Need some strumming help.
As stated in my first post, I am picking up my old acoustic again after giving up on it 4 years ago. One of the things I find so frustrating is what is seemingly the easiest thing with guitars, strumming. When I picked up the guitar for the first time I tried strumming but was terrible, so I just tried finger pickin "Nothing Else Matters" for 2 weeks then gave up.
Can someone give me the basic run down with strumming, as far as pick position, angle, and whether you should only be moving your wrist or arm or both etc... I did a search on this, but something like 1200 results popped up. Thanks!
Also, could someone outline finger strumming a little better? I can strum down no problem with my thumb, but how do you go up?
I can only give you advice as far as how I strum, and I'm sure far more experienced players will chime in with adive, so it is by no means gospel! lol
When using a pick, you should be aiming to have the pick stike at a near 90-degree angle to the strings. I personally hold the pick between my first finger and thumb, with the majority of the pick beng held and a small section (the pointed end) sticking out.
As for movement, you should be "swinging" your arm from the elbow joint, with the wrist making more subtle movements to hit / miss strings.
The best way to imporve your strumming? You guessed it : Practice! But *correct* practice.
Try starting off with a simple down-up-down-up pattern (use any chord, it doesn't matter really), and focus on getting the timing right, keeping a steady pace and hitting all the strings (a metronome can really help if you struggle with timing).
The thing I always keep in mind is how different it sounds when strumming up and down, and learning what each of these sounds like can really help you achieve the sound you want when strumming.
Once you are comfortable with the basic DUDU patterm, try adapting it as you like, such as adding an additional D or U to it without adding more time. This will change the timing of your strum pattern.
Good luck with it, and don't give up! :)
ETD - Formerly "10141748 - Reincarnate"
strumming is the most difficult thing to learn for a beginner and I struggle for a few months to develop this ability. Anyway, to be able to strum, there's a few thing to do:
1) you must learn what is a rhythm and also to recognize by ear the most common ones;
2) then you must learn to play consistently at least the most common rhythms
3) if you do these steps, you shold be progressively able to listen to a song and strum alongside it
of course the more rhythms and patterns you know the most songs you can play being quite faithful to the orginal.
To begin I suggest you to check an excellent Mattguitar lesson posted last year
and play the suggested exercise, then you should get some tutorial cd with strumming examples to learn how each strumming pattern sound (or you could check the strummin examples posted here http://guitar.about.com/od/freebeginnerlessons/Free_Beginner_Guitar_Lessons.htm )
When you learn a few of them try to play some of the songs David Hodge posted in the easy songs for Beginners section of this site
strumming is the most difficult thing to learn for a beginner and I struggle for a few months to develop this ability.
That was sure the case with me. I had to force myself to do, but as I got better, strumming became one of my favourite parts of practicing. Now I'll happily sit and strum a 5th position E7 for 30 or 40 minutes.
Somwhere on the GN site are links to Little Brother's videos. Those were a real eyeopener for me. He creates so much texture and dynamics with simple strum techniques (patterns, fret hand muting, palm muting). Hunt them up, they'll give you something to shoot for. Good luck!
Here's a website that may be of some help. There is a lot of info here including both strumming patterns for specific songs and general strumming strategies. I use it regularly and it has cleared up a few things for me. Good luck