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> Another Picking Approach..
Ben Higgins
post May 11 2012, 10:34 AM
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Years ago, I met a guitarist who was a big fan of Gypsy Jazz and he showed me some footage of some famous players. I noticed how they all played with a really weird picking technique. He told me that's the way you play in Gypsy Jazz. They hold their hand over the strings and let their wrists dangle loosely, not anchoring their hand or fingers onto the body. If you try it, it's damn hard but you can understand why it works, as the wrist moves very naturally that way and you don't have to develop any muscles to rotate the wrist quite fast. It's a bit like using a whisk (although I can't do that.. women can do it automatically, I think they'd all make great speed pickers !)

Check it out..



And this guy starts tearing it up around 1:40 !



It wasn't until years later that I thought... imagine if those guys anchored their fingers onto the guitar body whilst still having their wrists at that angle. Whos' picking technique would you have ? Michael Angelo Batio ! Also Zakk Wylde does a similar thing. The only downside is being unable to mute strings with your palm but hey, that's what neck pickups are for, right ? wink.gif

It's worth a look at as a possible option to finding an efficient speed picking technique, I think. Even if it looks unorthodox, it obviously works ! smile.gif


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Nihilist1
post May 11 2012, 10:48 AM
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QUOTE (Ben Higgins @ May 11 2012, 09:34 AM) *
Years ago, I met a guitarist who was a big fan of Gypsy Jazz and he showed me some footage of some famous players. I noticed how they all played with a really weird picking technique. He told me that's the way you play in Gypsy Jazz. They hold their hand over the strings and let their wrists dangle loosely, not anchoring their hand or fingers onto the body. If you try it, it's damn hard but you can understand why it works, as the wrist moves very naturally that way and you don't have to develop any muscles to rotate the wrist quite fast. It's a bit like using a whisk (although I can't do that.. women can do it automatically, I think they'd all make great speed pickers !)

Check it out..



And this guy starts tearing it up around 1:40 !



It wasn't until years later that I thought... imagine if those guys anchored their fingers onto the guitar body whilst still having their wrists at that angle. Whos' picking technique would you have ? Michael Angelo Batio ! Also Zakk Wylde does a similar thing. The only downside is being unable to mute strings with your palm but hey, that's what neck pickups are for, right ? wink.gif

It's worth a look at as a possible option to finding an efficient speed picking technique, I think. Even if it looks unorthodox, it obviously works ! smile.gif


That is the approach I take to muting strings. It seems more natural to me. I mute the higher strings with my fingers and the lower ones with my palm. It allows my fretting hand a bit more freedom. I can play directly on my fingertips since I don't have to worry about muting strings with that hand.

EDIT: One thing you will notice about Gypsy Jazz guitarists, though, is that they actually pick with their guitar picks at the exact opposite angle that everybody else uses.

This post has been edited by Nihilist1: May 11 2012, 10:49 AM


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Ben Higgins
post May 11 2012, 11:07 AM
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QUOTE (Nihilist1 @ May 11 2012, 10:48 AM) *
EDIT: One thing you will notice about Gypsy Jazz guitarists, though, is that they actually pick with their guitar picks at the exact opposite angle that everybody else uses.


Would that be like an upwards angle ? Like 45 degrees but towards the ceiling ? George Benson has an approach a bit like that.


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Nihilist1
post May 11 2012, 11:51 AM
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QUOTE (Ben Higgins @ May 11 2012, 10:07 AM) *
Would that be like an upwards angle ? Like 45 degrees but towards the ceiling ? George Benson has an approach a bit like that.


Indeed he does. I almost chased that style of picking, but it builds too much tension in my picking hand. Of course there is the added benefit of having a somewhat more similar tone to that man. He has some great clean tones. He is what I consider an organic shredder. Even his fast passages don't sound mechanic. It is great.

Here is Benson playing Take Five at the Montreux Jazz Festival



This post has been edited by Nihilist1: May 11 2012, 11:51 AM


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Ben Higgins
post May 11 2012, 12:04 PM
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QUOTE (Nihilist1 @ May 11 2012, 11:51 AM) *
Indeed he does. I almost chased that style of picking, but it builds too much tension in my picking hand. Of course there is the added benefit of having a somewhat more similar tone to that man. He has some great clean tones. He is what I consider an organic shredder. Even his fast passages don't sound mechanic. It is great.

Here is Benson playing Take Five at the Montreux Jazz Festival


Yeah it's a beastly picking technique smile.gif


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Nihilist1
post May 11 2012, 12:17 PM
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QUOTE (Ben Higgins @ May 11 2012, 11:04 AM) *
Yeah it's a beastly picking technique smile.gif


It definitely is. You got me listening to George Benson all over again.

This was always my favourite song he ever did. It was a great hippie tune and he does a very fine job with it.



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Ben Higgins
post May 11 2012, 12:53 PM
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QUOTE (Nihilist1 @ May 11 2012, 12:17 PM) *
It definitely is. You got me listening to George Benson all over again.

This was always my favourite song he ever did. It was a great hippie tune and he does a very fine job with it.


Indeed he does. I think I like this version better.. I always found the original quite depressing for some strange reason !? Who knows.... huh.gif


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Nihilist1
post May 11 2012, 01:04 PM
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QUOTE (Ben Higgins @ May 11 2012, 11:53 AM) *
Indeed he does. I think I like this version better.. I always found the original quite depressing for some strange reason !? Who knows.... huh.gif


I get the same exact feeling from the original. A lot of folk music from that era of time has that feeling. I rather like it. I learned that I really lean on that influence when I am writing metal. I try going for a slightly more blackened and psychedelic version of Opeth. My Jazz chord influence actually has a very large role as well. I think people should try incorporating more Jazz chords into their songs. They carry so many interesting sounds that it can't help but make music noticeable.

Jim Croce-Time in a bottle



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