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Question on tremolo

bribasbribas ✭✭✭
edited January 2007 in Gypsy Picking Posts: 5
Are there any other exercises that will help the wrist turn for the fast tremolo? Something with weights, or shaking a can of soup or something? My progress seems to be slow, and often the pick gets hung up on the strings. Any advice, of course, is greatly appreciated.
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Comments

  • MichaelHorowitzMichaelHorowitz SeattleAdministrator
    Posts: 5,893
    I assume you're working with the exercises in Picking book. One thing that helps is to get your metronome going and move through all the rhythmic values doing tremolo:

    Start with eighths.

    Then eighth note triplets.

    Then sixteenths

    And so on.

    Make sure your tremolo is in time with the metronome. I think the biggest problem people have is doing tremolos that have no correlation to the beat.

    Also the motion gets smaller as you get faster. Try putting an accent on beat one.

    Good luck!

    -Michael
  • Craig BumgarnerCraig Bumgarner Drayden, MarylandVirtuoso Bumgarner S/N 001
    Posts: 794
    A more rounded pick like a Wegen Fatone, Trimus or the Button was a big help to me in learning this technique. My Standard Gypsy Jazz (3.5mm) was too sharp and kept getting hung up. Once I got the hang of it with the rounded pick, I was then able to go back to the Standard GJ pick which I prefer for soloing.

    Craig
  • MichaelHorowitzMichaelHorowitz SeattleAdministrator
    Posts: 5,893
    A rounded pick will make it easier....however the standard Wegen Gypsy jazz pick should be more then adequate. On thing that helps is turning the pick inward so it slips over the strings easier. Rhythm players do this as well...makes a nice swoooshy sound.

    'm
  • bribasbribas ✭✭✭
    Posts: 5
    thanks for the quick reply, Michael. Hopefully I can get it down soon.
  • zavzav Geneve, SwissNew
    Posts: 94
    Bribas,
    for me there are 2 things that really develop my tremolo

    - playing ALL exercises from Michael's book - they all work very effectively when you play them all, but not trying ONLY to develop things in which you are currently not very strong. The SYSTEM does work.

    - playing la pompe accompanement. Start with some videos mentioned below by d-nation, imo they are REALLY a good start point. In the begining there is an example of a chord tremolo, which is a very fine wrist exercise. For more - see videos of great players, pay attention for their wrist motion.
  • stublastubla Prodigy Godefroy Maruejouls
    Posts: 386
    zav wrote:
    Bribas,
    for me there are 2 things that really develop my tremolo

    - playing ALL exercises from Michael's book - they all work very effectively when you play them all, but not trying ONLY to develop things in which you are currently not very strong. The SYSTEM does work.

    - playing la pompe accompanement. Start with some videos mentioned below by d-nation, imo they are REALLY a good start point. In the begining there is an example of a chord tremolo, which is a very fine wrist exercise. For more - see videos of great players, pay attention for their wrist motion.


    One thing that Lollo Meier insisted on when he taught me was the GENERAL importance of tremelo to ALL aspects of technique;lead and rhythm....its the BEST workout for the right hand.Keep the wrist 'floppy' and relaxed!!!
    Remember that the action of the wrist is quite small;as Michael said it diminishes further over the duration of the tremelo
    One thing that must be stated is that the forearm DOES come in to use to some extent.
    Many beginners get confused by this emphasis on 'the wrist' and try,unnaturally, to JUST use the wrist!!!....of course thats impossible.
    Some degree of tension is needed in the forearm.

    Of course some of the masters (as ONLY they can)ignore all this.

    Dorado plays from the whole arm usually;Raphael Fays,on the other hand, plays SO much from the completely free floating wrist!.

    Bireli(The Master) of course, has the whole thing ,as the Brazilians say, in "Balancao"( swing & balance).

    Unfortunately these things can't best be described in words.....which is the reason, of course,why they are so special :-)
    Keep 'tremoloing'
    Stu
  • zavzav Geneve, SwissNew
    Posts: 94
    stubla wrote:
    One thing that must be stated is that the forearm DOES come in to use to some extent.
    Many beginners get confused by this emphasis on 'the wrist' and try,unnaturally, to JUST use the wrist!!!....of course thats impossible.

    Thanks stu, you've just answered to what I was thinking about (when I play relax - the forearm always makes some movement, and I wasn't shure that it's correct)! :-)

    So, the situation is like in la pompe again - the forearm helps for overall "smoothing" of the pick motion.
    One thing that Lollo Meier insisted on when he taught me was the GENERAL importance of tremelo to ALL aspects of technique

    Yes, it seems to me that (almost all) gypsyes had learned to play tremolo before all other things ;-) so it's an absolutely necessary basis for all! :-)
  • JackJack western Massachusetts✭✭✭✭
    Posts: 1,911
    stubla wrote:
    Remember that the action of the wrist is quite small;as Michael said it diminishes further over the duration of the tremelo

    Stu

    Just to note: what Michael was saying was that the motion diminishes when the tremelo gets faster, not that it gets smaller the longer you play it.
    Also the motion gets smaller as you get faster.

    Best,
    Jack.
  • trumbologytrumbology San FranciscoNew
    Posts: 124
    One thing that helps is turning the pick inward so it slips over the strings easier. Rhythm players do this as well...makes a nice swoooshy sound.

    'm

    Clarify, if you would, inward. I'm assuming that during normal picking, the broad/flat face of the pick is oriented so that it faces the ceiling and the floor, and that when turned inward, the face of the pick is more oriented towards the headstock and bridge than usual.

    Thus the skinny edge of the pick is gliding over the string tops, rather than the pick face being moved through the strings (obviously only the tip would move through the strings on a tremolo). Is that accurate?

    Neil
  • MichaelHorowitzMichaelHorowitz SeattleAdministrator
    Posts: 5,893
    Yes...that's what I mean. If you do it you'll hear that it sounds very "swishy"...that's THE sound for rhythm!

    'm
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