Bill B wrote:I start the student with rest stroke. Then 5 minutes later we do free stroke.
Yep. This is what I do as well. The first three lessons I teach to beginners is right-hand only (that's about as much as they will tolerate.) Then I include the left hand on one note only ("A" on the 3rd string.)
As an aside, no one has touched upon why a rest stroke sounds more rich than a free stroke. My theory (and it's only a theory) is that the free stroke is mostly the sound of the string, whereas rest-strokes include the sound of the string and the sympathetic resonance of the sound board. This is due to the direction of the sound waves. A free stroke sound wave direction approach 90 degrees out-of-phase with the top of the guitar. If your physics teacher assigned you to create the stupidest design for an instrument, you only need to open your guitar case and point.) The wave direction of a rest-stroke is more in phase with the soundboard, which is the same direction of the hammers on the piano (this is why the piano is louder and more powerful than the guitar, and displaced the guitar in the 19 century concert hall, all in my opinion.) Thankfully, the Spanish guitarists continued to develop the rest-stroke sound (again, opinion).
If there are any luthiers still reading this thread, I'd love to hear from you.
All the best,
Dr. Lawrence A. McDonald, D.M.A., Art Kaplan Fellow
Author of The Conservatory Tutor for Guitar
2008 Michael Thames Cd/Br
Royal Conservatory Advanced Guitar Instructor
Royal Conservatory Advanced Theory Instructor