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Another newbie question (strumming and bpm)

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CD-60 BLK
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Ok I'm learning my strumming and chord changes, when I'm looking at a song I understand when it says 4/4 its 4 beats per measure but how are you supposed to know the strumming pattern and how fast or slow, like if I'm trying to learn to the metronome how fast or slow the beats per min should be on. I know I can only play as fast as I can play while learning but is there a normal proper speed I should be aiming for? With strumming patterns, when you look at a song and it just has the chords over the lyrics, no tabs, how can you tell how to strum? :? I think I'm missing something or I'm just confusing myself :? Thanks for having patience for beginners like me

Joel

Where do you get your energies? Well its a vicious circle thing, If I hadn't ever played an instrument then I wouldn't ever need to play one. But now that I've been playing, I need to play. - Eric Clapton 1967 RollingStone interview


   
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JoeHempel
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I'm assuming you are looking at chord sheets online.

You need to listen to the song to get the strumming pattern. And in most cases you can use whatever pattern you want as long as you are keeping the time of the song. So the best way is to play along with the song while you are practicing the song, then move on to playing with out the song.

In Space, no one can hear me sing!


   
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Minotaur
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If the pattern sounds right, it probably is. Even the original artists rarely play a song the same way twice (I guess except maybe in rehearsals).

It is difficult to answer when one does not understand the question.


   
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CD-60 BLK
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Ok I'm understanding more, Thanks for your responses. I've been reading some of the easy beginner song lessons here, the Wish you were here one in particular explained strumming pretty clearly to me. I'm going back to lesson 1. I have some songs my dad had wrote and they just have the chords, I have no idea of the timing or rhythm and no way of listening to them to try and figure it out by ear. So I guess I would just make it up until it sounds right?

Where do you get your energies? Well its a vicious circle thing, If I hadn't ever played an instrument then I wouldn't ever need to play one. But now that I've been playing, I need to play. - Eric Clapton 1967 RollingStone interview


   
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David Hodge
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You might also want to check out the Podcasts while you're at it. They can be very helpful with strumming.

Peace


   
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matteo
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Ok I'm learning my strumming and chord changes, when I'm looking at a song I understand when it says 4/4 its 4 beats per measure but how are you supposed to know the strumming pattern and how fast or slow, like if I'm trying to learn to the metronome how fast or slow the beats per min should be on. I know I can only play as fast as I can play while learning but is there a normal proper speed I should be aiming for? With strumming patterns, when you look at a song and it just has the chords over the lyrics, no tabs, how can you tell how to strum? :? I think I'm missing something or I'm just confusing myself :? Thanks for having patience for beginners like me

Joel

hi mate

i'll try to give you an answer regarding the speed. Of course at the beginning you should play quite low to learn the rhythm and the chord progression and using a metronome it is an excellent idea. Having said so here are a few target speeds you should aim for

slow ballad (like Knocking on heaven's door, every rose has its thorn ecc.) around 75 bpm
medium rock a la ac/dc, rolling stones, creedence clearwater revival, U2 etc around 120-130 bpm
fast blues or early rock a la chuck berry around 160 bpm
fast punk like most Ramones around 175-180 bpm
classic heavy metal a la Iron Maiden often around 190-200 (es. wicker man) or 160 bpm with a semiquaver rhythm (Run to the hills, trooper) which is equivalent to 320 if played in quavers
fast Motorhead numbers like ace of spades or iron fist around 290

At the beginning I suggest you to concentrate in played some CCR (i.e. up around the bend, proud mary, who'll stop the rain) since they've got few chords and they're excellent to pratice the most common syncopated strumming rhythms.

cheers

Matteo


   
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Kroikey
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I have some songs my dad had wrote and they just have the chords, I have no idea of the timing or rhythm and no way of listening to them to try and figure it out by ear. So I guess I would just make it up until it sounds right?I presume your fathers passed on from this, since you can't ask him. Although not ideal, this really touches me. I don't really have much in common with my dad, but I do know I wish he'd write some songs for me to really 'get to know' him more. It will be a real voyage of discovery learning that material and putting your own stamp on it as well. I wish you loads of luck and hope it brings you a lot of peace and ultimately joy!


   
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