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Joscho Stephan hides his pick in his right hand

spinalityspinality Gardiner, WA, USANew
edited April 2010 in Technique Posts: 31
On Joscho Stephan's performance of Nuages at http://de.youtube.com/watch?v=xV8QvglnJ9U he alternates between fingerpicking and plectrum use. Watch the end of the first bridge, while he is accompanying the fiddle player. He seems to pull his pick up into his palm or between a couple of fingers, play open-handed for a while using several right hand fingers, and then recover the pick and resume picking.

Any idea where the pick is going? I've been experimenting with a few methods, but none seem really promising. Obviously with practice all sorts of physical tricks are possible, but this would have to be very reliable -- dropping the pick is quite embarrassing :(. I have tended to stick my pick in my mouth, or use pick-and-fingers techniques, but neither really lets me do what I want. Thanks for any suggestions. -- Trevor
-- Trevor Hanson, Gardiner WA
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Comments

  • BillyBobBillyBob Graham, WaNew
    Posts: 53
    Actually, Joscho is an alien and he has a retractable appendage that he uses for a pick.
    Just your average Djoe.
  • spinalityspinality Gardiner, WA, USANew
    Posts: 31
    That is precisely the answer I got from the first person I asked. N=2. It must be true. :) Damn. Maybe surgical modification can turn ME into an alien too. And don't get me started on fingernails and fingernail envy.
    -- Trevor Hanson, Gardiner WA
  • BillyBobBillyBob Graham, WaNew
    Posts: 53
    So where is Gardiner, Wa?
    Just your average Djoe.
  • spinalityspinality Gardiner, WA, USANew
    Posts: 31
    Gardiner is a small townlet (~300 people) west of Seattle, on the Olympic Peninsula, on Discovery Bay off the Strait of Juan de Fuca -- about halfway between Port Townsend and Sequim. At the moment I'm looking north out my window at the San Juan Islands and Canada. Sadly, there are not many musicians nearby; it was easier to find a session (let alone a gig) when I lived in Chicago or near New York.
    -- Trevor Hanson, Gardiner WA
  • fraterfrater Prodigy
    Posts: 763
    Probably Joscho stole that trick from Robben Ford: he's been doing that for years!
  • spinalityspinality Gardiner, WA, USANew
    Posts: 31
    Ah, but what is the method? Where does it go?
    -- Trevor Hanson, Gardiner WA
  • B25GibB25Gib Bremerton WA✭✭✭✭ Holo Busato, Dell 'Arte Hommage, Gitane D-500
    Posts: 171
    Trevor -
    I have always uncurled my pick hand fingers a little while pulling the pick down (with my thumb) from the index finger onto the 2nd finger (longest one) as I close up the 2nd finger to catch the pick "flat" between the 1st and 2nd finger joint" as I curl up that finger. You then have all but the 2nd finger to pick with.
    Rocky
  • spinalityspinality Gardiner, WA, USANew
    Posts: 31
    Yes, that is one approach (holding the pick with the middle finger) -- if I am understanding you correctly.

    But it looked to me like Joscho was doing something that allowed all four fingers to remain mobile. He was first doing a kind of rasgueado with his lower fingers, and then sort of Travis/Atkins picking with the others, and then back to Gypsy plectrum. It didn't look like any fingers were out of use. (Hard to tell on YouTube of course.)

    Because I've done a lot of classical playing, I would love to find a way to keep i/m/a usable (ideally the pinky too) and yet be able to switch quickly back to a pick. Mostly I wind up using pick-and-fingers (which makes harmonics difficult) or the old stick-the-pick-in-my-mouth-and-hope-I-don't-swallow-it technique. :P But if there is some slight-of-hand way to train my hand that will give me p/i/m/a plus pinky plus pick, then I want to work on it.
    -- Trevor Hanson, Gardiner WA
  • B25GibB25Gib Bremerton WA✭✭✭✭ Holo Busato, Dell 'Arte Hommage, Gitane D-500
    Posts: 171
    When I wrote my previous post it was when using a thin style yellow Dunlop pick (.096?) which is flexible and easy to "grip" and then now trying that with the Wegen 2.5 or 3.5 Gypsy Jazz pick it is too slippery and not very controllable. it is not a dependable technique using the Wegen on the 2nd finger, I don't think.
    Oh Well. Different equipment requires different adaptations!
    Rocky
  • spinalityspinality Gardiner, WA, USANew
    Posts: 31
    I always use dinky little hard mandolin picks.

    I'm wondering if I could put a little band around one finger (picture an elastic cigar band) and just slide the pick in there. I was hoping somebody would say "Oh yeah, Joscho uses the PickMaster RingFinger PickHolder Deluxe Model B, don't you?" Alas, I am guessing that great dexterity is involved. I still think that a solution should exist, however.

    All my life I've been torn between fingers and picks, always feeling that I'm losing something when I go one way or the other. It's one reason we envy piano players and fiddle players and saxophone players -- for them, the notes are right there, and they can just play what they hear. For us it's a bit more like playing bagpipes or koto or gamelan -- first you have to surmount the mechanical difficulties of the instrument, before you can get to the music. That's true of all instruments of course, and I shouldn't discount the fact that we don't have the intonation challenges of the violin; but sometimes, I feel we are forced by physics to focus too much on chops.
    -- Trevor Hanson, Gardiner WA
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