technique that often gains and loses favor for
some odd reason.
is strictly aimed at classical guitarists.
Referred to more commonly as the 'rest' stroke,
it is easily understood by thinking of the rest
stroke as a right hand plucking technique
whereby the plucking finger travels past the
string as it is plucks and comes to rest on the
string adjacent to it. [IE when plucking the g
string, the finger comes to rest on the d
I spoke with another former student of the late
great Albert Blain and he has told me that in
certain academic circles the apoyando or rest
stroke is no longer taught. Blain pushed apoyando
on his students for one reason: artistic
expression. Why? Well, in Blain's day, acoustic
electric instruments were mostly unheard of and I
know, as a disciple of Segovia, he would have
refused any artificial amplification of the
instrument as an abomination. The apoyando
allowed the recitalist to generate higher
volumes from an acoustic instrument than would be
available using the free stroke.
The phiti to the right shows the free stroke. In this stroke, the
finger strikes the string at an upward angle
allowing it to pass the adjacent string without
touching it. Because the finger is expending
energy to curl up towards the palm as well as
(some would say) having to lose impetus through
increased accuracy to miss that adjacent string,
the free stroke is a thinner
sound, less volume being the most obvious
difference. I have known some fine players who
have eschewed the apoyando and do play at good
volume and with full tone. They have expended
years of extra effort to do so. Why not use a
tool that works? Apoyando is not evil!
The photo at left shows the apoyando
or rest stroke. Think of it sort of like the way
a bass player plucks the strings. Please note
that in these self-taken pictures--try taking
pictures of your hand while holding a guitar and
demonstrating a pluck--that my hand position has
not rotated away from proper position. Some
players often rotate the wrist to switch to
apoyando mode and I believe it is this unnecessary
movement that has pushed some players and
instructors away form the apoyando.
Please note that my finger has just completed
plucking the g string and is resting on the d
string. My finger is straight, the entire weight
of the finger has been used to produce a fat,
round and loud tone. My free stroke is almost as
loud, almost as fat, almost... I prefer having
that little extra. It's like Spinal Tap's
Marshalls that go to eleven. I've got that little
bit extra when it is needed.
Okay, so you play and instrument
equipped with a
Fishman bridge or are mic'd up and running
through the sound system from hell. Why would you
need an apoyando technique? Well, how many
guitarists don't want a
broader dynamic range?
Learn the apoyando. It is not hard to master and
will result in higher volume and fatter tone. Use
the Segovia edition 'Major and Minor Diatonic
Scales' book and run your scales both rest and
exercises and come back next week for more!.
AVAILABLE NOW !
The Classic Guitar Method: Now in one volume, much
of what the novice classical guitarist will need to
know to lead him or her to the recital stage. From
proper instrument care and maintenance to the
necessary technical skills, musical mind-set, and
the standard repertoire—all exposed and explored
with enough detail and insight that the student will
wish to keep this book handy years to come as a
ready reference source.
With the aid of a good teacher, the student will
rapidly progress through The Classic Guitar Method
attaining technical proficiency and musical
This method stems from the need to incorporate a
number of schools into a single cohesive curriculum.
Years of honing a logical approach to the guitar and
the creation of music culminate in this volume. As a
self-proclaimed Disciple of Valdés-Blain , much of
that famed teacher's focus can be found in Mr.
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