View Full Version : A question for fingerpickers

02-02-2010, 01:23 PM
Do you ever use rest strokes or just free strokes? My picking's been just about all free strokes so far.

But last night I was playing Tarrega's Study in E Minor (available at Tab-U-Learn (http://www.microshare.net/tabulearn/) in the high g/standard section under grade 4) and found myself using rest strokes to emphasize the top notes like I would on guitar and, damn, it sounded really nice that way.

For anyone who doesn't know what I'm talking about, here's the definitions from Wikipedia.

Apoyando is a method of plucking used in both Classical guitar and Flamenco guitar known in English as 'Rest Stroke'. (A direct translation of 'Apoyando' from Spanish would be "resting". Rest stroke gets its name because after plucking the string, the finger rests on the adjacent string after it follows through, giving a slightly rounder, often punchier sound (contrast with tirando). The apoyando stroke is not intuitive so is rarely used by beginners. Most players will use the tirando or 'free-stroke' and will have difficulty in managing the apoyando. The apoyando offers greater control and strength to the player and is a requirement for certain pieces.

Tirando is a method of plucking used in both Classical guitar and Flamenco guitar. A direct translation from Spanish would be "pulling" (also often referred to as a "free stroke"). After plucking, the finger does not touch the string which is physically higher on the guitar (contrast with apoyando).

Aunt Betty
02-02-2010, 01:37 PM
Thanks for the link to Tab-U-Learn. I will be watching this post closely.

02-02-2010, 04:22 PM
I'm interested in learning more. I've not heard these terms before.

02-02-2010, 04:44 PM
I especially use rest stroke on scalar runs or melody lines and tend to use free stroke for arpeggios. For me it was natural to do this since I also play classical guitar.

02-02-2010, 06:23 PM
I suppose if I played over the sound hole more, I would do more rest strokes. When playing over the fingerboard, I don't feel like I have enough room to rest my finger on the next string. But I haven't tried it yet. I better grab a uke now and check it out.


02-02-2010, 08:01 PM
Personally, even after 30 years of guitar, I could never get the hang of rest strokes. It's all free strokes for me. Oh, and I play over the sound hole too. Old habits are hard to break. Developing new ones is even harder.

02-02-2010, 09:55 PM
i play rest strokes often, particularly cos i play classical guitar and bass it seems natural to me.

02-02-2010, 11:18 PM
Being able to use both rest and free strokes gives you a whole other level of being able to shape phrases.

02-03-2010, 12:45 AM
I've only just started fingerpicking, so all this is above me though I'm intrigued now, and would like to know more, any links to where we could see a demonstration of an apoyando an d a tirando strokes? Thanks for the learning.

02-03-2010, 01:15 AM
if it's what I think it is, I've done it on bass (that's what the two fingers do is thump the string and stop on the next string) but never on anything else. I try to let them ring as much as possible. I guess I should keep it in mind, but for loud notes I usually use the thumb. That's an old banjo habit.

02-03-2010, 01:35 AM
Being able to use both rest and free strokes gives you a whole other level of being able to shape phrases.


It's really worth learning. Lots of things will sound much better with apoyandos. It helps you maintain hand position, and develops finger strength.

I should mention that I'm crap at it. Do as I say and not as I do................

02-03-2010, 03:30 AM
I'm not sure, because I was not formally trained on the classical guitar. But I play classical and fingerstyle acoustic and bass, so it's prolly all in there somewhere.

02-03-2010, 08:54 AM
I play classical (though slightly out of practice) and yes, the rest stroke is nice and sort of gets a lot of sound and body behind the note.