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

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  • HemertHemert Prodigy
    edited September 2015 Posts: 264
    One good example is Stochelo Rosenbergs technique for ascending diminished arpeggios using all downstrokes, but not rest strokes! The down strokes are obviously very light, but Stochelo has spent decades calibrating this movement so that it's probably as natural to him as breathing is to us. We don't breathe manually, and neither does he have to think about those dim arpeggios, they just happen.
    Ain't that the truth! Stochelo (and Mozes/Paulus/Zonzo) can play consecutive down strokes so unbelievably fast you start to think this might be THE way to play fast and clean. You really need to see this up close and in person to fully understand this.

    I'm always blown away by those guys when we're jamming or gigging, even after hundreds of concerts!

    Charles Meadows
  • ChiefbigeasyChiefbigeasy New Orleans, LA✭✭✭ Dupont MDC 50; The Loar LH6, AJL Silent Guitar
    Posts: 335
    I'm a big fan of Stochelo as well, and have spent a lot of time trying to get that nice sweet spot of relaxed muscles and light but confident picking technique. I make a conscious effort to concentrate on relaxing muscles from my neck, shoulder, elbow, and forearm, especially when I catch myself tensing up on a difficult run of notes.

    Funny you guys should bring up the multiple down strokes for the ascending diminished run. I have found myself double down stroking on single strings in order to actually speed up an ascending diminished run in the manner that I observed Stochelo do it. I'll throw in a double down stroke on the run in the beginning, middle, or end, depending on where I can make it happen. If the run is short enough, I might try to downstroke the whole thing. I'm going to think more about that now that you guys have brought it up.

    Finally, I'm going to mention this product one more time because it's helped me so much. I use Monster Grip small silicone circular grip circle pads on all my picks now. They're about a half inch in diameter, extremely thin, stick easily to just about any pick, and provide an unbelievable amount of confident grip on a pick. I don't know if it's because I seem to have particularly worn down and thus slippery fingers, but these things have been a godsend. You can check them out on Amazon; they sell for about 10 bucks for a packet of 16. Because I can hold the pick so much more lightly now without fear of dropping it, I find that my entire arm from the neck to the fingers is much more relaxed. And, by the way, they do not change the tone characteristics of the pick and they do not leave any residue on your fingers or the guitar.
    Buco
  • woodamandwoodamand Portland, OR✭✭✭ 2015 JWC Favino replica
    Posts: 227
    MattHenry wrote: »
    Another thing to note in the Q&A video from Christiaan above: it's a good idea to learn to "skim" the top with the fingernails of your pinky and ring fingers. Often players from other backgrounds end up "posting" with straight fingers and their fingertips on the top to measure the distance to the strings more easily or whatever. Posting makes gypsy picking all but impossible; your only two options are to "float" with no fingers on the top or to skim. For me, skimming offers more control and than floating. I used to be a floater but on higher energy tunes or louder stuff my motion would get bigger and my technique would suffer. Christiaan's wrist and picking technique is just what I'd teach and what I try to do myself.

    Here's my favorite Romane clip (he's a floater):



    And here's Adrien and Gonzalo (both skimmers):



    Almost none of the younger cats use those fat gypsy picks btw. They all use 2mm or 1.5mm Dunlops held sideways. I switched to the sideways Dunlop and it's good living after an admittedly awkward transition period.

    And here today I bought another expensive thick pick! But I am liking the sound they give to my archtop. I won't really know what I will end up with until I get a GJ guitar.
    So much info to absorb! But it is all good, much much more interesting than the stuff I do to make money.
    Had my frst GJ class last night, and I already know everyone has a different approach, but lots of fun, lots of sring busters.
  • edited September 2015 Posts: 3,707
    If my memory is not playing tricks on my from school days.......rhe kinetic energy of a body in motion varies as the square of the speed.

    So if one needs to impart x amount of energy toa string to get the volume desired........playing with a fast relaxed stroke (for example twice as fast ) and the string is moved the same distance around the end of the pick the fast stroke will impart 4 times the energy into the steing and the attack will be faster and crisper.

    Lots of different iterations but hopefully the concept is clear.
    Buco
    The Magic really starts to happen when you can play it with your eyes closed
  • woodamandwoodamand Portland, OR✭✭✭ 2015 JWC Favino replica
    Posts: 227
    Christiaan
    Now that I have had a chance to look at the whole video - its just fantastic, there are so many more things that are clear to me that didn't make sense. I am going to be spending a lot of time absorbing the lessons you have on there. Thank you so much for sharing this, I really appreciate it!
    Buco
  • HemertHemert Prodigy
    edited September 2015 Posts: 264
    @woodamand
    Thanks! I'm planning to do about 8 of those Q&A's on guitar (there are now 4). And then do a couple on gypsy jazz violin. My aim is to be as complete, straight forward and easy to understand as possible. Just the facts (as I see them of course) and the fastest ways to get results. It's not THAT hard to learn, it just takes a lot of practice and the right approach. I have about 4300 hours of practice on guitar until now, the goal is 8000 (which I should reach in 3 or 4 years) after which I will start practicing a lot less.

    I hope I can find the time to make the rest of the videos (kind of busy now).
    Jim Kaznosky
  • woodamandwoodamand Portland, OR✭✭✭ 2015 JWC Favino replica
    Posts: 227
    One thing (of many!) that is helpful for me in the video is how you explain and show the right hand position where you anchor, so to speak, your hand on the body of the guitar, as opposed to floating. For eons now I have been using my pinky when playing leads to give me some traction on the guitar. I was trying to float my hand for picking but it seems so clumsy to me, now I know that I don't have to lose touch with the top.
    It will take me some time to work thru even this one Q & A - but the amount of time and frustration I save, I think, will be immense.
  • edited September 2015 Posts: 4,712
    Jazzaferri wrote: »
    If my memory is not playing tricks on my from school days.......rhe kinetic energy of a body in motion varies as the square of the speed.

    So if one needs to impart x amount of energy toa string to get the volume desired........playing with a fast relaxed stroke (for example twice as fast ) and the string is moved the same distance around the end of the pick the fast stroke will impart 4 times the energy into the steing and the attack will be faster and crisper.

    Lots of different iterations but hopefully the concept is clear.

    You know I really think this is worth exploring further.
    I have always noticed how Stochelo has that staccato picking not only in his semi rest stroke, I forgot how it was referred to, but you can hear it in his sound a lot. Now I'm thinking this is something I should practice, with his sound in mind as a model and your physics class as something I can visualize.

    But also something I noticed a few days ago, I picked up my electric after a long time and I felt my wrist being relaxed more than on a GJ guitar and I could get a glimpse of being able to have this fast recovery after consecutive down strokes without tensing up my wrist.
    I wonered why is that, is it the function of lesser string tension?
    Although they're 12s I can tell that it takes less energy to plow through the string, as if it has more give sort of.
    Every note wants to go somewhere-Kurt Rosenwinkel
  • If it has flat wounds there is less friction.

    Relaxed = fast. Try an experiment

    Bend your right arm at the elbow to about 90 degrees and lest your wrist hang down completely loosely. Now roll shake your arm so tour wrist moves side to side kinda like picking but keep fingers and everything else REALLY relaxed and loose.

    Once its flopping around really loosly keep the wrist going and start moving thumb and forefinger into pick holding position. If you make it to having them just touch without the tension slowing you down you are doing well. Start to squeeze as if holding a pick a little tighter. Note how quickly your wrist starts to tighten up and slow.
    Buco
    The Magic really starts to happen when you can play it with your eyes closed
  • Posts: 4,712
    Yeah I noticed that before but haven't been keeping awareness of it all the time.

    Now the fact it's easier on the electric makes sense. On the higher string tension guitar there is more string to pick resistance, so during faster passages and because of this resistance it starts to feel you need a better grip on the pick otherwise it'll fly out of your fingers so you squeeze and tense up your muscles and lose the recovery time.
    Less string tension on the electric, less string to pick resistance, less feeling you'll lose the pick, less muscle tension=happy playing.

    You know @Chiefbigeasy I'll give those pick grips a shot, can't hurt.
    Every note wants to go somewhere-Kurt Rosenwinkel
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