Rest stroke vs. Free stroke

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markodarko
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Re: Rest stroke vs. Free stroke

Postby markodarko » Fri Oct 28, 2016 12:14 pm

You never even use it with your thumb, Adrian?
Negative, I am a meat popsicle.

Adrian Allan
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Re: Rest stroke vs. Free stroke

Postby Adrian Allan » Fri Oct 28, 2016 12:21 pm

No, but will try on your suggestion.

So it is for emphasis?

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markodarko
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Re: Rest stroke vs. Free stroke

Postby markodarko » Fri Oct 28, 2016 12:47 pm

Yes, that's right. Gives a more rounded "full" bass sound, and loud - with no effort. Give it a go and see what you think.
Negative, I am a meat popsicle.

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Tom Poore
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Re: Rest stroke vs. Free stroke

Postby Tom Poore » Fri Oct 28, 2016 1:06 pm

Adrian Allan wrote:At one time, 20+ years ago, it used to be overly taught by teachers.

Every technique can be misused. Things should be evaluated based on their best use, not their misuse. For example, a light bulb makes a very poor hammer. Does that mean a light bulb is useless?

It doesn’t need to be used at all, as a free stroke that uses a variety of attack strengths and tone colours can be used for all music, and there is plenty enough variety there if the player is creative.

A creative player can also find use for rest stroke, provided he or she isn’t put off by misrepresentations such as yours.

In some styles of music, rest stroke sounds ungainly - eg. most Baroque.

It sounds ungainly if it’s used badly. If used with good taste, it sounds just fine. I use rest stroke in Baroque and Renaissance music. In fact, I use rest stroke on the intial statement of the theme in this Anthony Holborne Fantasy:


Youtube

It also deadens the sympathetic resonance of adjacent strings.

Are you saying that sympathetic vibrations should never be damped?

I also think it sounds naff when used to “bring out” a melody line - eg. Sor B minor study. A more developed “a” finger can bring it out without the need for a clunky rest stroke every few notes - but this is how it used to be universally taught.

If done badly, it sounds bad. Again, you’re arguing against this technique based on its misuse, not its best use. This, by the way, is a common tactic of those who argue against rest stroke.

As somebody recently suggested, it is useful for fast scales, especially when competing with an orchestra for volume. But even then, a strong free stroke can be used instead.

The free stroke can never entirely match the full range of rest stroke.

To refer to another thread I posted yesterday, in his book Matt Palmer says that he never uses it, but uses a lot of variety in the angle and strength of his free strokes and he is a great player, so that is how he achieves variety.

In his book, Palmer doesn’t say he never uses rest stroke. In fact, on page 24 he explicitly writes that his “follow-through does touch the string below like a rest stroke does.” And in his many videos, one can find examples of Palmer using rest stroke.

Your playing is your business—you can do whatever you wish. But to say that a particular technique should be minimized or avoided is merely a reflection of your personal taste. It’s not a universal statement of what should and shouldn’t be done by others. And as suggested by an earlier post of mine, your opinion isn’t shared by many of the best players.

Tom Poore
South Euclid, OH
USA
Last edited by Tom Poore on Sat Oct 29, 2016 12:31 am, edited 1 time in total.

Adrian Allan
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Re: Rest stroke vs. Free stroke

Postby Adrian Allan » Fri Oct 28, 2016 3:52 pm

Some good points made above.

I watch videos on youtube like everybody else, and I see a lot of great playing without much rest stroke.

Of course I am referring to a time when it was used much more obviously in performance and recommended by teachers, and it was often mis-used or stood out like a sore thumb.

It has declined in performance and in teaching as well, and standards have improved over the decades. If it can be used in a tasteful and effective way, then who am I to say?

I was probably referring to a more old fashioned teaching approach when rest stroke "had" to be used in certain situations, and the amateur player contolled it in a rather clunky way.

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guitarrista
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Re: Rest stroke vs. Free stroke

Postby guitarrista » Fri Oct 28, 2016 4:37 pm

Kevin Cowen wrote:Do piano players use the rest stroke?


They would IF they were playing directly on the piano strings instead of using weird hammers :-)
Konstantin
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1982 Anselmo Solar Gonzalez

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Tom Poore
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Re: Rest stroke vs. Free stroke

Postby Tom Poore » Sat Oct 29, 2016 12:27 am

Adrian Allan wrote:I watch videos on youtube like everybody else, and I see a lot of great playing without much rest stroke.

Fair enough. But consider the following performance—jump ahead to the 4:18 mark:


Youtube

Do you not want this sound in your expressive palette?

Tom Poore
South Euclid, OH
USA

Adam
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Re: Rest stroke vs. Free stroke

Postby Adam » Sat Oct 29, 2016 1:35 am

Tom, great performance of that Fantasia.

Adrian Allan
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Re: Rest stroke vs. Free stroke

Postby Adrian Allan » Sat Oct 29, 2016 2:20 am

Thanks for share.

His heavy accent with lots of vibrato on certain notes seem to be a signature style.
I will give it another go.
I suppose at least his playing has a lot more character than many young players, and that is what is missing.
At one time everybody wanted to emulate segovia, and that partly explains the decline of the rest stroke.
It still has its use, for sure....all a matter of taste. I was merely saying that at one time it seemed over done, and it probably fared worst in the hands of amateurs.

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Jstanley01
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Re: Rest stroke vs. Free stroke

Postby Jstanley01 » Sat Oct 29, 2016 11:58 pm

Rest stroke VERSUS free stroke???

Talking about the two on those terms is just more evidence to me that people love nothing quite so much as they love to argue.
Attitude is more important than the past, than education, than money, than circumstances, than what people do or say. It is more important than appearance, giftedness, or skill. -W.C. Fields

Kevin Cowen
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Re: Rest stroke vs. Free stroke

Postby Kevin Cowen » Sun Oct 30, 2016 1:25 am

guitarrista wrote:
Kevin Cowen wrote:Do piano players use the rest stroke?


They would IF they were playing directly on the piano strings instead of using weird hammers :-)

Why would they?
I guess it all boils down to what you believe the purpose of being a musician is.
We seem to have an elephant in the room here.

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guitarrista
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Re: Rest stroke vs. Free stroke

Postby guitarrista » Sun Oct 30, 2016 1:42 am

Kevin Cowen wrote:
guitarrista wrote:
Kevin Cowen wrote:Do piano players use the rest stroke?


They would IF they were playing directly on the piano strings instead of using weird hammers :-)

Why would they?
I guess it all boils down to what you believe the purpose of being a musician is.
We seem to have an elephant in the room here.


Hmm, I obviously made a joke, and put a smilie on it just to make sure. Not sure about that elephant, but be careful as ivory trade is banned :-)
Konstantin
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1982 Anselmo Solar Gonzalez

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Tom Poore
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Re: Rest stroke vs. Free stroke

Postby Tom Poore » Sun Oct 30, 2016 9:08 pm

Adrian Allan wrote:His heavy accent with lots of vibrato on certain notes seem to be a signature style.
I will give it another go.
I suppose at least his playing has a lot more character than many young players, and that is what is missing.
At one time everybody wanted to emulate segovia, and that partly explains the decline of the rest stroke.
It still has its use, for sure....all a matter of taste. I was merely saying that at one time it seemed over done, and it probably fared worst in the hands of amateurs.

As you say, it’s a matter of taste. Regarding the sound beginning at the 4:18 mark of the Segovia video I posted, I don’t see how anyone could find it objectionable. But then, I’ve noticed that some guitarists—not talking about you here—seem almost embarrassed by a beautiful sound. That’s something I just don’t understand.

There are things about Segovia’s playing that I don’t like. At his best, however, he could coax a ravishing sound from the guitar. Would that more players today valued this.

Tom Poore
South Euclid, OH
USA

Adrian Allan
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Re: Rest stroke vs. Free stroke

Postby Adrian Allan » Sun Oct 30, 2016 9:40 pm

Yes, I would hope that all young players are taught how to get a nice tone quality through nail care etc.

What you probably mean is the amount of tonal variety that Segovia achieved, augmented by his rest stroke. Same with Bream. The trend now seems to be a boring uniformity of sound, and I agree that rest strokes, alongside vibrato speed and hand position changes would bring more variety.

I'm not sure if Smallman guitars help, as I feel they are less responsive to the above mentioned changes. However, having only tried a Smallman once, about 20 years ago, I am not really sure; it might be the players rather than the guitar.

Sprucetop
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Re: Rest stroke vs. Free stroke

Postby Sprucetop » Mon Oct 31, 2016 1:43 am

All I know is that ALL of my favorite players use rest stroke and every player I have seen in concert over the last 25 years, (there have been many), have used rest stroke, albeit to a greater or lesser extent. When I start a young player on classical guitar, we stick with rest stroke for at least the first few months of instruction. Learning free stroke later has rarely been problematic for the student. I suppose if one were to only play Baroque music, you could get away with using predominantly free stroke, but I would say that a lot of the CG repertoire, especially that by Spanish composers, benefits heavily from the use of rest stroke. Also, it is worth remembering that a lot of Spanish repertoire is influenced by flamenco or is based on/alludes to its forms and no one would ever dream of saying a flamenco player should never use picado!
"Music exists for the purpose of growing an admirable heart." Shinichi Suzuki


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