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

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  • HemertHemert Prodigy
    edited September 2015 Posts: 264
    Today I spend some time at a sinti camp in the south of the Netherlands. We were with three - Paulus Schäfer, Brad Brose and me - jamming a bunch of tunes. It was a really awesome jam with great solos from everyone involved. The key thing I noticed is that everyone played super soft but swinging rhythm. Really, soft rhythm playing is the key to relaxed lead players and confident solos.

    If you're in a situation with (too) loud rhythm players I think it's worth it to say something about it.
    altonAmundLauritzenBucoChiefbigeasyJazzaferriBillDaCostaWilliamsMichaelHorowitz
  • Charles MeadowsCharles Meadows WV✭✭✭ ALD Original, Dupont MD50
    Posts: 432
    Practicing Christiaan's triplet exercise 15 minutes every day has dramatically improved my ability to feel relaxed. I'm only able to do 140 tempo with good clarity. But it has definitely helped. Everyone needs to watch these videos!
    BucoHemertBillDaCostaWilliamsnomadgtrMattHenry
  • edited September 2015 Posts: 3,707
    I sit in a sofa chair, elbon on the arm rest, hold my forearm at a comfortable relaxed angle (about 45 degrees for me) let my wrist and hands flop where they will. Do the wrist roll action without moving thumb and forefinger into pick position. Once you have a nice rhythmic waggle going, kinda like strumming 3-4 strings in a medium tremelo, start moving your fingers into pick holding position.

    If your like me at first they wont even get close before you can feel the tesion slowing the waggle. Just go back to where there is no tension and try, try again. After some work on this I was able to get my fingers into the same place and pressure as holding my pick with no tension anywhere else. I was shocked at how long it took maybe 15 minutes or so just to get to a relaxed position.
    Buco
    The Magic really starts to happen when you can play it with your eyes closed
  • Hemert wrote: »
    Really, soft rhythm playing is the key to relaxed lead players and confident solos.

    If you're in a situation with (too) loud rhythm players I think it's worth it to say something about it.

    Amen to both these statements in a jam.

    As was drilled into me, if you cant hear what the soloist is playing your playing too loud, if your not playing at all, then say something.

    Hemert
    The Magic really starts to happen when you can play it with your eyes closed
  • HemertHemert Prodigy
    edited September 2015 Posts: 264
    Jazzaferri wrote: »
    Hemert wrote: »
    Really, soft rhythm playing is the key to relaxed lead players and confident solos.

    If you're in a situation with (too) loud rhythm players I think it's worth it to say something about it.

    Amen to both these statements in a jam.

    As was drilled into me, if you cant hear what the soloist is playing your playing too loud, if your not playing at all, then say something.
    Yes, this seems like a good rule of thumb and it works in most cases. But there's always that one guy that plays super loud and when you ask him if he can hear the soloist he says something like "yeah man, I can hear everything" and continues playing super loud. So, to that guy you just gotta say "please play a little softer"!
    Jazzaferri
  • woodamandwoodamand Portland, OR✭✭✭ 2015 JWC Favino replica
    Posts: 227
    Jazzaferri wrote: »

    If your like me at first they wont even get close before you can feel the tesion slowing the waggle. Just go back to where there is no tension and try, try again. After some work on this I was able to get my fingers into the same place and pressure as holding my pick with no tension anywhere else. I was shocked at how long it took maybe 15 minutes or so just to get to a relaxed position.

    No kidding! The instant I move my thumb and forefinger towards the grip at all I feel the muscles tense up. This will be a great exercise when I am watching TV. I better explain it to my wife first though or she will think I have gone even farther off the deep end.
    Since I have been trying to learn this style, my arm has been sore, even now while I type. However, it is getting better but it is still amazing to me that I would have arm pain at all, after the thousands of hours I have had playing the guitar.
  • edited September 2015 Posts: 3,707
    Thats probably why ypu are having arm pain. Playing one style for so long, some muscles will be overdeveloped and you are now using them in different ways.

    Lots of stretching exercises and if you can massage therapy. Pain is ypur body tryi g to send you a message.

    @Hemert .....for that odd guy Perhaps we take some advice from the Beatles....bang bang Maxwell's silver hammer came down upon her(his) head..... :)
    nomadgtrHemert
    The Magic really starts to happen when you can play it with your eyes closed
  • Orient-BlueOrient-Blue Manchester Gitane DG-255, Ovation Balladeer
    Posts: 21
    As a normally strict alternate picker, myself, I've been recommended by people to get hold of the 'Gypsy Picking' Book by Michael Horowitz.

    MichaelHorowitzaltonnomadgtr
  • edited September 2015 Posts: 3,707
    @Karl Belshaw

    That is THE written reference for this style.
    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
    As someone who just started down this path, and just bought the book, I would also strongly suggest that you go thru the Q & A on rest strokes that Christiaan posted- it made the whole process make 100% more understandable than the descriptions of the technique in Michael's book. You know, a picture is worth a 1000 words and all that. Christiaan is an excellent teacher.
    BucoHemert
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