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Do you use a rest stroke or pluck cleanly?

Discussion in 'Technique [BG]' started by lm183902, Oct 1, 2008.

  1. lm183902


    Aug 19, 2007
    Denver, CO
    This has been somewhat of an obsession of mine for the last year or two, and want to know which technique seems more popular.

    I certainly feel that plucking cleanly, and not hitting the string below the one I'm playing, sounds much cleaner. However, I seem to be far more consistent with my volume, and have less muting trouble when using the rest stroke. I also seem to think less, and groove better. The problem with the rest stroke, though, is that there is plenty of noise from striking the string I'm not playing. This is definitely covered up when playing with a band, but should I let this stop me from trying to play with no noise at all? I'd love to hear some opinions on this, as I think about it constantly.
  2. DanielleMuscato


    Jun 19, 2004
    Columbia, Missouri, USA
    Endorsing Artist, Schroeder Cabinets
    It depends... The reason you'd use appoyando over tirando is not so much the resting on the next string as it is the angle at which your finger leaves the plucked string. A straight-off angle (appoyando) gives you a richer, fuller tone, and more volume than tirando. The shape of your nails and other aspects of right-hand technique (e.g. where you play along the strings) also play an important role in your overall tone. You should be able to do both without trouble (or noise) and switch back and forth depending on what type of line you're playing and what type of tone you want.... It's not one or the other; that's akin to asking do you slap or play fingerstyle? They are both useful for different things. Hope this helps!
  3. Ramstien


    Aug 19, 2007
    I have to think alot more when I use the rest stroke, rather than "running". I started off just running but I only started using the rest stroke when a teacher said it was a good idea.
  4. Both are good for different things. When I'm using floating thumb, it's mostly rest-strokes, when I'm anchoring for more 16th type lines and overly fast passages, it's free strokes. Learn both and use both.
  5. It depends on the feel of the song. On songs with more syncopation, I like to use a rest stroke, as it helps me get the groove.
  6. I find I can play faster without resting on the lower string but the tone is A) thinner/higher harmonics B) more legato.

    This is the method I began with so its the one I am most comfortable with.

    Lately I've really been practising the string-rest (apoyando, as had already been said - and to borrow a term from guitar) method since it allows me to play much cleaner. My tone does change though so I end up using each method in different circumstances.

    I can get a real good attack with sharp stacatto notes with the finger-rest method, which I really like for most of my playing.

    - Andrew
  7. Deacon_Blues


    Feb 11, 2007
    I use only rest strokes on bass except if I'm playing a chord. On classical guitar I use free strokes.
  8. I use left hand technique to mute the string I hit with my finger during a rest stroke (I fret with the pad ad mute the adjacent stringer with the tip). I get a little bit of noise when plucking open strings but it's very brief and not too noticeable IMO. Unfortunately this habit of fretting with the pad screws up my left hand technique a bit, so I have to really concentrate to get clean hammers and pull offs by arching my fingers and playing on the tips when required. I'm sure I would be horrible at tapping but I've never really tried it.

    So mark me down as a rest stroker, never really tried the free stroke.
  9. EclecticElectrk


    Aug 26, 2008
    i have had this issue too, ive always played without hitting the string below, but lately ive been debating whether i should learn the rest stroke technique. sometimes i get messed up when i dig in way too much and i get sort of a failed pop, using the free strokes technique. i have also noticed that for slower parts, i tend to automatically use the rest stroke style, but for faster parts i use the free stroke technique. any thoughts? should i relearn my right hand technique or keep it as is?
  10. Ramstien


    Aug 19, 2007
    When I'm changing strings alot, I use "free running" stroke. I learned that way, so I never really use rest stroke.
  11. timmbass


    Oct 4, 2006
    Atlanta, GA
    rest stroke with floating thumb and nickel strings into headphones and I never hear my fingers hit the lower strings...but...I play basses that have narrow string spacing...in fact I think that the reason I like narrow string spacing is due more to the shorter distance of the rest stroke than due to the shorter shift to another string
  12. Craig_S

    Craig_S Banned

    Oct 15, 2008
    Metro Detroit
    I had to look up what a rest stroke is before I could answer. I never took any lessons. I developed my right hand technique naturally, trying to get as clean a sound as possible. I went from heavy rock into country, in the 90's and I needed to refine my "flailing" rock fingers.

    I use a combination of both techniques, depending on the line. I still pull out the flailing rock fingers when it's needed, and I also use a pick when the song calls for it.
  13. I mostly use the rest stroke unless chording or letting a note sustain.

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