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Thumb Rest Stroke VS Free Stroke in arpeggios and tremolo   You are logged in as Guest
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trivium91

 

Posts: 223
Joined: Jan. 24 2022
 

Thumb Rest Stroke VS Free Stroke in ... 

Hey Guys, is it bad to use free stroke with the thumb when doing arpeggios and tremolos? I seem to struggle when im forced to do rest stroke with the thumb, it just cramps up my hand and my arpeggios are less accurate. I noticed Grisha sort of does the same thing, and just has a longer thumb nail to compensate, and I have similar hand geometry to him. Im also Russian descent so I wonder if that has something to do with it.

Than conversely Vicente Amigo his thumb is super planted basically all the time.
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Apr. 19 2024 17:06:32
 
Norman Paul Kliman

 

Posts: 92
Joined: Dec. 5 2023
 

RE: Thumb Rest Stroke VS Free Stroke... (in reply to trivium91

quote:

is it bad to use free stroke with the thumb when doing arpeggios and tremolos?


Not necessarily bad, because sometimes you want to hear the string that would be muted with a rest stroke. Otherwise, I’d use rest strokes as a general rule.

In the diatonic exercises that I recently uploaded to my website, there are many examples of situations in which free strokes are necessary. Have a look at the arpeggio patterns and the tremolo at the end:

http://canteytoque.es/pmiexc.htm#diatonic

Last night, I downgraded the resolution of all the images, and the scores now load more quickly and still look good. I also realized I’d overlooked a few patterns and will be adding them to the study soon.
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Apr. 20 2024 8:46:57
 
trivium91

 

Posts: 223
Joined: Jan. 24 2022
 

RE: Thumb Rest Stroke VS Free Stroke... (in reply to Norman Paul Kliman

I actually find tremolo a bit easier to use with rest stroke than arpeggio, but I still prefer free stroke tremolo though with practice I’m sure I will get it. I see grisha using free stroke tremolo exclusively, I see sabicas using both. As far as arpeggios, I just don’t get the rest stroke for arpeggios, the sound difference is marginal at best. From what I can see Grisha and Sabicas use free stroke thumb more. I rarely see them using rest stroke thumb for arpeggios. I also seem to have a shorter thumb so I’m trying to experiment with a longer thumb nail.
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Apr. 20 2024 13:17:04
 
Brendan

Posts: 358
Joined: Oct. 30 2010
 

RE: Thumb Rest Stroke VS Free Stroke... (in reply to trivium91

How about, stop making excuses and comparing yourself to gods, and get on with learning orthodox flamenco technique? Then, you can make a musical decision about what thumb stroke to use, because you will have choices.

_____________________________

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  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Apr. 20 2024 16:14:36
 
Ricardo

Posts: 14995
Joined: Dec. 14 2004
From: Washington DC

RE: Thumb Rest Stroke VS Free Stroke... (in reply to trivium91

Try this and if you get it, apply it to arpegio the same way. Tremolo is an arpegio type technique only on one string instead of three. Yes there will be plenty of times you don’t rest but, doing it often should not be a “problem”. Once you can do it, you are free to make your own decision based on taste….but don’t use taste as an excuse.



_____________________________

CD's and transcriptions available here:
www.ricardomarlow.com
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Apr. 20 2024 18:12:27
 
metalhead

 

Posts: 136
Joined: Apr. 15 2023
 

RE: Thumb Rest Stroke VS Free Stroke... (in reply to Ricardo

I find thumb rest strokes in arpeggio exponentially better than free strokes since it keeps the thumb stable after the rest stroke opposed to it floating around in a free stroke.
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Apr. 21 2024 7:02:52
 
trivium91

 

Posts: 223
Joined: Jan. 24 2022
 

RE: Thumb Rest Stroke VS Free Stroke... (in reply to Brendan

I’m not comparing myself to “gods” as you say. I’m simply asking why it seems they do more free strokes in general, I really don’t see grisha using rest strokes with arpeggios or tremolo, my hand placement looks similar to his and I’m wondering if that is ok to do. Grisha was a classical guitarist, and so was I.
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Apr. 21 2024 19:37:10
 
Stu

Posts: 2618
Joined: Jan. 30 2007
From: London (the South of it), England

RE: Thumb Rest Stroke VS Free Stroke... (in reply to trivium91

quote:

I’m simply asking why it seems they do more free strokes in general


Grisha is is originally a cassical player. That is why. You answered your own question.

I dunno, do what you want really. I seem to recall the late Great Ron Mitchell's signature on the foro said something along the lines of...."this stuff is hard"

If you're classically trained maybe you can wing it and get away with playing some kind of flamenco with your old technique habits.
But that would be cutting a corner. It's hard cos you aren't used to it.
Id say keep practicing, slowly and force yourself to play rest strokes. I'm sure you can crack it!

What about flamenco tremolo. You play much of that compared to classics tremolo? How did that feel?
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Apr. 21 2024 20:06:57
 
metalhead

 

Posts: 136
Joined: Apr. 15 2023
 

RE: Thumb Rest Stroke VS Free Stroke... (in reply to Brendan

How about you stop being rude to somebody trying to know something.
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Apr. 21 2024 21:18:31
 
trivium91

 

Posts: 223
Joined: Jan. 24 2022
 

RE: Thumb Rest Stroke VS Free Stroke... (in reply to Ricardo

quote:

ORIGINAL: Ricardo

Try this and if you get it, apply it to arpegio the same way. Tremolo is an arpegio type technique only on one string instead of three. Yes there will be plenty of times you don’t rest but, doing it often should not be a “problem”. Once you can do it, you are free to make your own decision based on taste….but don’t use taste as an excuse.




Thanks, yeah it’s getting easier with practice. Are their benefits of using the rest stroke with arpeggio other than tone? I guess I’m hoping it will somehow be faster than free stroke arpeggio. It does make sense to learn this new skill and than have the freedom to choose where it’s appropriate when you are putting together falsettas. It’s funny though as my eyes see that Sabicas hardly uses them, while someone like Vicente amigo, it’s like that’s all he uses. I just wonder why that is for each, does it come down to tone preference or hand mechanics. That said, I’m sure Sabicas uses rest stroke arpeggios and just uses them sparingly.
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Apr. 21 2024 23:50:39
 
trivium91

 

Posts: 223
Joined: Jan. 24 2022
 

RE: Thumb Rest Stroke VS Free Stroke... (in reply to Stu

quote:

ORIGINAL: Stu

quote:

I’m simply asking why it seems they do more free strokes in general


Grisha is is originally a cassical player. That is why. You answered your own question.

I dunno, do what you want really. I seem to recall the late Great Ron Mitchell's signature on the foro said something along the lines of...."this stuff is hard"

If you're classically trained maybe you can wing it and get away with playing some kind of flamenco with your old technique habits.
But that would be cutting a corner. It's hard cos you aren't used to it.
Id say keep practicing, slowly and force yourself to play rest strokes. I'm sure you can crack it!

What about flamenco tremolo. You play much of that compared to classics tremolo? How did that feel?



It was pretty good with the flamenco tremolo, Work of course but was ok. Now im trying to incorporate rest stroke with the thumb into tremolo. That said, I have to do free stroke on the B string obviously, but also on the G string as my thumb is getting in the way of my fingers. My thumb just isn’t long enough to extend that far past my fingers to do rest stroke from G to B when doing tremolo.

Arpeggios are getting easier with thumb rest stroke but it still tricky. I guess I just feel like I’m trying to undue years of classical training. That said, it’s also tricky to know when to use rest stroke and when to use free stroke. I would say use rest stroke on the bass strings wherever possible?
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Apr. 21 2024 23:54:07
 
Ricardo

Posts: 14995
Joined: Dec. 14 2004
From: Washington DC

RE: Thumb Rest Stroke VS Free Stroke... (in reply to trivium91

quote:

I’m simply asking why it seems they do more free strokes in general, I really don’t see grisha using rest strokes with arpeggios or tremolo, my hand placement looks similar to his and I’m wondering if that is ok to do. Grisha was a classical guitarist, and so was I.


To be totally fair and honest….you are noticing a shortcoming in self taught individuals that learned by ear. I am saying that as one of the same. I had to “unlearn” the classical freestroke thumb as it seemed unnatural to rest a bass and play a treble simultaneously like pat the head rub the belly type coordination. It basically slows you down for a while until you internalize the feeling. I spoke with Grisha privately once about a certain piece where I notice it totally affects the sound. If you did not know it, in the early years of Grisha’s videos he would get criticized for not sounding flamenco enough etc…but nobody that was criticizing him seemed to realize a small technical issue regarding the apoyando thumb that massively affects the sound. I remember some people figured jealousy since Grisha plays orders of magnitude faster than everybody else, matching paco and Sabicas note for note etc. Well I discussed one piece with him where I suggested he take the time to get it the right way because it would sound “better” or more flamenco or whatever, and he admitted he did try it and it slowed his tempo far below what he needed to perform. I totally get it…it is like you are saying, it is too many years of having learned to avoid the technique.

Encountering students that are beginner they don’t have this problem because they don’t have the 10k hours of training tirando pulgar opposite fingers. I treat all my personal students as beginners in this regard because the classical and big etc guitar players that start with flamenco after years of some other style, have a huge advantage but they simply can’t see that with regard to these little issues. It is so much easier to make excuses (Sabicas or PDL used a tirando thumb in these important spots!!! Etc). The point is, lesser players than yourselves CAN do it, and so can you. Rather than considering it as “unlearning” an old habit for the same music…pretend it is simply BRAND NEW music starting from scratch using a novel technical device.

_____________________________

CD's and transcriptions available here:
www.ricardomarlow.com
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Apr. 22 2024 11:49:06
 
devilhand

 

Posts: 1641
Joined: Oct. 15 2019
 

RE: Thumb Rest Stroke VS Free Stroke... (in reply to trivium91

quote:

. I would say use rest stroke on the bass strings wherever possible?

Yes. The exceptions:
Free stroke on D String in ami arpegio on GBE strings. Sometimes you do free stroke on G string.
As for tremolo, free stroke on B String.

_____________________________

Say No to Fuera de Compás!!!
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Apr. 22 2024 11:57:47
 
Ricardo

Posts: 14995
Joined: Dec. 14 2004
From: Washington DC

RE: Thumb Rest Stroke VS Free Stroke... (in reply to devilhand

quote:

Free stroke on D String in ami arpegio on GBE strings


This depends on the rhythm of the phrase. If you are doing triplets, it is absolutely appropriate to rest on the D string after ami, if the note is accented and held. Same goes for the opposite version ima-P…in fact it is THIS pattern, where you play say solea bass melody standard thing as dotted 8th (three 16 triplet value) and the fingers do triplet ami, (or even faster divisions is more advanced with a longer wait time on the thumb note), that the technique can be trained such that 100% of the thumb notes will be apoyando. At least that is how I train beginners and everyone gets it. The reverse ami-P is good too, after the other one is mastered first.

_____________________________

CD's and transcriptions available here:
www.ricardomarlow.com
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Apr. 22 2024 12:02:26
 
trivium91

 

Posts: 223
Joined: Jan. 24 2022
 

RE: Thumb Rest Stroke VS Free Stroke... (in reply to Ricardo

[image][/image]
quote:

ORIGINAL: Ricardo

quote:

I’m simply asking why it seems they do more free strokes in general, I really don’t see grisha using rest strokes with arpeggios or tremolo, my hand placement looks similar to his and I’m wondering if that is ok to do. Grisha was a classical guitarist, and so was I.


To be totally fair and honest….you are noticing a shortcoming in self taught individuals that learned by ear. I am saying that as one of the same. I had to “unlearn” the classical freestroke thumb as it seemed unnatural to rest a bass and play a treble simultaneously like pat the head rub the belly type coordination. It basically slows you down for a while until you internalize the feeling. I spoke with Grisha privately once about a certain piece where I notice it totally affects the sound. If you did not know it, in the early years of Grisha’s videos he would get criticized for not sounding flamenco enough etc…but nobody that was criticizing him seemed to realize a small technical issue regarding the apoyando thumb that massively affects the sound. I remember some people figured jealousy since Grisha plays orders of magnitude faster than everybody else, matching paco and Sabicas note for note etc. Well I discussed one piece with him where I suggested he take the time to get it the right way because it would sound “better” or more flamenco or whatever, and he admitted he did try it and it slowed his tempo far below what he needed to perform. I totally get it…it is like you are saying, it is too many years of having learned to avoid the technique.

Encountering students that are beginner they don’t have this problem because they don’t have the 10k hours of training tirando pulgar opposite fingers. I treat all my personal students as beginners in this regard because the classical and big etc guitar players that start with flamenco after years of some other style, have a huge advantage but they simply can’t see that with regard to these little issues. It is so much easier to make excuses (Sabicas or PDL used a tirando thumb in these important spots!!! Etc). The point is, lesser players than yourselves CAN do it, and so can you. Rather than considering it as “unlearning” an old habit for the same music…pretend it is simply BRAND NEW music starting from scratch using a novel technical device.



Thanks Ricardo, this is really awesome information and it helps out a ton. So in other words its a personal choice, but its definitely necessary to learn the rest stroke to get more of a flamenco sound. Ill keep at it, I guess its just like learning any of the other flamenco techniques as it takes time, but eventually it will become second nature. I also did not know you started off with classical. I guess I just take it one falsetta at a time, really loving Flamencoexplained.com for the falsettas. It's basically like having the teacher right there with you, minus the feedback of course.

Images are resized automatically to a maximum width of 800px
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Apr. 22 2024 15:12:34
 
Brendan

Posts: 358
Joined: Oct. 30 2010
 

RE: Thumb Rest Stroke VS Free Stroke... (in reply to trivium91

I apologise for the tone of my earlier remark. I’m glad you’ve had this wealth of constructive advice from others.

I doubt the length of your thumb has much to do with it, as players of all shapes and sizes master these techniques. If you can pinch finger and thumb together when there isn’t a guitar in the way, you will be able to use rest-strokes with your thumb on all the strings bar the top E while playing arpeggios or tremolo. What’s stopping you is probably something to do with the whole mechanism of hand-arm-shoulder. You may end up having to shift your wrist by half an inch or change the height of your footstool or something like that.

I feel your pain. I’m trying to play gypsy jazz, and that’s all rest-strokes with a much thicker pick than I used to use the play rock and a completely different action with the hand hanging in space instead of lying against the guitar face (so how am I suppose to even know where the strings are, eh?). It means a complete rebuild of my plectrum technique and it’s immensely frustrating. If I don’t do it, I won’t get the tone and the phrasing. But someone who used rock technique to play Django lines wouldn’t be breaking any law.

_____________________________

https://sites.google.com/site/obscureflamencology/
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Apr. 23 2024 10:25:42
 
trivium91

 

Posts: 223
Joined: Jan. 24 2022
 

RE: Thumb Rest Stroke VS Free Stroke... (in reply to Brendan

So far things are getting better, im getting better at it. Im growing my thumb nail longer and doing two pieces of nail silk and some extra glue instead of one which also helps. The extra thickness of the glue to the thumb nail helps it glide off the string better, rather than getting hung up. My thumb nail tends curl down a bit, so having a nice thick nail of which I can file level helps alot. Ironically I never had a huge issue with alzupua without glue, other than excessive wear. It likely because the angle of attack when doing alzapua is more severe than doing an arpeggio.
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Apr. 26 2024 20:47:49
 
elias

 

Posts: 40
Joined: Nov. 23 2023
 

RE: Thumb Rest Stroke VS Free Stroke... (in reply to trivium91

Just practice it super slowly. Thumb rest stroke felt incredibly awkward and constraining for me at first but now I love it and think it's really fun. Just keep practising.
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Apr. 28 2024 1:31:39
 
trivium91

 

Posts: 223
Joined: Jan. 24 2022
 

RE: Thumb Rest Stroke VS Free Stroke... (in reply to elias

quote:

ORIGINAL: elias

Just practice it super slowly. Thumb rest stroke felt incredibly awkward and constraining for me at first but now I love it and think it's really fun. Just keep practising.


Just an update guys, progress has been good but hit a snag with consistency since I noticed that my arpeggios are choppy sounding and my fingers are still catching. I also met with my classical/flamenco teacher, ironically he uses mostly rest stroke thumb so I can learn alot from him. So my rest stroke is generally ok but it is the simple fact that my fingers are not parallel to the fret board, and im not able to severely angle my wrist down to do it. That basically means my fingers are not coming off the strings nicely, and my thumb is getting in the way. It was fine with free stroke as I had more room with my fingers, but now with the rest stroke I really have to lock the hand in one position and thats where I run into issues. This is a good thing though as my teacher said I move my hand too much anyways when changing techniques, especially picado. My old position has my right leg on a foot stool, or crosslegged with the fretboard pretty level, thats how I've been playing for a long time. Well I believe that position was holding me back. The Classical position does not work as the guitar is too pointed upwards, and too far to the left which makes some techniques harder. I just tried one of the metal guitar stands with suction cups that rests it on the left leg, though I adjust it so the guitar is more in the middle of my body. It's perfect, it brings the fretboard up nice and high, though not as high as the classical position. It keeps the guitar more centred and angles the strings perfectly for my fingers. In addition my thumb now has more reach to get out of the way of my fingers, my hand position does not change as much when doing picado, I dont have to lift my shoulder completely up. After watching sabicas videos, he pretty much sits the same way as this new position im trying, though I get that way with the metal tri-stand VS a footstool on the left foot that sabicas does. Im also short like sabicas, basically 5, 6" so this might have something to do with it. This new position I would say is a hybrid of the traditional flamenco position and the classical position. As a bonus fretting on my left hand so much easier on the wrist especially with bar cords.

The downside is, it does not look cool like cross legged, but who cares.
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Apr. 29 2024 16:27:48
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