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Problems with resthand for the rhythmplaying..

edited December 2005 in Gypsy Picking Posts: 4
Just started out with this technique. Been playing alternate picking for
20 years so it´s a bit of a struggle, but I am sure this is the way to go..

This rest-hand picking is great for lead-playing and I don´t have any problems with that.
But when it comes to play rhythm it doesn't´t work at all.

What happens is that the pick (wegen) starts to rotate backwards towards the palm of my hand after a few strokes.

I´m not able to play more than a few bars in uptempo songs before I have to stop and rotate the pick back to the correct starting position.
I hold the pick pretty much as described in the book and it works a treat
for lead, but can´t figure out what I´m doing wrong for rhythm.
I can´t hold it any firmer (stronger) as I´ll tense up, nor looser as it will drop on the floor.

Been playing Djangostyle for ten years with alternate picking and can play god, even, strong, fast rhythm when holding the pick alternate style (the pick being positioned closer to the end of my thumb.) and of course now I want to be able to to it with this technique.

Anybody have any suggestions or tip..

Comments

  • KcoxKcox Montreal, QCNew
    Posts: 110
    I, too, have this problem with Wegens. I now use a moustache pick and either (a) I've practiced enough to fix my technique or (b) it is a problem with Wegens.

    I suspect it is (a).
  • MichaelHorowitzMichaelHorowitz SeattleAdministrator
    Posts: 5,974
    I don't think it's a wegen problem necessarily. I used wegens for years and that never happened to me. I use the moustache now.

    My guess is that you might be strumming the strings at too much of a right angle. If you angle the pick about 45 degrees and let it slide over the strings, it should sound better and not fall out of your hand.

    I hope that helps..

    'm
  • pdaiglepdaigle Montreal, QCNew
    Posts: 233
    I completely agree with Michael on this one: this happens at first with ANY pick...definitely not a problem with the Wegens.

    Keep practicing while keeping in mind to angle your pick about 45 degrees...eventually you'll find that you can keep a very relaxed grip on the pick and it won't move around.

    Not squeezing the pick too hard will also help the pick adjust it's position (during the first few strokes) so it won't move constantly.
  • BarengeroBarengero Auda CityProdigy
    Posts: 527
    This is a tip that Kussi Weiss told to me: You can rub a little bit of talcum between your fingers to achieve a better grip of the pick.

    Best,
    Barengero
  • Thanks for your answers.
    Obviously I´m doing something wrong. The angle of attack must be to
    "sharp" I´ll try to adjust. But that should affect the way I hold the pick for lead as well?
    Bit confused though. Should i hold the the tip of the pick 45 degrees relative to the strings? Surly I should hold the pick the same for lead as for rhythm, right.? When I´m playing rhythm i close my hand (the other fingers) and when i do leads i open them up a bit, but that´s the way most players do it?

    The problem is not the pick falling out of my hand. It´s the pick rotating
    until it´s finally 180 degrees wrong, with the back facing the strings.

    Anyway, I´ll go right home and practice. Really appreciated your comments,
    thanks.[/i]
  • MichaelHorowitzMichaelHorowitz SeattleAdministrator
    Posts: 5,974
    Getting the 45 degree angle comes from adjusting your wrist position. So the grip is the same.

    Just keep at it...you'll get it!

    'm
  • Thanks..I understand it now. Although this will take a lot, lot of practice just to get to the point where I already am, but it´s obvious to me resthand is really
    the base to get the sound i want.

    I´ll get back to practice again...cheers!
  • aa New York City✭✭✭✭
    Posts: 800
    "This is a tip that Kussi Weiss told to me: You can rub a little bit of talcum between your fingers to achieve a better grip of the pick."

    I thought the pick is supposed to be held loosely, so it can wobble. I don't see how high speed tremolo's can be achieved any other way using the rest stroke. Holding the pick in a relaxed way also helps beef up your tone because you're putting the whole pick through the string and not just the tip (so you get a nice round sound like django, the rosenbergs or the ferres). There's also a lot less pick noise. Also, as strange as it may sound, by not gripping the pick to hard, you reduce the chance that it will rotate because there is less tension and more slack in your attack. Doesn't trying to grip the pick go against the whole play-relax idea? Play-relax really starts to make sense when you try to tackle some of the more difficult pieces (like "Improvisation"). Whereas the slower tunes can be played in a variety of different ways, those fast ones force you to let go.

    There really is a zen like quality to playing this stuff, because the faster you play, the more you have to relax. You have to give-up control of the things that appear to necessitate control in order to get that golden sound.

    I think you have to keep everything up to your elbow totally relaxed. I try to pretend that my forearm, wrist, and fingers are dead; my forearm is like a limp fish. A small motion that starts at your elbow becomes very powerful as it resonates through your forearm. Any kind of tension can dampen the energy flow/wave. Try to imagine how a lasso or whip works. Its kind of like a machine...I always feel like I'm churning something. tremolos, pompe...everything starts in your elbow. And you don't really need to put that much energy into it- I think that's why it looks like the motion comes from the wrist. it's like an optical illusion. Check out the attached video (i think it is from www.maanoucheswing.com) and you'll see what I mean. This may all be totally wrong, but it seems to yield the best results for me. What do you think Michael?



    [/quote]
    Www.alexsimonmusic.com
    Learn how to play Gypsy guitar:
    http://alexsimonmusic.com/learn-gypsy-jazz-guitar/
  • MichaelHorowitzMichaelHorowitz SeattleAdministrator
    Posts: 5,974
    Oh my god...it's the headless guitarist! Ha ha


    I thought the pick is supposed to be held loosely, so it can wobble.

    Yes, I'd agree with that. I remember I was watching Paulus Schaefer play in his living room once, and I noticed how much his pick moved as he hit the strings. The ultra loose grip is one of the reasons the big fat Gypsy picks work. I think most non-Gypsies players are too used to a thin pick that bends. In the Gypsy style the whole pick moves upon contact with the string.

    Doesn't trying to grip the pick go against the whole play-relax idea? Play-relax really starts to make sense when you try to tackle some of the more difficult pieces (like "Improvisation"). Whereas the slower tunes can be played in a variety of different ways, those fast ones force you to let go.

    Yeah, you really want to avoid tensing up. It just locks your muscles up and makes you tired really fast. However, you do have to use some tension...sometimes a lot of it. When you watch Gypsies do certain licks, like the three octave chromatic runs, they'll really bang it out. You definitely want to use a firm grip while you're picking a lick like that. But as soon as you're done, relax. You need some tension to really belt it out, but you have to use it carefully. That's why it's called "play - relax." You can never totally relax while you're playing....you do as much as possible. But the real relaxing is in-between the notes.



    Try to imagine how a lasso or whip works.

    I've always found the whip analogy to be very accurate. Especially for rhythm. Relaxation is even more important for rhythm....especially at the fast tempos. You'll never get through a whole song if you're tensing up.


    'm
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