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Gypsy jazz picking?

Discussion in 'Playing and Technique' started by Guido Sarducci, Feb 20, 2012.

  1. Guido Sarducci

    Guido Sarducci Member

    Feb 8, 2012
    Issaquah WA
    Down up down.... ascending a scale is easy and fast but I could never get the down up down descending right. I can hear a small gap between every string cuz those 2 downstrokes in a row is alot of movement changing strings. But I found somethin wierd where you go down-hammer-up.... And down-pull off-up... descending. But you dont really have to think about the hammers and pulls - they happen so naturally I thought I was alternate picking when I first started doing it. But when I listen to the best gypsy jazz players its so fast I cant tell for sure what they are doing.

    Do they actually pick every note descending dud dud dud...? Or are they cheating with little slurs in it? I dont mean that its bad to cheat - this trick is so fast I think you should use it sometimes. I think its faster than economy picking. As fast as legato but it sounds more picked.
  2. buddastrat

    buddastrat Member

    Mar 20, 2005
    It is picked as you first decscribe. There's a certain stiffness, maybe a staccato in the feel that I hear part of that style. If you keep at it, you develop it and that gap is less, but still is a part of their sound. I watched an 11 year old, and he played just like that. It was amazing. It sounds wrong to me when someone alternate picks it, too even as well as lacking the power of the downstroke. If you put slurs in too much, then you lose that as well. When I listen to that, much of it is picked and they always want the down pick for the volume. They didn't have mics and P.A.s and that's how that style came about, for volume. So that small gap you speak of, is sort've part of the uniqueness.
  3. dewey decibel

    dewey decibel Supporting Member

    Apr 12, 2005
    we eat a lot of cheese and drink a lot of beer
    The common gypsy picking technique is also known as the rest stroke technique. You sort of pick through the string, so you end up with your pick resting on the next string. It's similar to economy picking where as if you're on the same string you alternate pick, but when you jump to a new string you always use a downstroke rather than letting the current direction of your pick dictate if it's an up or downstroke like with econo picking.
  4. Neer

    Neer Supporting Member

    Jan 1, 2007
    The transition from one string to the next ascending is always a down stroke, regardless of what came before.

    A C scale played in first position, starting with the C on the 5th string, 3rd fret followed by the D open 4th string, would be:

    C down, D down, E up, F down, G down, A down, B down, C up, D down, E down, F up, G down

    x x 0 0 0 0
    x x x x 1 1
    x x 2 2 x x
    x 3 3 x 3 3

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