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Walking & Chewing Gum?

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(@Anonymous)
New Member
Joined: 1 second ago
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Anyone have any tips on trying to change chords and strum at the sametime? I know I know! PRACTICE!...It's just my brain or my hands (or both!!) just don't want to work together and keep the strumming pattern going while changing chords...I have tried several strumming patterns but as soon as I think about changing a chord I mess up the pattern. I probably shouldn't think!! It will probably be better once my metranome comes in from Music's Friend...

I shouldn't complain..it's only been 10 days and I think I am about the same skill level I was seven years ago when I stopped!

Thanks!


   
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(@ebuchednezzar)
Trusted Member
Joined: 20 years ago
Posts: 73
 

Metronome will solve your problem, period.

"There's no easy ways man," he said. "You gotta learn the hard parts for yourself."


   
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(@shibby)
Estimable Member
Joined: 20 years ago
Posts: 145
 

It always helped me to focus more on the strumming than changing chords. If I had a few misplaced fingers I would slowly get them to their place. But would always try to keep my rythm up


   
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(@kingpatzer)
Noble Member
Joined: 19 years ago
Posts: 2171
 

STart your metronome at a comfortable rate. Keep it relatively slow, 40bpm or lower is where you'll need to be as a beginner.

Mute your strings with your left hand (if you're left handed your right hand is left :) ).

Do you strumming pattern.

Take your left hand off the strings, don't stop the stumming pattern.

Make an easy chord but NEVER STOP the strumming pattern.
change to another easy chord, never stopping the pattern.
Change back.

Good chords to start with are things like C & Em, or Am and E.

Change between those chords a couple zillion times till it's flawless. The focus however is NOT on the chord changing but on maintaining your strumming pattern NO MATTER WHAT. If you get off beat, stop and start over again -- starting with the strings muted.

Once your right hand is locked in to the pattern and is in time, then worry about chaning chords. When you screw up the chord changes NEVER STOP STRUMMING. Just keep going.

If it's too fast to change chords, pick easier chords or slow down the tempo or both.

For folks who have real problems with this, I start with a strum pattern of D rest rest rest. Then move to D rest D rest, then to D D D rest, then to D DU D rest, then to D DU DU rest, then to D D D D then to D DU DU D and then D DU D DU.

Most beginners want to focus on the wrong hand. They focus on the hand forming chords. Don't. Focus on never breaking pattern and then from there build up the ability to move to the chord shapes you're trying to learn.

"The music business is a cruel and shallow money trench, a long plastic hallway where thieves and pimps run free, and good men die like dogs. There's also a negative side." -- HST


   
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(@Anonymous)
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WOW! That was fast! Thanks everyone!

Question for you kingpatzer: I can do the strumming pattern very well when just muting the strings or holding one chord for the whole pattern...I can even do the "D D D D change" fairly well...its when I try to incorporate more complicated (well complicated for me!) patter like DUD DUD DU DU or D D DU DU....

This is when I smell the smoke from my brain being fried! I almost panic when I have to change chords (well not PANIC!)....

As for my metranome I know its a must but I am at the mercy of Music's Friend...they sent me the wrong item and I am waiting for the return...

Thanks everyone!


   
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 Nils
(@nils)
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Joined: 20 years ago
Posts: 2849
 

Mike I think you got some really good advice here for how to practice strumming so don't fear in time it will come.

When I got started I would sit for hours just strumming patterns without ever fretting a note or just a simple E chord and never change. When I was good with the pattern I moved on to simple changes like E to Am or D to A and change at the end of the pattern. After I was good with that I started using longer more complex patterns and changed the chords randomly within the pattern. Just takes a lot of time and practice. To this day I prefer to change when I am on a up strum since you have more time to get settled.

Stick with it. Sounds like you have the right mental attitude and the will to learn and just need to be patient

Nils' Page - Guitar Information and other Stuff
DMusic Samples


   
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(@kingpatzer)
Noble Member
Joined: 19 years ago
Posts: 2171
 

its when I try to incorporate more complicated (well complicated for me!) patter like DUD DUD DU DU or D D DU DU....

This is when I smell the smoke from my brain being fried! I almost panic when I have to change chords (well not PANIC!)....

It's the same process

Lock the pattern in, at the rate you want to do the chord change. Once you're locked in fret the chord, don't change the pattern.

For complicated patterns you might have to just sit there for a couple of days strumming the pattern till it's just something you DO without thinking about it.

Always remember you can slow down the tempo.

Always start with easy chords and work up to doing more difficult chord changes.

It takes time, but it's really just a matter of focusing on the STRUMMING first and on the fingering second. Don't break the pattern, nad just go back and forth between 2 chords till it's down.

When you want to add more complicated chords, it's the same process. I was doing this today for a particularly nasty C9b5 to a E13b5b9. The C chord has a 1st finger "barre" that needs to catch two notes on two different strings on 2 different frets, and the E chord has a 4th finger barre in it. And the arrangement I'm playing has a 1/2 beat change between the two. It's killing me . . but it's the same process as I'm describing to you here -- focus on the strumming and slowly increase the tempo as the fingering comes along.

"The music business is a cruel and shallow money trench, a long plastic hallway where thieves and pimps run free, and good men die like dogs. There's also a negative side." -- HST


   
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(@pappajohn)
Honorable Member
Joined: 20 years ago
Posts: 533
 

As for my metranome I know its a must but I am at the mercy of Music's Friend...they sent me the wrong item and I am waiting for the return...
While you're waiting check out the Freebies forum. There are a number of free online/software metronomes you can use till you get yours.

-- John

"Hip woman walking on a moving floor, tripping on the escalator.
There's a man in the line and she's blowin' his mind, thinking that he's already made her."

'Coming into Los Angeles' - Arlo Guthrie


   
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 Nils
(@nils)
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(@mattguitar_1567859575)
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Joined: 20 years ago
Posts: 879
 

I agree with almost everything that's been said on here.....all i would add is that if you are trying to learn to strum, teach your strumming hand what to do (i.e forget about the fretting hand) and if you are teaching your frettig hand, forget about your strumming hand.

You need to have something simple that eith hand can do repetitively, to fall back on for when you're teaching the other hand what to do.

For instance, when learning a new strum pattern, i nearly always learn it on Em chord shape - because i can trust my fretting hand to get that bit right!

equally when learning a new chord shape, i nearly always "default" to a D D UUD strum - as i know my strumming hand can do that time and time again.

I find this an easy way to "seperate" the hands - vital to speed learning imo

all the best

Matt


   
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(@rejectedagain)
Estimable Member
Joined: 19 years ago
Posts: 175
 

try the chord progression of G, C, D with a D, D, U, U, D, U i believe, its for the song time of your life, but its easy and easy chord progression.


   
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(@rejectedagain)
Estimable Member
Joined: 19 years ago
Posts: 175
 

another thing i forgot to mention that should be mentioned, you DO not have to have the full chord shape down when you are switching chords, say you are switch from D to G when you start strumming it could look like this:
|-3-
|-0-
|-0-
|-0-
|-2-
|
and you might not have that last finger on the top string, but you DO not have to have it there, when you start strumming the chord. that is something i struggled with early on


   
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