Rest Stroke Combinations
Set your metronome to a comfortable tempo at which you can play four sixteenth notes per beat. Each group below is one beat. Four beats make one measure, and x4 makes it a four bar phrase. Because the ima and ami fingerings cycle, all four bars are given.Do not pause between combinations, play all the combinations as one large pattern.Play the pattern entirely on one string, then repeat on all strings.
If you can play all these combinations with ease at a given tempo, then you may say that your hand is balanced at that tempo. As the tempo increases, some combinations will feel like they are lagging behind the others. These are then practiced until they are as strong as any other combination.
iaia iaia iaia iaia (x4)
mama mama mama mama (x4)
mimi mimi mimi mimi (x4)
aiai aiai aiai aiai (x4)
amam amam amam amam (x4)
imai maim aima imai maim aima imai maim aima imai maim aima imai maim aima imai
amia miam iami amia miam iami amia miam iami amia miam iami amia miam iami amia
mima mima mima mima (x4)
1. rest the right hand thumb on the sixth string to stabilize the hand. Make sure you can play without the thumb resting as well. Also, lift the right arm off the guitar altogether to that it is suspended by the shoulder. You should be able to play almost as easily. If you cannot, it means you are resting too much weight on the guitar. Just as the thumb of the left hand should only lightly rest on the back of the neck, the right arm should rest only lightly on the guitar, just to balance it.
2. play the whole sequence stacatto, that is, with preparation. It is good to do this once or twice as you begin the exercise before using the metronome and playing normally. Of course it is good to investigate this effect at some point or another in your career and practice this way alot more to see what it really does. But generally, if when you play the sequence staccato you find that your fingers easily find the string and they seat properly, then it is only necessary to practice this way a little, just to maintain the feeling. If you find that your placement is becomming sloppy and your tone inconsistent, then up your preperation practice until you hand feels slick once again.
3. play off the ramp formed by the front edge of the nail. If you let the string get under the nail, its bound to get caught up there and slow you down.If you keep your right wrist basically straight, it will naturally angle your hand so you play off the front edge (nail and flesh combo). You'll know when you're doing it because your tone will be ten times better.
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