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:
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.
South Euclid, OH