Rest stroke vs. Free stroke

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celestemcc
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Re: Rest stroke vs. Free stroke

Postby celestemcc » Sat Oct 08, 2016 8:09 pm

Four reasons, but not good enough, particularly "the repertoire can be played without it," and "rest stroke is the default,". It's not the default, first off -- it's simply one aspect of right-hand technique. Nor is it difficult to develop good rest-stroke technique if taught from the start -- thus it's not just the province of the advanced player. Next, just because the repertoire technically doesn't "need" it doesn't mean it's not a useful expressive device. And just because John Williams didn't use it much is not necessarily an argument not to use it ever: most of us aren't John Williams. To each their own, of course.
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Adrian Allan
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Re: Rest stroke vs. Free stroke

Postby Adrian Allan » Sat Oct 08, 2016 8:16 pm

I actually said that free stroke is the default.

I admit that in some cases, such as the fast scales in Arannjuez it can be used to punch out the notes to great effect.

However, it is true that it really does not need to be used and it is considered to be an old fashioned teaching technique to throw it in at every opportunity - take for example something quite well known like Sor's B minor study. A rest stroke on each top string melody note can sound rather imbalanced and Sor would never have played it that way - but go back twenty years or so, and this is the way that many people believed it should be played.

celestemcc
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Re: Rest stroke vs. Free stroke

Postby celestemcc » Sat Oct 08, 2016 8:51 pm

Thanks -- I did mistype! Just call me old-fashioned then... I and many others will continue to use it, and guaranteed rest-stroke will come back into fashion again. ;)
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guitareleven
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Re: Rest stroke vs. Free stroke

Postby guitareleven » Sat Oct 08, 2016 9:02 pm

Adrian Allan wrote: ...I think you mean, why is all contemporary playing free stroke?

1. Because all of the guitar repertoire can be played without a single rest stroke


But not played as well.

Adrian Allan wrote: 2. Rest stroke is stylistically wrong in anything before the Romantic period


"Style" goes to interpretation appropriate to the period, not the technical means of realizing that interpretation. And, there was not monolithic consensus as to as to all the details of either interpretation or technique in any period, anyway.

Adrian Allan wrote: 3. In the hands of a less experienced player, it can stand out too much above the free strokes, which is the default way of playing the guitar


That is diagnostic as to what needs to be addressed in practice by the hypothetical less experienced player, and is not relevant as a criticism of the technique per se. And, though free stroke may statistically predominate in application to the number of notes played in some randomly selected page from the repertoire, it is not thereby "the default way of playing guitar". Ii's contextual. If any particular passage lends itself to application of rest stroke as a technique, then rest stroke is the default technique. As for default technique in beginning and intermediate tutelage, one of my early, and better, teachers instructed me always to use rest stroke except in any instance in which there is a specific reason not to do so. I have long since taken a more relaxed view to this, but this was good training, and, in that phase of my training, it was rest stroke that could have been termed the "default" technique.



Adrian Allan wrote: 4. Arguably the man with the most perfect technique on the planet hardly ever uses it - John Williams

Four good reasons.


Of all the times I've seen some player forwarded as an exemplar of all free stroke only playing, this is the first time, and a surprise, I've seen John Williams suggested as such. It seems out of place. I don't believe this is so. Rest strokes typically abound in is playing, when and as is appropriate. As to the more usual suspects who have been conscripted into service, in the legions of discussions that have taken place on this topic to serve as representatives of all free stroke playing, it always seems to turn out upon examination that any one selected player of this supposed ilk is someone who doesn't use rest stroke except for when he does.

To the opening post: guitar technique consists of a great variety of alternate approaches and myriad possibilities in how to to do things, any one of which takes some time in which to develop an intimacy of rapport in using it. Of alternate approaches, don't defer working on one until you feel you have "completely mastered" another. You may get better and better, and feel satisfied at having made progress, but you also may find that you never reach the end of the road of attaining to a "complete mastery" of anything. That is a life-long journey towards an ever receding and ever re-defined goal. Teachers may differ as to what may be their very first starting point, but such priorities are generally pragmatic and fleeting. Once you've had your introduction, work on the whole package from the beginning, to absorb given techniques as autonomous responses delivered simply as articulations of how you want the music to sound, not as a series of hyper-conscious decisions made as selections from a technical catalog.

Adrian Allan
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Re: Rest stroke vs. Free stroke

Postby Adrian Allan » Sat Oct 08, 2016 9:48 pm

Some very good points raised above.
When I used to teach guitar I did always begin with rest stroke. However, the more I have played, the less it seems necessary. I once read that JW said that he does not use rest stroke very much, and even in Romantic mudic like Barrios, he does not seem to use it. However, somebody once posted a slowed down video of Cordoba, where it is clear that he does use it occasionally.

Out of interest, does anybody know which classical player or teacher first used or promoted rest stroke?

I presume it is a technique borrowed from flamenco, but I might be wrong.

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Re: Rest stroke vs. Free stroke

Postby Ramon Amira » Sat Oct 08, 2016 10:09 pm

Ho hum . . .

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Paul Janssen
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Re: Rest stroke vs. Free stroke

Postby Paul Janssen » Sat Oct 08, 2016 10:33 pm

Gary Macleod wrote:I think you should play both, Rodrigo Aranjuez cries out for it as does lots of Spanish repertoire, I did this video on rest stroke for aranjuez scales etc.

https://youtu.be/NTB0PBlzxB0

That was a really cool video Gary. I'm impressed not only with how fast you are, but more importantly how even your notes are!!

Quick question (sorry off the topic of the OP): do you always lead with your "i" finger when you are playing fast scale runs like this?

Thanks,
Paul

Gary Macleod
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Re: Rest stroke vs. Free stroke

Postby Gary Macleod » Sat Oct 08, 2016 11:13 pm

Paul Janssen wrote:
Gary Macleod wrote:I think you should play both, Rodrigo Aranjuez cries out for it as does lots of Spanish repertoire, I did this video on rest stroke for aranjuez scales etc.

https://youtu.be/NTB0PBlzxB0

That was a really cool video Gary. I'm impressed not only with how fast you are, but more importantly how even your notes are!!

Quick question (sorry off the topic of the OP): do you always lead with your "i" finger when you are playing fast scale runs like this?

Thanks,
Paul


I try to always start with "i" finger when possible.

Luis_Br
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Re: Rest stroke vs. Free stroke

Postby Luis_Br » Sun Oct 09, 2016 10:52 pm

Adrian Allan wrote:Out of interest, does anybody know which classical player or teacher first used or promoted rest stroke?

I would guess since the first instrument built to be plucked with fingers. It is kind of obvious thing to do.

Bill B
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Re: Rest stroke vs. Free stroke

Postby Bill B » Wed Oct 12, 2016 6:56 pm

I might be the only one, but I think it is easier to get a very beginner student to make a good tone with rest stroke than with free stroke. That is why I start with it. I want them to have a good idea of the tone they are trying to make, and I try to get them to emulate their rest stroke tones with free strokes....I can't remember for sure, but I think I got this idea from the Noad method.
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PeteJ
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Re: Rest stroke vs. Free stroke

Postby PeteJ » Thu Oct 13, 2016 12:10 pm

The idea of not using rest stroke seems very odd to me. Why limit ones power of expression in this way?

Kevin Cowen
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Re: Rest stroke vs. Free stroke

Postby Kevin Cowen » Thu Oct 13, 2016 9:22 pm

Do piano players use the rest stroke?
Or cello players or mandolin players or . . .
Well you get the point.

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markodarko
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Re: Rest stroke vs. Free stroke

Postby markodarko » Thu Oct 13, 2016 9:38 pm

Kevin Cowen wrote:Do piano players use the rest stroke?
Or cello players or mandolin players or . . .
Well you get the point.


Is the point that the above makes no sense as a comparison? <confused>
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Adam
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Re: Rest stroke vs. Free stroke

Postby Adam » Thu Oct 13, 2016 9:45 pm

I like the way Sagreras presents rest stroke, gradually working it into exercises to emphasize certain notes in a musical context.

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Andrew Fryer
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Re: Rest stroke vs. Free stroke

Postby Andrew Fryer » Fri Oct 14, 2016 8:29 am

Kevin Cowen wrote:Do piano players use the rest stroke?
Or cello players or mandolin players or . . .
Well you get the point.

Erm, pianists and cellists and mandolinists don't play the guitar, so we shouldn't play the guitar?
Last edited by Andrew Fryer on Fri Oct 14, 2016 8:30 am, edited 1 time in total.
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