Ryan Bassette wrote:
This is probably the case John, and thanks for picking that up; this habit is coming from my bass playing years ago (haven't touched it in a while...I know, sounds like a vice lol) where it is often taught as a form of 'economy picking' to use the finger that is already at rest on the lower string rather than alternate (depends on the context and the rhythmic effect desired etc). I'm noticing myself doing it quite often and trying to correct when I do indeed pick it up, but it is definitely a challenge.
Thanks for the kind words,
Not a problem Ryan, that is exactly where these alternation exercises will help train the fingers and increase muscle memory.
In more advanced playing and in special cases there can be situations where a performer may be trying to get a particular tone or volume quality in a targeted section of music and may deviate slightly from a strict finger alternation in those limited circumstances.
One example is an Agustin Barrios piece, the Prelude piece in La Catedral. There are some players that use the middle finger--instead of the ring finger-- to rest-stroke the upper melody and immediately play the following note with the same middle finger and then alternate fingers for other arpeggiated notes. It is done in order to get a fuller, rounder tone that may not be as easily obtained when using the ring finger.