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Video 10: Rest Stroke Essentials

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Some important takeaways from this video:

1. Push straight “down” into the soundboard
2. Keep your knuckles just behind the string that you’re playing.
3. Learn to shift between rest and free stroke by shifting the location of your knuckle over the string. Practice playing the same single-line phrase with both rest stroke and free stroke.
4. Often players are used to pulling their hand waaaay back every time they play a rest stroke. If you have trouble getting comfortable with a rest stroke that keeps the knuckles higher over the strings, try angling your hand so the nails hit the strings differently as demonstrated beginning at 2:53
5. Not mentioned in the video: if your fingernails are too long, a rest stroke from this angle will be harder. Check the length of your nails.
6. There’s also a “players-eye-view” section to this rest-stroke video, at around 3:15. I put this in because it’s always tricky to judge the angle from where you’re sitting. It will probably look a bit different to you! Move your head around and even try looking at yourself in the mirror or taking a webcam video of yourself to get a different vantage point. Or, ask someone else, such as your teacher.
7. Finally, there’s a discussion of when, why and where to use the pulled back rest stroke hand position. This hand position works great for single note passages where you need extra speed, volume, or expressive emphasis.

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