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Learn to strum well


(@delleh)
New Member
Joined: 12 years ago
Posts: 2
Topic starter  

I have been trying to play some simple folk songs, however I have ran into the problem of strumming. I have found that although the chord progressions are often REALLY easy, I cannot seem to keep up with the picking. I don't know very much old music (<1998) and what I do listen to isn't top 40 music ( though by no means unknown). I have been having trouble finding songs I know the beat to, and would like to play that I have the ability too. Which is why the folk stuff is really catching me.
This is the exact song I am talking about: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ku3N9UGMxDc

How can I improve my strumming ability? Since in the tabs I have you are only supposed to strum the bottom two strings, I cannot seem to keep my pick from not just doing the bottom string when I try to do it at his speed. What could I do to practice this, as it seems doing it over and over is not at all helping me.


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(@greybeard)
Illustrious Member
Joined: 19 years ago
Posts: 5899
 

Practice slowly. Just learn how to pick just the strings you want and forget about songs, until you are fairly confident in your ability to hit the right notes.

You can also help yourself by muting the 3rd string (by the was, the "bottom" string is the low E, because it is the lowest pitch), so that, if you do hit it, it won't ring out. Muting can be achieved, either by positioning the finger, fretting the 2nd string, so that it touches the 3rd string or by using a "spare" finger.

I started with nothing - and I've still got most of it left.
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(@clideguitar)
Reputable Member
Joined: 18 years ago
Posts: 376
 

How can I improve my strumming ability? Since in the tabs I have you are only supposed to strum the bottom two strings, I cannot seem to keep my pick from not just doing the bottom string when I try to do it at his speed. What could I do to practice this, as it seems doing it over and over is not at all helping me.

This song seems pretty advanced (even though it may sound simple). Allot of Palm Muting and also muting stings allot of treble hardly any base. Chords played way up the neck. If you knew the chords you could play it using a folk strum.

http://www.heartwoodguitar.com/WordPressBlog/?p=10

See lesson 5.

Bob Jessie


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(@old-lefty)
Eminent Member
Joined: 12 years ago
Posts: 43
 

Try looking at the Easy Songs For Beginners on this site......there's also links to Strumming How To articles like this one:

https://www.guitarnoise.com/lesson/strumming-for-beginners/

And practice with a metronome......it's helped me a lot.

Brian


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(@zebrasteve)
Active Member
Joined: 12 years ago
Posts: 11
 

Practice with a metronome and start at a very slow tempo until you get the pattern sounding good and smooth. Then bump up the tempo a bit (something like 10 bpm). Then practice that until you get that sounding good then bump it up again. Keep doing that until you get to the actual tempo of the song.

Hope this helps!

Stop by Steve's web site and get free online guitar instructional videos and other cool stuff for guitarist. http://www.zebramusic.com


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(@liontable)
Estimable Member
Joined: 12 years ago
Posts: 146
 

Something that helped me a lot: Strum even when you're not playing!
Every time I listen to music I just strum along, so my hand knows the movement and it feels very natural, nearly automatic. I only just started playing, and I pretty much suck at switching chords (Well, not as fluent as I'd like, either way), but doing this for the past few years really makes strumming generally very easy for me.


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