In these next examples, we'll use two general techniques:
The "Rest Stroke" Technique: For a "rest stroke" (in Spanish, “apoyando”), the finger brushes past the string and rests on the string below without picking the string. The string vibrates almost vertically (perpendicular to the fret board) and the sound, softened by the flesh of the finger, increases in volume. It's also a good way to stop the string which the finger rests on from resonating. Although the "rest stroke" is more commonly used when playing guitars with nylon strings, it’s available to us steel string players as well.
The "Nail Return" Technique: A technique coming from flamenco guitar. Once we play a rest stroke on a string using an ascending stroke, we'll use our nail to play that same string again with a descending stroke. By doing this, we can take advantage of the energy used by one finger to create two strokes. The first “rest stroke” hit is full and warm, the second, “nail return” hit is thinner and sharper. With this technique we can play single lines, scales, and so forth.