Find a metronome, a physical one or one of many free online metronomes, and set it to a comfortable pace to strum a simple pattern. Now, instead of trying to hit the beat on time, wait until slightly after the beat and then begin your strum. Work on playing after the beat.
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Slowly bring the start of the strum back so that it happens on the beat or only just after. What this does is preventing you from blurring bars and beats together by rushing to strum before a beat. Players normally get better at changing between chords over time, as they play songs including those transitions. The problem is, though, that this is fairly inefficient practice for changing chords. What I propose for everyone to try is, no matter what chords the song involves, take each change within the song and practice it on its own.
Set a metronome going or tap your foot, and just switch between two chord — one beat each. Depending on where you are with your playing, some of these tips will be more helpful than others. So try playing this. If you are absolute rubbish are strumming you might find this hard. But it will come so keep trying!
Look at your arm, is it still moving with the same fluidity as it was with exercise two? It should be! If you falter, go back to exercise 2 and start again. So what are we playing, time wise now?
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So we are playing eighth notes. Count em! If you are really struggling with this…play it at night, and turn all the lights off. Just you, guitar and the clicking metronome. You may find that after 5 minutes playing in a darkened room, why you ever struggled to start with. This sounds wacky, but it does work.
Trust me. Too much. All you have to do ………wait for it……. But throw in an upstrum, after the third downstrum. Try NOT to think about this too much, just do it.
The easiest way to achieve this, is to get this count rooted in your head — if necessary, say it out loud as you play it —. You might find the first few goes hard. If you do, go straight back to exercise two, and get your rhythm back. But after a while, I guarantee you that you will get this. And when you do, pat yourself on the back, go and make a coffee. Come back and do it again. Frustration will get you nowhere. That strumming pattern crops up time and time again. So you now have a nice solid strum pattern in your repertoire that will give you a base to build from.
And you also know that any song with the strumming pattern D D Dud is now within your capabilities. As long as you can change chords of course…. Before you let this new found skill make your head swell too much, try this exercise. Set your metronome at bmp. See if you can strum in time with it now, with the same strum pattern. And then, set it to just 50 bpm and see if you can do that. If you can do it without too much effort you can then congratulate yourself. You are halfway to being a good strummer.
Take a minute to review our starting point — I will just use the first 4 beats. Your three downstrokes should be right on the clicks. So keep that arm moving!
Once you have it down pat, try it at different speeds on the metronome and make sure you can repeat it over and over. G D Am7 And you should feel like you are knocking on heavens door! As a refresher, the basic count is therefore 1 — 2 — 3. Like this…remember to start with just downstrokes, and count out loud, one — two — three. Start with metronome on about 80 bpm. A good start point for a decent strum here, is to just leave out the first up.
This sounds even better another tip if you EITHER stress the first down by hitting the strings a little bit harder than the other strokes, or just play the bass strings on the first down. Try it. Form an A chord. So its. This is the thing that usually gets beginners pulling their hair out in frustration. Its too much. One of the actions, either forming the chord, or the strumming pattern, must come by instinct, through practice, before you can teach the other hand what to do.
As an aside, this is particularly true of finger picking. Teach your hands independently and you will make MUCH faster progress.
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So the bottom line is this. Either practice a strumming pattern until its second nature, and then move on to changing chords while strumming this pattern OR learn the chord changes well, and then apply the strumming pattern. And lets assume that you are playing them in that order.
Form your D chord, and first of all, just get used to the strum.
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Repeat this until you are not thinking about your strumming hand at all, just let it flow. Feel how loose your strumming arm feels, nice and fluid, like you could hold that pattern all day!
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Now imagine where your fretting hand has to go to get to Am. Now, all you are going to do, is change from D to Am, after your count of four — like this. Now, because you are starting on D you will have to take all your fingers off the strings to change. And here comes this weeks million dollar guitar tip:. I personally use 12 gauge electric strings with a wound G string on my Les Paul and love the neck pickup strumming tone of that guitar. Nov 12, Posts: 3, Quote: Originally Posted by thejerk View Post Don't do a floppy, weak, loosey-goosey dead fish hand strum on an electric.