Up Stroke of power chords
I know this must sound really blonde, but I for some reason struggle to do an up stroke on a power chord, downwards isn't a problem, and up stroke of a normal chord is fine - but with a 2 string power chord, I seem to have a block...
I do have a tendency to play heavier than I should, and am making an effort to play much more lightly, but still can't seem to get it right...
Any hints please?
Watch the angle of your pick. When you're strumming full chords, you're probably changing the pick angle for upstrokes - that lowers the resistance to the strings, and helps keep your dynamics even. My guess is you're attacking the power chords as you would pick single strings... and that means you've probably got a different angle to the strings going up than you do down.
Guitar teacher offering lessons in Plainfield IL
In addition to Tom's advice, try to keep your downstroke light and tight, don't go any further than just past the string you want to hit first on the upstroke. Shortening your whole downstroke and being aware of trying to get just the strings you want should help.
Think about what it was first like to miss the low E string on the A or C chords. Eventually you managed to get it so you can strum them automatically from the A string down. This is "kind of the same thing but in reverse" and in a much smaller stroke range. Be slow and deliberate about it until you're hitting just the strings you want.
Hope this helps and, for whatever it's worth, most guitar players have to deal with adjusting to do this properly. At least those who don't just settle for hitting every which string! I'm sure you'll get it with less practice than you think (but more than you want!).
Thanks Notes & David, I will definitely try that out when I practice tomorrow :D
Its nice to hear that its a common problem too.. :-)
Have had the same problem, seems like yesterday. (Wasn't quite, but close!)
Another piece of advice I was given was to check your pick- how much is sticking out? For really quick "back and forth" on power chords, it helps a lot if you "choke up" on the pick pretty good. (Only a little bit sticking out.)
Mostly, though, it's conscious practice. Do it slowly and consciously. Then do it slowly quite a lot. Then speed up.
Thanks Ande - that makes me feel better too...
Thanks again for the hints, was putting them into use last night and am getting a bit better (slowly!).. Also it made me realise that I was holding the pick in a kind of "vulcan death grip" ...
That's good, I'm glad it's going well with the guy's advice, and your natural skill and quick learning - fine co-ordination! :D
Buy picks that give you a good grip, a recess or rough spot so that you have maximum control of your fine motor skills, really.
Like a bird on the wire,
like a drunk in a midnight choir
I have tried in my way to be free.
I'm not a teacher and I don't have a guitar handy to see what I actually do, but .... I think I might employ a little muting when I do that as well. Just for the stray times the pick might hit the wrong string. Of course, with the music and gain I favor, palm muting and muting unwanted strings is a must. It is second nature to me. I think I'd be a bad teacher. Combination of bad habbits and not actually realizing what I'm doing but just doing it unconciously. Ummmm ... just listen to David and Noteboat
"Work hard, rock hard, eat hard, sleep hard,
grow big, wear glasses if you need 'em."
-- The Webb Wilder Credo --
Thanks Bluejay - I've got picks with grippy bits - they do help too :D
LOL TR - ahh I too hope to reach unconscious competence one day... I remember reading somewhere many years ago, when you try to learn a new skill you start off with conscious incompetence, which progresses to conscious competence, and then the holy grail of unconscious competence :-)