Questions about Rotation

Question: "What's this forearm rotation thing? I must confess I've never heard of this."

Answer: I may be the first to use the term for guitar - maybe not, it doesn't matter at all. As far back as the early 20c Tobias Matthay used the concept in print in regard to piano playing.

Rasgueado is a right hand guitar technique involving rotation of the forearm. Rasgueado is a right hand guitar technique involving rotation of the forearm. Rasgueado is a right hand guitar technique involving rotation of the forearm.

Question: "Do you mean your forearm is rocking/rotating to and fro with each sequence of the tremolo? I just tired this and can't figure it out. Makes no sense to me."

Answer: It is a very subtle movement. Very simply...

  • Put your arm in front of you - palm down
  • Rotate your forearm to the left and your thumb moves toward the floor
  • Rotate your forearm to the right and your little finger moves toward the floor
    • There is a movement in Wing Chun Kung Fu which I use to demonstrate this. The fingers curl sequentially, the wrist rotates and you move the whole hand from inside the opponent's arm to outside, while maintain contact.

      You are using the extreme ranges of movment, and it is very quick, and it is activated by forearm rotation.

      A tremelo is a subset of that sequence of movements.

      Like many 'complex' movements, rotation works well if studied consciously at first and even exaggerated, then "allowed" to occur as a part of the whole sequence.

      Many / most players would use rotation inconsciously, and if they're playing well it's not an issue. However those who are having difficulty might find that a little attention to rotation frees up the fingers.

      The holistic and reductionist approaches are discussed here - holistic.

      This is like demonstrating Bruce Lee's "One-inch-Punch"... a lot happens externally but nothing much in the body - seems - to move.