A huge amount of Django’s tone, drive and musical personality came from his incredible picking technique. The technique comes from a completely ‘broken-wrist’ motion and its accommodating floating posture, rather like a controlled version of the move you’d use to shake your hands dry, and it’s hugely weighted in favour of the downstroke. The general rule is to start each new string with a down, even when descending through a scale or arpeggio. You’ll notice that most of Django’s really fast phrases are generally ascending, although he had his moments going the other way too! To assist the production of volume for what is essentially a completely acoustic style of playing, you’re after the plectrum equivalent of the classical guitar rest-stroke, although here the destination string that our pick comes to rest is nearest the floor. The type of pick you use makes a massive difference too. Generally they’re huge (5mm is not uncommon) and made out of genuine tortoiseshell, today a pretty non-PC material to be seen with. Thankfully Michel Wegen produces by far the best and most popular man-made alternatives (www.wegenpicks.com).