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BluesBop HarryBluesBop Harry Mexico city, MexicoVirtuoso
edited August 2005 in Gypsy Picking Posts: 1,378
Hi Michael! How are you?
I been using the GP book for abouth a month now, I´m making good progress with the motions but I´m confused about a few things, hope you can help.
-What kind of angle should the front of the pick (The "ridges" on a wegen) have in relation to the top of the guitar?
In the book on pg. 18 it looks like the pick is sort of going into the guitar and I´m playing like that, but sometimes when playing on the high E string the pick "clacks" against the top. Should I just miss the top by a hair? completely? stop the pick before it hits? has this ever happened to you? I know I asked about this before but I still don´t get it, sorry.

-Still not sure which part of my arm should rest on the edge guitar, the forearm? inside (back) of elbow? side of elbow?

-Also on the picture on pg. 17 it looks like you are preparing a downstroke on the A string by holding your pick over the E string, but It reads that it should be held at the distance of two strings, I´m confused am I missing something.
Thanks for any help and good luck!
-Harry
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Comments

  • MichaelHorowitzMichaelHorowitz SeattleAdministrator
    Posts: 5,893
    Hi Harry,


    -What kind of angle should the front of the pick (The "ridges" on a wegen) have in relation to the top of the guitar?
    In the book on pg. 18 it looks like the pick is sort of going into the guitar and I´m playing like that, but sometimes when playing on the high E string the pick "clacks" against the top. Should I just miss the top by a hair? completely? stop the pick before it hits? has this ever happened to you? I know I asked about this before but I still don´t get it, sorry.

    Yes...you go into the guitar. About a 45 degree angle of attack. Some folks have trouble with the pick hitting the top. I let my fingers gently graze the top while I play...when I'm picking on the high E I thing my fingers act like a shock absorber which prevents the pick from going too far and hitting the top.



    -Still not sure which part of my arm should rest on the edge guitar, the forearm? inside (back) of elbow? side of elbow?

    Depends on your physiology and the size of your guitar. The important thing is the relationship of your hand to the strings. Any adjustments you have to make at the forarm-guitar contact point should be done to improve the hand to string relationship. In general, it's usually right on the elbow. But it can go either way if you need toimprove the position of your hand.




    -Also on the picture on pg. 17 it looks like you are preparing a downstroke on the A string by holding your pick over the E string, but It reads that it should be held at the distance of two strings, I´m confused am I missing something.

    I think it's just the angle of the photo. Anyway, the two string preparation rule is just to help you get started. Depending on the situation, the preparation can smaller or larger then that.

    Good luck!

    'm
  • BluesBop HarryBluesBop Harry Mexico city, MexicoVirtuoso
    Posts: 1,378
    Thank you Michael!
    I was trying the free hand "Raphael Fays" style, that´s probably why I´m hitting the top. I´ll start working on the fingers brushing the top.
    Cheers!
    -Harry
  • BluesBop HarryBluesBop Harry Mexico city, MexicoVirtuoso
    Posts: 1,378
    Michael wrote: I let my fingers gently graze the top while I play...when I'm picking on the high E I thing my fingers act like a shock absorber which prevents the pick from going too far and hitting the top.
    So when playing downstrokes on the high E, your fingers must press at least a little on the top right? Right now my little or sometimes ring finger are stoping with the bridge and I´m no longer hitting the top, plus my angle in relation to the strings has improved ( little finger is aligned with the bridge), Is this OK? I´m worried that I may be sucking volume and tone by making contact with the bridge or top.
    Also I´m planing on recording a video of my right hand for you to check out I´ll just have to get a camera but I havent figured out how to post it, Do you know how?
    Man I´m embarassed of asking so many questions but there´s no one here in Mexico playing like this, my only aids are you, the mirror and videos.
    I really appreciate all your help, you been very kind.
    Thank you.
    -Harry
  • MichaelHorowitzMichaelHorowitz SeattleAdministrator
    Posts: 5,893
    So when playing downstrokes on the high E, your fingers must press at least a little on the top right?

    Very gently...just brushing really. If you push you'll deaden the top. However, you should be able to do it with your hand off the guitar as well. But most guys play with their fingers brushing the top and that shock absorber effect seems to be pretty common.
    Right now my little or sometimes ring finger are stoping with the bridge and I´m no longer hitting the top, plus my angle in relation to the strings has improved ( little finger is aligned with the bridge), Is this OK? I´m worried that I may be sucking volume and tone by making contact with the bridge or top.

    I'd have to see it....not sure.
    Also I´m planing on recording a video of my right hand for you to check out I´ll just have to get a camera but I havent figured out how to post it, Do you know how?

    You'd have to upload to a server and then give people a link. I think there are free sites that will give you space. If you need help, I can put it up on DjangoBooks.
    Man I´m embarassed of asking so many questions but there´s no one here in Mexico playing like this, my only aids are you, the mirror and videos.
    I really appreciate all your help, you been very kind.
    Thank you.
    -Harry

    No Problem..nice to know there is some Gypsy jazz South of the Border!

    'm
  • BluesBop HarryBluesBop Harry Mexico city, MexicoVirtuoso
    Posts: 1,378
    Hi Michael!
    Michael wrote:
    Very gently...just brushing really. If you push you'll deaden the top. However, you should be able to do it with your hand off the guitar as well. But most guys play with their fingers brushing the top and that shock absorber effect seems to be pretty common.
    So if your hand is off the guitar and the pick is going towards the top, how do you prevent it from hitting it? I wonder how Raphaël Fäys does it. And if the fingers don´t press at least a bit, how do they absorbe the energy and stop the hand? Could the so called "bounce" technique help? Like hitting the string and then going up again to prepare the next stroke, instead of letting it follow through completely and landing on the top.

    Another thing could be this: The movement of the wrist describes an arc, right? If the wrist is raised enough, the pick could attack the string at an angle, follow through and miss the top, then follow through going up on the opposite side of the arc. If you think of a clock going counterclockwise, you prepare the stroke about 8, hit the string between 7 and 6 and the movement ends about 5 or 4. So with this in mind, if at the 6 point you don´t hit the top you can attack with a good angle and never hit it. Just a thought, but could this be it?
    Michael wrote:
    You'd have to upload to a server and then give people a link. I think there are free sites that will give you space. If you need help, I can put it up on DjangoBooks.
    Thanx, do you know any of this free sites? Also, have you ever considered giving live lessons on the internet :idea: , it would be fantastic! (Kind of expensive for me going all the way to Washington :) )
    Michael wrote:
    No Problem..nice to know there is some Gypsy jazz South of the Border!
    I´m trying to get it going. Maybe when I master Gypsy Picking I could be able to teach it!
    Thanks for your help.
    -Harry
  • MichaelHorowitzMichaelHorowitz SeattleAdministrator
    Posts: 5,893
    So if your hand is off the guitar and the pick is going towards the top, how do you prevent it from hitting it? I wonder how Raphaël Fäys does it. And if the fingers don´t press at least a bit, how do they absorbe the energy and stop the hand? Could the so called "bounce" technique help? Like hitting the string and then going up again to prepare the next stroke, instead of letting it follow through completely and landing on the top.

    I'm not sure what else to say on this...for me it just doesn't hit the top. Even when I play with my fingers completely off. I think it's a matter of getting just the right angle and motion. Try practicing slowly...making sure you don't hit the top.

    When I do play with my fingers on the top they don't really absorb that much energy. The effect is pretty subtle, so there still isn't much pressure on the top.

    I don't really know what the "bounce" technique is. I've heard people mention it, it's not something I use to explain rest stroke picking. In fact, I try to make sure people really rest when they do the rest stroke. Beginners have a tendency to sort of cheat by barely touching the next string. I suppose at faster tempos, you could describe the rest stroke as a bounce. But I'd shy away from that since it might lead people to play weak rest strokes.

    Either way, the rest stroke isn't a factor on the top E string. So bounce or no bounce, it won't help you there.


    Another thing could be this: The movement of the wrist describes an arc, right? If the wrist is raised enough, the pick could attack the string at an angle, follow through and miss the top, then follow through going up on the opposite side of the arc. If you think of a clock going counterclockwise, you prepare the stroke about 8, hit the string between 7 and 6 and the movement ends about 5 or 4. So with this in mind, if at the 6 point you don´t hit the top you can attack with a good angle and never hit it. Just a thought, but could this be it?

    Sounds to me like your describing free stroke picking, not rest stroke picking. With the rest stroke, you go into the guitar. So you don't really arc...you come in at 45 degrees and keep going.

    Thanx, do you know any of this free sites?

    No...maybe some one else can help?

    Also, have you ever considered giving live lessons on the internet :idea: , it would be fantastic! (Kind of expensive for me going all the way to Washington :) )

    Maybe some day...I'm just too busy trying to do everything else (writing books, running the site, etc.) I barely have time to teach students who come to my house!

    'm
  • BluesBop HarryBluesBop Harry Mexico city, MexicoVirtuoso
    Posts: 1,378
    Thank you Michael for your all help. I´ll practice what you said, hope I get it soon. Anyway, I´ll post a video one of these days so you can see my hand.
    Good luck!
    -Harry
  • BluesBop HarryBluesBop Harry Mexico city, MexicoVirtuoso
    Posts: 1,378
    Hi again Michael!
    Man I´m really embarassed to come back to this issue :oops: :oops:
    I´m not hitting the top anymore :D but... I had to change my angle to about 30 degrees or maybe even less. In some videos (Raphael Fays for example) it seems that they adjust the angle for playing on the first string, but I could be wrong.
    I tried what you said but I feel i´m still missing something, to me either you stop the hand before it hits the top or you play at a lesser angle than 45° it doesn´t make sense to me any other way.
    I´m really, really, very, very sorry to bother you again for this, but could you please analize your playing and tell me what happens when you pick on the first string, with your hand off the guitar? Think "Gypsy Picking for Dummies" :lol:
    I´m really desperate, help please!!
    Thank you so much in advance.
    -SorryHarry :(
  • MichaelHorowitzMichaelHorowitz SeattleAdministrator
    Posts: 5,893
    Hi Harry,

    I'm not sure what to say. When I do it my hand just stops before hitting the top. Maybe you're using too much force....I'd have to see you do it. Again, I think the best thing to do is to practice slowly and concentrate on not hitting the top.

    Sorry I can't be of more help with this...


    -Michael
  • BluesBop HarryBluesBop Harry Mexico city, MexicoVirtuoso
    Posts: 1,378
    Thank you. As soon as I have saved enough money I´ll buy a camera and post a video.
    -Harry
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