Realizing that I was having trouble with getting single notes on my hammer. I'm only a week or so in.
I started playing around with classical guitar technique and went back and forth between rest and free stroke. Rest stroke is where you let your finger rest on the next string up, or down. I found that this helped me get a clean note and find the beginning of each stroke. I realize this is not a permanent solution but I was able to get clean notes on the open strings instead of multiple strings or dead strings.
Am I hurting my progress?
More or less how I play - the downward finger often stops on the next string if I'm playing an inner string, and even on the head if I'm playing the first con brio. The rest strokes aren't exactly like, or as firm, as on a classical guitar as;
a) it's your hand/arm that's moving not your finger (or should be)
b) the thumb acts as a stop to further motion before the finger has firmly landed on the next string.
c) the angle (and obviously direction) of attack is different
So it's more a situation of not bothering to avoid my nail landing on the next string rather than the firm intentional action of a rest stroke.
I'd never considered this until I saw your post. My guess is that we'll get responses from people who never contact the 'next' string. This is clawhammer where, unlike classical guitar, there's no right or wrong.
I used to do this. One issue I found is that you will mute the string you rest on. This comes to play if for example you have a situation where you play a quarter note on the first string and then an 8th note on the 2nd string. That first quarter note ends up being muted and it usually doesn't sound good. Same issue with striking the head, I didn't like the sound it introduced. This came up enough that I stopped doing it.
You're a week in. Give it time, and you will gain the accuracy needed to hit each string. Slow down, gain accuracy, then speed up. You mention yourself it's not a permanent solution. If you keep doing it, it will become permanent.
Like was mentioned above, you should do what you want. There's no right or wrong.
Edited by - KCJones on 04/12/2021 02:27:23
"Rest stroke" is basic and essential to how I play and teach clawhammer/rap/stroke style. I don't think there's any other way to get clear attack and articulation (without a lot of tension and wasted effort).
My whole technique could be described as a rest stroke with the index finger toward the head, then a free stroke with the thumb away from the head. Do that twice and you have one beat. Keep it up in even time and you're playing.
Wow great answers. I knew I was stretching the term, but I figured it would make sense.
That's great. Thank you. I watched one and two today and will watch more tomorrow.
What a smooth right hand. My favorite quote so far in response to people saying you shouldn't play drop thumb on fourth string, "They're basically wrong." Too funny.
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