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Strumming help - I'm looking through you


(@mac-manc-mcmanx)
Estimable Member
Joined: 16 years ago
Posts: 142
Topic starter  

I'm trying to play "I'm looking through you" by the Beatles. I've got most of the song down well, except the timing/strumming in one part. Here's a video of someone playing the song:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Uja3t1NTGbk

The part i'm struggling with is where it goes 'I thought i knew you.. ' (and its repeated multiple times in the song). The chords being played are G,C and then Am7. But the strumming there has got me all confused. I tried to play it this way: 2 down strokes on G,one down stroke on C and then usual strumming for Am7. It doesn't sound bad but it doesn't gel the way it does on the video i've posted above. Can someone figure it out from the video?

When you wanna rock hard children, lean on F sharp


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(@davidhodge)
Member Moderator
Joined: 15 years ago
Posts: 4485
 

Watching the video may be part of the confusion. Rhythm is aural and you have to listen and count the beats to determine what's going on.

First off, you have to decide how quickly you want to count your beats. If you're counting a moderate tempo, then the chord changes are one beat for G, one for C and two for Am7, like this:
1 + 2 + 3 + 4 +

G C Am7

If you're counting a quick tempo, then it's two beats for the G and C and four for the Am7:
1 2 3 4 1 2 3 4

G C Am7

Let's go with the quick count just to make life easier, okay? If you're strumming while counting the beat, then you're going to be playing downstrokes on the beats and upstrokes on the eighth notes between the beats. So if you were to hit every possible stroke, you'd be playing this:
G C

1 + 2 + 3 + 4 +

D U D U D U D U

Am7

1 + 2 + 3 + 4 +

D U D U D U D U
Listening to the main part of the strumming, the Am7 part, and counting as you listen, you can hear that there's a strong hit on the one and two but nothing on three. Starting with the "and" of three, there are three strums, so that gives you this:
Am7

1 + 2 + 3 + 4 +

D D U D U

Listening to the first part in question, the G and C part, you can hear that occasionally he catches the upstroke on the second beat of G and also sometimes catches it on the second beat of C. That would make it:
G C

1 + 2 + 3 + 4 +

D D U D D U

But on top of that there's something else going on. You can hear that the chord of the second beat of C is different than the first beat. There's a B note in the bass, so actually he's adding the bass part and playing C/B (X22010) on that beat and still sometimes (not always) catching the upstroke on that beat. So now you've got this:
G C C/B

1 + 2 + 3 + 4 +

D D U D D U

Am7

1 + 2 + 3 + 4 +

D D U D U

Of course, none of this is taking into account that on the original recording there are two separate guitars that may be playing different rhythms. One can't do everything with a single guitar no matter how hard one may try.

As always, it's also important to remember that strumming is not robotic. If you listen carefully to the original recording, you'll hear that this "pattern" isn't played the same exact way throughout. The basic "flavor" of it is there but there are also little deviations from time to time. That's natural and happens all the time when you're playing.

Hope this helps.

Peace


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(@mac-manc-mcmanx)
Estimable Member
Joined: 16 years ago
Posts: 142
Topic starter  

Thanks dhodge. It'll take me a while to digest that. I'll read and practice it tomorrow. I'm going to post what i recorded today in the beginner thread. Thanks again.

When you wanna rock hard children, lean on F sharp


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