Way back in 1996, I wrote a little rasgueado method book entitled Rasgueados Are for Everyone: the guitarist's rasgueado method.
That was an interesting time in my musical and personal life. I had just come off two surgeries and was unable, for the most part, to go to back to college (I missed almost a year). I did take a guitar pedagogy course, which coincided with the research I was doing in response to the severe back pain I'd begun to experience while practicing – due in no small part to being so weakened, but also because I was using a footstool. I'd started working on a paper to go along with the discoveries I was making and used my Sitting with the Guitar article on my new website, humaneguitarist.org, as the basis for one of my assignments.
By the way, I used an early version of Arachnophilia to make the site … if memory serves.
During the second semester I missed, I was still spending a lot of time shacked up in bed although I was working part-time at a music store. In bed, I began to figure out how to play rasgueados and basically thought, "I've got nothing else to do, might as well write a method on this."
Never mind that due to a lightning strike (that hit while I was in the restroom and left a beautiful burn pattern in the bathroom mirror) my parent's computer got waxed and I lost the first iteration of the book.
No matter. As any guitarist who's read the book can tell, it's a fairly systematic, algorithmic approach. Know how to do one pattern, and you know the rest.
Anyway, after getting the computer fixed I set about re-writing the thing in Microsoft Works no less and set about to sell some copies.
I bought my own little plastic spiral binding machine, bought an ad in the Guitar Foundation of America's Soundboard pages (the cheap classifieds ones on the last page or so), and would "print on demand". Actually, the GFA misspelled "rasgueado" and I wrote them, feeling like it made me look foolish. So they gave me a free ad in the next issue to compensate me.
I sold the books for $10.00 U.S. and asked slightly more for the few international orders I got. I probably pocketed about two dollars per book after printing and shipping. I didn't sell many books though I used to keep a log (again in MS Works) of who bought a copy and where they were from.
Last night, while hearing a clavichord rendition of Bach's E Minor Luite Suite (BWV 996), I recalled that during those days I actually had learned a bit of the Prelude. Sadly, it's totally slipped my memory and sadder still I no longer have the music, having given away almost all the non-19th century guitar music I owned to a friend who teaches guitar at a college in South Carolina. But while digging through my boxes for the music, not knowing if I'd kept it or not, I found version 1 of Rasgeuados Are for Everyone.
I took a picture of the book (below). I really miss the physical aspect of making that little book. It's just not the same to distribute it through the Internet as a PDF file, but then again I never would have sold as many copies as it now has downloads through the Internet Archive (version 2 of the book). I'd like to have two dollars per book for the nearly 9,500 downloads!
One thing version 1 has in it that I apparently took out of version 2 was the last page, that basically was an ad for the "humaneguitarist.org" site's sitting article. I'm getting a kick out of realizing that I was the one who actually wrote:
"Factual information about sitting position! (no fluffy stuff)".
Here's a photo of that page below.
I r dork.