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  1. #1

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    Have any of the UK guitarists here, Rob, Christian, Graham, etc... heard of this old book by Ivor Mariants?
    According to Jon Herrington, the book advocates straight arm picking technique, like Dennis Sandole.
    This was the type of picking Johnny Smith was rumored to use, but that was disproved by that video of Smith, and many interviews where Smith denied it.

    Was Ivor mainly a plectrum player or fingerstyle player?

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  3. #2

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    I have that book,..., forget books and play until your fingers bleed.

  4. #3

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  5. #4

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    Quote Originally Posted by sgcim View Post
    According to Jon Herrington, the book advocates straight arm picking technique, like Dennis Sandole.
    I was unfamiliar with Mairants book but found this page from Jon Herrington's site where he talks about it. He also answers several questions about his work with Becker / Fagen (Steely Dan), and I know there are lots of Dan fans here, so it's worth a peek even if you're not interested in straight arm picking.

    Jon Herington Ask Jon
    "Learn the repertoire. It’s all in the songs. If you learn 200 songs, you will have no problem improvising."
    Frank Vignola

  6. #5

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    Quote Originally Posted by sgcim View Post
    Have any of the UK guitarists here, Rob, Christian, Graham, etc... heard of this old book by Ivor Mariants?
    According to Jon Herrington, the book advocates straight arm picking technique, like Dennis Sandole.
    This was the type of picking Johnny Smith was rumored to use, but that was disproved by that video of Smith, and many interviews where Smith denied it.

    Was Ivor mainly a plectrum player or fingerstyle player?
    I've heard old recordings of Ivor Mairants where he played everything from flamenco guitar (definitely fingerstyle) to jazz standards with a pick.

    He was a very versatile guitarist to say the least.

    He was also an incredibly good transcriber who figured out some of the most difficult pieces imaginable from recordings by ear.

    Ivor Mairants was a huge talent!

    Regards,
    Steven Herron
    Ivor Mairants Tabs - Guitar Solos, Tab Books, Instruction DVDs + Video Lessons

  7. #6
    Quote Originally Posted by sjl View Post
    I have that book,..., forget books and play until your fingers bleed.
    I'm already doin' that- I need a transfusion!

  8. #7
    Someone sent me a copy of the book. I thought it was written back in the 50s, but it was written in 1978. Too late now to look at it, but i'll look at it tomorrow and see what it's all about.

  9. #8

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    I got my copy when I was 14, along with Mickey Baker Volume 1. Unfortunately I had no teacher, and didn't make much progress with either book. You can download a pdf from DjangoBooks.com if I remember correctly, for a small fee.

    Ivor was a fine player, advocating a strict regime of down and up strokes, no rest strokes (iIrc) or sweep picking, and had a very fluid sound without the accents or dynamism of his hero, Django. He did not play flamenco - the anonymous guitarist on the recordings of his flamenco book was a 17-year old Paco Peña...or so one story goes.

    The book in question has lots of exercises and scales...

  10. #9

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    Quote Originally Posted by Rob MacKillop View Post
    Ivor was a fine player, advocating a strict regime of down and up strokes, no rest strokes (iIrc) or sweep picking, and had a very fluid sound without the accents or dynamism of his hero, Django.

    The book in question has lots of exercises and scales...
    I haven't read that book, but it sounds like an manual in frustration .. Strict alternative picking has some serious challenges with you start having to switch string and somehow I doubt he dwellves into the mechanics of how you make that work. (Simply cos I have prejudges against 1970s books)

  11. #10

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    Apologies, I was thinking of this book:

    Ivor Mariants' book "Perfect Picking Technique?-screenshot-2019-02-16-14-17-03-png

    But Perfect Pick Technique looks like this:

    Ivor Mariants' book "Perfect Picking Technique?-ppt-jpg

  12. #11
    I looked at the book today, and its 52 pages are divided into a few different sections.
    In the first, he talks about the picking styles of players as diverse as Django, Geo. Benson, Johnny Smith, Barney Kessel, Joe Pass, Chuck Wayne, Jimmy Raney and Charlie Christian.
    He thinks that both Johnny Smith and Chuck Wayne have 'perfect picking technique' because of their sound and fluidity.
    Then he talks about the time when he and Atilla Zoller were at a club where George Benson was playing, and after his set, the three of them discussed the ideal picking technique, and concluded that the ideal technique is one where the hand is completely free of the pick guard and strings so that all tension is eliminated. He advocates alternate picking with control of the follow through motion of the pick so that it is in the correct position for the up stroke, and the following down stroke.
    Benson said he wished he could change his method of picking, but it was too late in his career to change.

    The next section is composed of picking exercises in which he emphasizes very limited movement of the wrist, in favor of the muscles of the area just above the wrist up to the elbow.
    As he moves from scale studies, to studies with arps, he includes a second picking notation for use of all down strokes for ascending arps and down strokes for descending arps.

    The next section is composed of a few pieces he has chosen in the style of Charlie Christian, bop horn style playing, and a piece by Paganini.
    The final section is devoted to using his picking ideas for correct phrasing.

  13. #12

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    Quote Originally Posted by sgcim View Post
    I looked at the book today, and its 52 pages are divided into a few different sections....
    Thank you for the overview. Hope to see that book some day.
    "Learn the repertoire. It’s all in the songs. If you learn 200 songs, you will have no problem improvising."
    Frank Vignola

  14. #13

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    Quote Originally Posted by sgcim View Post
    I looked at the book today, and its 52 pages are divided into a few different sections.
    In the first, he talks about the picking styles of players as diverse as Django, Geo. Benson, Johnny Smith, Barney Kessel, Joe Pass, Chuck Wayne, Jimmy Raney and Charlie Christian.
    He thinks that both Johnny Smith and Chuck Wayne have 'perfect picking technique' because of their sound and fluidity.
    Then he talks about the time when he and Atilla Zoller were at a club where George Benson was playing, and after his set, the three of them discussed the ideal picking technique, and concluded that the ideal technique is one where the hand is completely free of the pick guard and strings so that all tension is eliminated. He advocates alternate picking with control of the follow through motion of the pick so that it is in the correct position for the up stroke, and the following down stroke.
    Benson said he wished he could change his method of picking, but it was too late in his career to change.

    The next section is composed of picking exercises in which he emphasizes very limited movement of the wrist, in favor of the muscles of the area just above the wrist up to the elbow.
    As he moves from scale studies, to studies with arps, he includes a second picking notation for use of all down strokes for ascending arps and down strokes for descending arps.

    The next section is composed of a few pieces he has chosen in the style of Charlie Christian, bop horn style playing, and a piece by Paganini.
    The final section is devoted to using his picking ideas for correct phrasing.
    Uh, I must that I'm glad he didn't teach me right hand technique...

  15. #14

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    I was lucky to pick up a copy of Perfect Pick Technique a few years ago. Lots of great exercises and etudes. I still go back to it from time to time.
    If you can find a copy, definitely grab it.
    Robert Fripp worked through this book. Nothing wrong with his picking technique!

  16. #15

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    you can actually download his book from google if you look hard enough.

    I wish Ivor was around today, as I play with a floating right hand.

    However, I pick from rotating my forearm and moving from my elbow.

    I love the sound that you get, but it's hard to control on uptempos. My hand bobs up and down above 200bpm.

    So, I lightly place my knuckles on the strings I'm not using when I play uptempos. It helps to damp out feedback and unwanted resonance.

    So, yeah, I wish Ivor or Denis Sandole were around today. And I'm sick of hearing "well, that's why people don't play like that today". It's a limiting point of view, floating your picking hand opens up possibilities of chord to linear versatility that you don't have when you anchor.

    Jimmy Bruno used to really advocate for the floating picking hand, but too many people tried to "play expert" and argue about the validity of technique. I dunno, he sounds pretty fluid and clean to me.