Taking a lesson from the bottling robots
When I first heard Vicente Amigo's rasgueados, I was amazed at the clarity. The finger strokes sounded like
machine gun fire. I said, "I wanna play like that", damn it. There was something in his sound that spoke to me of
discipline. Using this analogy, I reasoned that even though a machine gun shoots out bullets pretty fast, each
bullet undergoes several mechanical stop-start processes before it actually leaves the chamber. This is where the
"relax after each stroke" made some sense and became important to me. Disciplined practice sucks alright but
playing bad guitar sucks even more.
So I started treating my fingers as if they were programmed industrial robots. I took a lesson from the swing
arm robots in the drink bottle factory where I worked at one time. The bottles would come down the line and stop
occasionally for various things to happen.
These robot arms would swing over to the bottles and:
STOP - then swing down to the top of the bottle and:
STOP - then close the grips on the bottle lip and:
STOP - then lift the bottle straight up and:
STOP - then swing across to a packing crate and:
STOP - then swing down into the crate and:
STOP - then release the grips and:
STOP - then lift back up again and:
STOP - and then the cycle would start all over again.
God bless em.