Guitar Noise Podcast #4 – “Sixteenth-note Accent & Partial Chord Strumming”


Hello to everyone and welcome our fourth Guitar Noise Podcast!

In this GN Podcast, we’ll work on two specific topics. First up will be a quick look at sixteenth notes and a smart little rhythm fill that you can use as an accent when strumming a chord. We’ll also see how you can use it to spice up (and cover up!) a chord change.

From there we’ll begin work with “partial chord strumming,” in other words, just using some of the strings to strum with. And rather than examine a specific pattern, we’ll focus on developing a feel for your guitar. Hopefully you’ll start to feel more confident that you can strum where you want to without thinking twice about it. If not the specific string than at least the general area

Both of these general topics will be coming up soon when we focus on ways to create strumming that is more “organic” rather than something that sounds like it came from a sampler.

As in our previous Guitar Noise Podcasts, I’ll be walking you step by step through the lesson. So get your guitar, get yourself comfortable and come play! And, as always, please let us know what you think.


About David Hodge

Since joining Guitar Noise in November 1999, David has written over a thousand articles, lessons, interviews and reviews. He also serves as the site's Managing Editor, supervising all content in addition to the continued writing of his own lessons and articles. In April 2013, David joined the writing staff of, heading up their Guitar Pages. And if that wasn't enough to keep him busy, David contributes to regularly Acoustic Guitar Magazine. He is also the author of six instructional books, the most recent being Idiot’s Guide: Playing Guitar.

Comments [19]

  1. RAINER KANIA says:

    Thank you, David. Your manner of teaching makes me want to learn more, and you keep things easy enough for me, a one-year student.

    Again, thanks!

  2. You’re welcome! I’m glad that you’re enjoying the podcasts so far. Wanting to learn more is pretty much where most of us are at, guitar-wise. No matter how long you’ve played – one year or forty-one years, there’s still so much to learn!


  3. Thanks for the podcast, great lesson :) This is the first time I’ve listened to one of your podcasts…now on to search for the rest…

  4. You’re welcome! Glad you took the time out to listen and I look forward to hearing what you think of the others.


  5. where is “beyond up and down”????

  6. Hi John

    I’m still working on it. Unfortunately, I had (and have) a number of things going on at home that had (and have) to be dealt with first. Hopefully it should be online sometime in May.

    Thanks for your patience with this.


  7. Eric Carlson says:

    Wonderful. Thanks so much for the time you put into this Dave. Every time I work through one of your lessons or podcasts I feel like my learning gets accelerated. You really have a gift for teaching! Thanks for sharing it!

  8. You’re welcome, Eric, and glad that our lessons and podcasts are being helpful.

    And please feel free to write with questions and/or suggestions at any time. That’s how we keep improving on the lessons and podcasts.


  9. David –

    One question about the hand/arm motion to hit those 1/16th notes. All the notes in each measure up to the last two 1/16th notes are either 1/4 or 1/8th notes. If your hand/arm is going down on each beat (1, 2, 3, 4) and up on the “and” between the beats, then you can hit all the notes as needed without changing the motion of your hand. But then you have to suddenly accelerate your hand to get that last 1/16th note. Is that correct? I thought part of the idea was to get the hand in motion and just let it keep going. But then you have much too much motion going on, except for the last beat. Am I understanding this correctly?

    Thank again.


  10. Hi William

    My apologies for not replying sooner. Things have been a little crazy of late (“late” meaning virtually all of August!) and I’m a bit (another classic understatement) behind in responding to both email and comments here at the Guitar Noise Blog.

    There are basically two way of going about this, and you’ve correctly hit on both. You can either go with eighth notes in a typical “down and up” pattern and then double your speed when you get to the sixteenth notes.

    Or you can strum in sixteenth notes the entire way. That is, as you put it, a lot of motion going on. But some people do find it easier to keep time that way because it is steady throughout the measure.

    Both methods are valid and it’s hard for me to say which one will work best for you. I can tell you that, as you get more and more experience playing, you’ll probably find yourself using both approaches, depending on what’s gone on immediately before and what’s coming immediately after in any given song.

    If it helps, we’ll be looking at this in a bit more detail of a practical nature in upcoming Guitar Noise Podcasts (probably somewhere between #15 and #20), so hopefully I’ll be able to help you make more sense out of it.

    Thanks for your patience, not to mention your making time to comment.


  11. Great lesson thanks so much!

  12. Hi David,
    I just found this site a few days ago and I finally had time to listen to a podcast. Well, I’ve listened to 4 podcasts tonight and I figured I should take a second to say thanks. These are great! I’ve been playing for a year, and you’ve explained things in 2 hours that I’ve been trying to figure out the entire time (even with lessons!). So I appreciate all your work.


  13. Hi Brian and Marco

    Thank you both for making the time to post a comment, not to mention for your kind words. Putting these podcasts together is a lot of fun and I hope that they will continue to be useful to everyone. We can’t thank you enough for your support!

    Looking forward to hearing from you again.


  14. Your stuff is great, thank you for sharing it.
    I’m one of your readers from mainland China, now you know how far you can get.
    Break a leg.

  15. Thanks! Paul, who created and still owns and runs Guitar Noise, was in mainland China for quite a few years. We do seem to have listeners from all over the world.


  16. David,

    I would just like to say that I have been playing guitar as a hobby now for the last 10 years and always learning something new is always fun when I play. The podcasts are great and are looking for more. This is the first podcast that I found while looking at the Comfortably Numb lesson. I know can play this song from memory thanks to the lessons which you and the group at guitar noise have put together. Keep up the good work and I will be looking forward to more in the future.

    • Hi Joseph

      Thanks for the kudos on the Podcasts. I’m hoping that I can get back to making them on a more regular basis as the fall moves along. Keep your fingers crossed for me!

      And I totally agree with you that it’s always fun to learn something new and that’s one of the reasons I keep playing, too! I also hope that I continue to learn as well!

      Looking forward to chatting with you again.


  17. David,

    I thank you so much for taking the time to do these podcasts. They’re great and I’ve learned so much . I’m also doing your beginner and intermediate lessons. Keep em coming! You are appreciated!


  18. Hello David. Yeah, it’s me again. As important as it is to keep strumming organic and not worry too much about details, I really want to know what you’re doing with the Am chord where your guitar kind of whines. Is that like a bend or something? Thanks again for your time! XD

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