The rest stroke produces a substantial tone and is occasionally used to accent a melodic line. As this is an important technique, especially in the more advanced pieces, the student should acquire at least a working understanding of it.

To prepare for the rest stroke, place the index finger of the right hand on the first string. Sound the string by moving it forcefully toward the soundboard of the guitar. For the follow through, keep the finger moving down until it stops on the second string. In the rest stroke, the finger always follows through by resting on the adjacent string; therefore it is played only on the first five strings of the guitar.

Practice the rest stroke with the index, middle and ring finger of the right hand on the first string until the process of preparaton, execution and follow through becomes smooth. Then, practice in the same way on strings one through five, using a strong follow through. Do not forget to connect the string changes smoothly.

rest stroke with the right hand

In both the rest stroke and the free stroke, keep the right hand as still as possible. When there is excess movement of the right hand, it is difficult to play with accuracy.

Next lesson: Beginner Exercises Introduction