The all free stroke school

Classical Guitar technique: studies, scales, arpeggios, theory
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guit-box
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The all free stroke school

Postby guit-box » Fri Dec 23, 2011 6:15 pm

I've heard in passing at least a couple times that there are schools/teachers that discourage the use of the rest-stroke. Does anyone know the specifics of this and what teachers advocate using only free stroke? What is the reason? I can imagine that it would make your right hand more consistent since it only needs to have one positions for every stroke, but I can also imagine the performances would sound more keyboardistic than traditional classical guitar or flamenco guitar technique.
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Leitmotiv
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Re: The all free stroke school

Postby Leitmotiv » Fri Dec 23, 2011 9:03 pm

It occurs to me that apoyando is more for emphasis through greater volume of sound, than any idea of contrast with tirando. If you can have the same piano/forte range (tirando/apoyando), without resorting to apoyando, it makes for a smoother overall presentation of the music.

Apoyando does have the drawback of being less free-flowing ; above all, melody needs a solid legato.

I only play apoyando for effect, and never for phrasing a line: it's just sounds too bumpy to my ears. It is possible to get the dynamic contrasts you wish for purely through tirando, although it is a long apprenticeship.

There are many previous threads on this topic, as it is a difficult decision for your future make-up as a guitar player.

Leitmotiv
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Tom Poore
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Re: The all free stroke school

Postby Tom Poore » Fri Dec 23, 2011 10:16 pm

First, you should know that some who are portrayed as free stroke only actually use rest stroke. For example, I've many times seen Abel Carlevaro and his students described as free stroke only players. But I've seen Carlevaro in his instructional video, and I've seen Eduardo Fernández in recital. Both use rest stroke. So much for the "no rest stroke" Carlevaro school of playing.

You should also be aware that some players base their opinion of rest stroke on their own deficiencies. Thus, because they encounter limitations with rest stroke themselves, they falsely conclude that these limitations are integral to rest stroke itself. The fact that other players don't encounter these deficiencies doesn't seem to change their minds.

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Re: The all free stroke school

Postby guit-box » Fri Dec 23, 2011 10:34 pm

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Classical_ ... s_Apoyando

I found this list of players who primarily use free stroke.
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Tom Poore
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Re: The all free stroke school

Postby Tom Poore » Sat Dec 24, 2011 1:07 pm

guit-box wrote:http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Classical_guitar_technique#Tirando_versus_Apoyando

I found this list of players who primarily use free stroke.

Neither Manuel Barreuco nor Roberto Aussel are exclusively free stroke players, which is the subject of this thread. Further, the Barrueco quote is lifted from a response to a student who claimed that rest stroke was unnecessary, as free stroke could do everything that rest stroke could do. Barrueco disagreed. Unfortunately, this quote originally appeared on the GFA website but is now no longer available there.

Just about every player "primarily" uses free stroke, in the sense that they use it far more often than rest stroke. That's not the same as saying that they never use rest stroke.

Leitmotiv wrote:Apoyando does have the drawback of being less free-flowing ; above all, melody needs a solid legato.

Why do you believe that legato can't be done equally well with either rest stroke or free stroke? There's nothing about rest stroke that makes it inherently less legato than free stroke.

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AndreiKrylov
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Re: The all free stroke school

Postby AndreiKrylov » Sun Dec 25, 2011 9:35 pm

guit-box wrote:I've heard in passing at least a couple times that there are schools/teachers that discourage the use of the rest-stroke. Does anyone know the specifics of this and what teachers advocate using only free stroke? What is the reason? I can imagine that it would make your right hand more consistent since it only needs to have one positions for every stroke, but I can also imagine the performances would sound more keyboardistic than traditional classical guitar or flamenco guitar technique.

Why guitarist or composer would want to limit yourself voluntarily? Why somebody would deny possibilities of extra colors in sound ?
Just to make something faster? Or easier to learn? Why not simply play free stroke there it is necessary, maybe even through whole piece and play rest stroke in another piece there it is necessary? Such limitation is illogical and make sound of guitar poorer ... Opposite thing should be promoted - using all and any kind of techniques possible on classical guitar! Then classical guitar will be even more attractive and more expressive instrument with possibility to transmit maximum of ideas and emotions what performer/composer want to transmit through it.
Free stroke is good ... but rest stroke too :)
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Re: The all free stroke school

Postby guit-box » Mon Dec 26, 2011 2:11 am

I have no strong opinion pro/con for any technique, I'm just asking the question to see who exactly advocates only free stroke and what their reasoning is. I like to hold things up to the light for close inspection so I can come to my own conclusions--that's all I'm doing here.

http://fretsandfingers.com/Technique_Philosophy.html

Here's a post on Mel Hallam's site about the Romero technique that he was taught and another school of guitar that only teaches free stroke. I'd like to know who he is talking about. Maybe that would lead to an answer to my question.
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Re: The all free stroke school

Postby AndreiKrylov » Mon Dec 26, 2011 3:37 am

It is an interesting article, I agree with many things in it, but disagree with some too - there are many great players and composers nowadays as it was decades ago. There are many new interesting composers as well.
OK about so called free stroke technique.
I'm familiar with it.
Free stroke school is widely taught everywhere especially in Europe, I know it is taught in Sweden and in some places in Germany and people who studied in those universities shared it with me. The main argument of this school is basically speed and precision - guitarist using this technique can play faster and more precise and concrete sound (as they said).
It is not about free stroke only but about limitation of fingers movement (and in general I would agree - it is very logical to use less movement and less strength when playing) . Therefore when you do "free stroke" this way you do it with smallest movement possible and after stroke fingers immediately return to starting position. It seems like logical and yes it will increase speed of arpeggios and similar things. But the main problem that learning it pupil as well learning necessity to limit himself - that maybe sound funny but this is who we are - our movements, we expressed ourselves certain way, our movements is like our handwriting - it is very individual and when somebody tries to make movements standard - and I went through it in the school system of 60s then everybody in school were forced to write with the same handwriting identical letters.
And when we limit ourselves only in one, identical style of handwriting/ playing when we loose our individuality, and then that's why Mel Hallam hears so many guitarist sound "sound so sterile, thin and even monotone" exactly because in the process of years study they becoming sterilized... it happens on subconsciousness level - limitation of movements=limitations of emotions...
Therefor my conclusion will be - absolute limitation of movement (so called free stroke technique) when it is applicable (etude of fast arpeggios for example) will be great, but using this technique for everything (slow romantic piece, moderate speed passionate music ) will be more than counterproductive ... But the main fear for me is automatism... development of same guitar "handwriting"...

That is my simple explanation... :)
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Robin
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Re: The all free stroke school

Postby Robin » Mon Dec 26, 2011 4:05 am

AndreiKrylov wrote: And when we limit ourselves only in one, identical style of handwriting/ playing when we loose our individuality, and then that's why Mel Hallam hears so many guitarist sound "sound so sterile, thin and even monotone" exactly because in the process of years study they becoming sterilized... it happens on subconsciousness level - limitation of movements=limitations of emotions...

That is my simple explanation... :)


Simple, yes--but a profound insight.

This doesn't answer the OP question, but I was taught both free stroke and rest stroke from the beginning and have been held responsible to develop both on a continual basis. My right hand makes little distinction between rest stroke or free stroke and I have begun to use what some call a push stroke which is sort of a hybrid stroke. I use my right hand technical tool box to serve the music I play.

As a rookie teacher of beginners--primarily children--I typically teach them rest stroke first. They seem to be able to attain a more correct hand movement with rest stroke. I have a much more difficult time teaching them free stroke--and it is hard for them to understand why they should have to put extra effort into learning a different way when they already know one way to play! I think I can apply your concept in various ways to help them to understand why they would want to be able to play using two different strokes. Thanks for sharing your insight!

Now, back to the regularly scheduled programming.....

Robin
So much music, so little time.

Wayne S

Re: The all free stroke school

Postby Wayne S » Mon Dec 26, 2011 10:35 am

I started playing when I was about 11 that is now 45 years ago, I was a CG teacher for about 5 years and I use both. All of the best CG players I have seen in concert and on records including Flamenco players all play a mixture of free stoke and rest stroke. I don't believe there are any good CG players that don't use rest stroke as part of their technique.
To play fast running scales you have to actually pluck the string and then the finger rests against the string lower in pitch to the one just played if only for a fraction of time. It serves two purposes to get power from the string and also stop the vibration of the string (if there is no left finger on the string). Free stroke does enable faster playing for arpeggios Etc but is not always able to give a correct time value to each note played. Mixing rest stroke and free stroke when playing any piece will help the players intonation, the volume and timing for given notes. To accent a note in a passage or a phrase often rest stroke is used.

So in order to get full command of the Guitar and many colours and accents it is necessary to use both methods. Practice will make both methods seamless.
Cheers Wayne S. Oh and merry Xmas and a great new year to all.

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Tom Poore
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Re: The all free stroke school

Postby Tom Poore » Mon Dec 26, 2011 7:12 pm

AndreiKrylov wrote:Free stroke school is widely taught everywhere especially in Europe, I know it is taught in Sweden and in some places in Germany and people who studied in those universities shared it with me. The main argument of this school is basically speed and precision - guitarist using this technique can play faster and more precise and concrete sound (as they said).

The irony of this, as you surely know, is that many of the fastest and most precise players use rest stroke. It certainly hasn't hindered Pepe Romero.

I've never understood this ongoing campaign against rest stroke. Second tier players sometimes spin theories on how, with the right kind of free stroke, one can "almost match" everything that rest stroke can do. (Tellingly, there's often an "almost" in everything said or written about the interchangeability of free stroke and rest stroke.) Fortunately it seems to have no effect on great players. That's not surprising. Second tier players rely on theories—great players rely on their ears.

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Re: The all free stroke school

Postby AndreiKrylov » Mon Dec 26, 2011 7:26 pm

Tom Poore wrote:
AndreiKrylov wrote:Free stroke school is widely taught everywhere especially in Europe, I know it is taught in Sweden and in some places in Germany and people who studied in those universities shared it with me. The main argument of this school is basically speed and precision - guitarist using this technique can play faster and more precise and concrete sound (as they said).

The irony of this, as you surely know, is that many of the fastest and most precise players use rest stroke. It certainly hasn't hindered Pepe Romero.

I've never understood this ongoing campaign against rest stroke. Second tier players sometimes spin theories on how, with the right kind of free stroke, one can "almost match" everything that rest stroke can do. (Tellingly, there's often an "almost" in everything said or written about the interchangeability of free stroke and rest stroke.) Fortunately it seems to have no effect on great players. That's not surprising. Second tier players rely on theories—great players rely on their ears.

Tom Poore
South Euclid, OH
USA


Robin, Wayne, Tom, Thanks for your respond to my post in this theme !
I think both rest stroke and free stroke are natural part of guitar technique. And minimal movement is good too, and if you can achieve more lightness and speed in some arpeggios etc. is good too. But I think it will be a mistake to replace all different things with one... that's why I'm for both rest and free stroke and other things...it is just depends from the context of music and conception of interpretation.
I'd better speak by music...Please listen Andrei Krylov at CDbaby, iTunes, Spotify, Amazon etc. Thanks!

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Re: The all free stroke school

Postby Leitmotiv » Mon Dec 26, 2011 10:58 pm

In the above postings, people are pretty much asking "why limit yourself; why shun apoyando?". All I can say is that the possibilities/horizons are limitless... but only through tirando. Now, I've never had much in my life that was mine and mine alone, until I discovered this way of expression; this 'free stroke'. That's what puts guitar up there with any instrument used successfuly in art music performance.

As I said before, I do use apoyando. And are the guitarists who use it so sparingly less than complete? Well, that depends. It depends how deep, how broad their tirando.

Leitmotiv
Last edited by Leitmotiv on Tue Dec 27, 2011 10:19 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: The all free stroke school

Postby AndreiKrylov » Mon Dec 26, 2011 11:15 pm

Leitmotiv wrote:In the above postings, people are pretty much asking "why limit yourself; why shun apoyando?". All I can say is that the possibilities/horizons are limitless... but only through tirando. Now, I've never had much in my life that was mine and mine alone, until I discovered this way of expression; this 'free stroke'. That's what puts guitar up there with any instrument used successfuly in art music performance.

As I said before, I do use apoyando. And are the guitarists who use it so sparingly less than complete? Well, that depends. It depends; how deep how broad their tirando.

Leitmotiv


Albert Camus was a great thinker and writer and it seems like you following his ideas about absurd to the letter : you limit your way of expressing yourself to reach limitless expression... that's sound totally Camus' and very logical to the logic of absurd, which is very interesting logic but is it really attachable to the guitar playing? I use apoyando and use tirando all the time as I feel applicable and you could listen it (I have tons of music available on WWW, more than 50 albums) . I wonder if you could present your playing of something so we could hear, maybe even Romanza for example, using only tirando and if it will be the same or better without apoyando, then maybe you will prove your point about technique. I think this will be good way to continue this subject.:)
I'd better speak by music...Please listen Andrei Krylov at CDbaby, iTunes, Spotify, Amazon etc. Thanks!

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Re: The all free stroke school

Postby guit-box » Tue Dec 27, 2011 8:18 pm

It would be very informative for me, and I'm sure others, to hear two people from opposing schools play the same piece. Would you gentlemen be interested in picking a piece and both posting your versions on youtube for us to compare? I know the reasoning behind the different schools has to do with more than just the resulting sound, it also affects feel and technique on the instrument, but surely there is also a difference in the sound and having a recording would make this clearer.
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