All downstrokes at crazy speed Eric Steckel

At 0:53 sec it looks like all downstrokes to me: 2 down on the D string and one down on the string repeated at crazy speed.
I just can’t do this…. Only wit 2 down 1 up.
Can anyone of you guys do this?


Very impressive, and no, I definitely cannot do that haha

I’ve been following him for a while, and that was precisely the first technical thing about his playing that caught my attention - dude has some crazy downstroke ability.

Gave it a go:

Felt like top end of my downpicking with this grip, I can go for longer and maybe faster with my “rhythm playing” grip. Cool to see in the magnet where I hit the doubles on the low string successfully, as opposed to where I miss and hit the top string twice instead. Would be curious to see what his top speed is, and how long he can hold it.


That’s already impressive!
I don’t come close…

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if you can learn to do it as a half rest stroke, and the second stroke a rest stroke, this is a move you could utilize on an enormous amount of gypsy jazz phrasing. this is called the double down technique in gypsy jazz.

That makes it even harder.
To get back from that downstroke on the G string to the D string is the hard part because you’re hand is in a downward motion. With a reststroke you push it even more downward.

When I watch Eric the “trick” is to make that downstroke on the G as minimal in motion as possible.

When you look at 0:57 he even switches between DDU DDD!

I’ve never developed the ability to play all downstrokes quickly, I haven’t put any real time into working on it. I can’t do it at all.

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That is the same for me.

Right, it is because you are resting for the next move, another upstroke, remain resting to legato, or go into a swept downstroke on the rested string to either a half rest stroke or another rest stroke on the next string.

Right you could do this with the rest stroke technique, it is just two half rest strokes in a row.

I don’t get it, either you play a rest stroke or not. What is a half rest stroke…?

lol that term has always bugged me too…

@bradejensen can tell us though I can’t remember but I think he sort of likes gypsy jazz a little bit (just teasing ya brad, buddy :wink: )

If you switch to a new string with the desire to plectrum pick the string you start on a down stroke always with the rest stroke technique, so when you do a string change on something musically descending if you leave the string off of a down stroke you don’t go all the way to rest on the next string instead you are doubling back to get to the down on a lower pitched string so they coined the stroke a half rest stroke. It is more for teaching purposes for beginners for explanation, and a way to acknowledge the motion when you see it.

Do you think this has something to do with the fact that they still want the trajectory the same on these strokes? Because I do agree with the overall sentiment - we call it a rest stroke because it’s touches the string briefly. We can’t half touch it. But, on a rest stroke, our goal is to go towards that string. So if we do this halfway, then sort of bail out with a graceful oval motion, they’re calling that a ‘half’ rest stroke. Even if that’s all correct, they ought to consider just calling ‘double’ down or something

They do if it occurs during a musically ascended string change, and I think they might also consider it a double down during musically descending as well. Because they just know it is a half rest stroke, and mentally think of it as just a rest stroke.

So I am trying to learn some new gypsy jazz material today, and haven’t for the past month. This is just my opinion, but to me it shares quite a bit of similarity to the way they think about it in flamenco. In flamenco they have apoyando and tirando. So there are times in gypsy jazz where you might not rest stroke something, say it is more of a laid back melody with not abunch of busy notes. Most of it you will just down stroke with a tirando style stroke, or in gypsy jazz they are thinking of it like a half rest stroke. Other times when the phrasing gets more complex, and comes out blazing you will need to pay attention to every rest and half rest stroke you encounter to help ingrain new phrasing into the hands. And in flamenco they would mentally think about it as an apoyando section of busy notes.

Again this is just my opinion, but I kind of think of the rest stroke as like your tongue resting on your teeth when you speak a word out. It is like trying to put the pick as a part of your soul, so you can use it to speak music. When clearly the pick is not a part of our being like it would be in flamenco since you would be using your fingers which is a part of you.

Aside from just the technique - This guys phrasing is killer, sounds like someone who would have a badass guitar duel with Brandon Ellis.

This guy is great, I love his excessive pinch harmonics as well.

Interesting how they think of it, to me those are just 2 fast downstrokes.

But, as I said already, the problem (for me ) is to get back quick enough from that downstroke on the G string to the D string to play the next downstroke.

Would love to try that rig of his. Mezzabarba amp with triple humbucker Knaggs guitar. Must feel like coming out or the womb again :joy:

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