Classical guitar: notation of apoyando (rest stroke)

There are several ways of indicating whether a note should be played apoyando (rest stroke) or tirando (free stroke). Here a few examples:

Bildschirmfoto 2021-08-02 um 17.04.54
Perhaps there are more?
It would be great if we could choose between those possibilities in engraving options and invoke the apoyando-fingering with shift-i, shift-m etc.

Thanks for the feedback, @Zimi. Are there particular publishers or composers for whom either or both of these notations is considered especially idiomatic?

Just for my information and perhaps future use: what is the difference between a free stroke and a rest stroke.

(As you can easily surmise, I do not play guitar.)

Apoyando (rest stroke) is when the playing finger, after having picked the string, lands on the neighbouring string and rests there. With tirando it remains free of the strings.

Thank you. I can see how that would be useful in the second example.

Apoyando is not just to deaden the previous note. It has a slightly different, more mellow or soft sound, whereas tirando is slightly crispier or harder.

1 Like

It seems that the notation with ^ above the letters was introduced and used by Julio Sagreras.

The special font with lines attached to the letters can be found in publications by Vogt & Fritz, Schweinfurt.

I alway use the lines above the letters, since it is also the easiest for handwriting, I have no idea where it comes from and if it is standard

The challenge here - for both Dorico and for any engraver - is that there is no standard symbol(s) in use. One of my teachers used an inverted diamond - pointing down - for apoyando, and a u-shape for free tirando. Neither seem to have caught on beyond his students. I’m not saying it’s not a good idea to notate these, but one would have to give information in the form of a preface/footnote what the symbols indicate. In fact, I read the first measure of the OP as simply tenutos - yes, they should be above the notehead, and not the right hand fingering - but that was my first thought. For the second measure, I took the symbol to be some type of accent.

The other point I would make is that these indications are really only found in pedagogical works - one rarely sees concert pieces with any indication of which strokes to use in any situation. In pedagogical works, there is nearly always text that accompanies the examples. But in music for performance, it is not seen (much).

Again, not that it’s a bad idea, but there is the risk of a lot of information that could be applied to a single pitch: fret, string, left hand finger, right hand finger, and now rest/free stroke. We may be generating more problems than solving them.

FWIW, I am a guitarist.

Yes, I agree with rpearl. I’m a guitarist too. The rest stroke has become somewhat outdated because modern free stroke techniques can very closely simulate the tone of rest strokes. Aaron Shearer dropped it from his teaching about 50 years ago. I don’t know any teachers that now teach it specifically. It is probably best left as an interpretive technique instead of further cluttering up the score as others have said.

Ironically, Aaron Shearer was the one teacher to whom I was referring when describing markings for apoyando/tirando. He didn’t abandon the rest/apoyando stroke, but he certainly encouraged - and taught - that a full free/tirando stroke was essential.

I agree that these indications are mostly for pedagogical works. But I also think that the vast majority of people who buy a notation program use it exactly for that: writing exercises and arrangements for their not very experienced students. So it would be nice to have. Dorico allows me to create these indications as music symbols, but it would be more elegant to be able to enter them as fingerings.

I believe you could also create them as Playing Techniques. Others can better advise on how to do this, but it might make the process move a little more quickly for you once it’s set up.