On Practice: Planting
By Daniel Roest
The key to great speed, stability, control and tone is at hand: the right hand, that is. "Planting" is a technique used in classical guitar and other finger styles. Grab a fistful of strings and hold on. Release one at a time, thumb (p), index (i), middle (m) and ring (r).
You've just planted and played an ascending pima arpeggio.
This planting technique is so good, it needs to be your default technique for all ascending arpeggios. It's like Velcro®, like peeling a banana. It rocks. Okay, I'm a little enthusiastic about planting. But it really revolutionized my right hand superfast arpeggios, fat tone. Here are examples of ascending arpeggios benefiting from planting:
pim, pia, pima
and examples of combined ascending and descending arpeggios using planting:
pimi, piai, pimami, pimiai, pimiaimi.
Another reason to plant is roll out a chord for expression though it may be written as a block chord. This style is more lyrical and romantic a very attractive effect. One of my favorite pieces, Romance of the Pines, by Federico Moreno-Torroba, starts out this way.
An example of how this technique aids in executing repeated arpeggios very fast is in H. Villa-Lobos' Prelude No. 4, with a long series of pima 16th notes. It's much faster and stronger using planting.