Rosenwinkel
  • AmundLauritzenAmundLauritzen ✭✭✭✭
    Posts: 236
    +1 on pick grip. Tension in the grip reprouces itself up the wrist and then up the arm. It all starts in the grip. Loose grip -> loose wrist -> loose forearm etc...

    I find I often have to consciously remind myself to relax my whole body. Not so much the grip and wrist anymore. For two years my playing was very tense though with a firm grip which translated to tension in the wrist and arm. I spent a lot of time sorting that out. But other parts of my body tenses up now, I still have not eliminated that problem entirely. Shoulder and trapezius muscles for instance, which when tense up translates to back tension. I have had some marathon practice sessions where my upper back is just shot from not paying attention to posture and keeping my muscles relaxed at all times.

    You get into it and get carried away, maybe strain yourself a little when going outside your comfort zone and then suddenly you notice much later that you've been tense in some part of your body for a very long time.

    And it can be anywhere in the body really. Legs too. For whatever reason.

  • For over a decade I crossed my legs to play, still do for that matter. But up until a few years ago never did any stretching exercise to compensate. While it may seem like nae such a bad thing having a nice young massage therapist work on one's butt was damn painful. A year and a half of massage and daily stretches later, I kinda back to normal.

    As Amund can show up anywhere. :)
    The Magic really starts to happen when you can play it with your eyes closed
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