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Strumming techniques

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Estimable Member
Joined: 19 years ago
Posts: 103
Topic starter  

Hi everyone, first time here and I had a question maybe someone could give me some advice on. Strumming. I've been working with a metronome pretty religiously but after a year of playing, I am still not satisfied with the steadiness of my strumming. It's not my rhythym that so much concerns me, but my technique. Sometimes I feel that I hit the bass notes to hard (on say, a Gmaj or Emaj) and sometimes I feel like either I'm too light on the strings and then sometimes too strong on them...given that i'm practicing everyday and am now devoting my attention towards this skill, will it simply take time and practice? Or is there some exercises that might help me?

Just looking for advice, thanks!


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Honorable Member
Joined: 20 years ago
Posts: 653

I've personally not had that problem, but I imagine that you'ed improove with practice.

You might have an adverse strumming angle. You might be coming from down to up from the bass to trebble and make the bass ring out louder. Examine how your positioning is lining up, ect.

And you may need to examine your speed of strum. By that, I mean, how fast your moving your arm in attack of the strings, not how frequently. You might be keeping the rythym perfectly but still attacking the strings in your sweep too quickly or slowly.


Trusted Member
Joined: 19 years ago
Posts: 53

First, turn off the metronome and loosen up.

Second, how are you gripping the pick? You don't hold a pencil up by the eraser, and you don't hold a pick way up at the top. You just want a little bit sticking out enough to brush the strings.

Try a .60mm pick. Go thicker or thinner from there according to personal taste. I like the light gray dunlop nylon picks.

Practice strumming with emotion. Sometimes you really want to strike those bass notes, other times you want to barely play them at all while the high strings ring out. You should be able to control which strings you are sturmming, and how hard you are strumming them.

The goal is to give a dynamic performance and express yourself, not to be a strumming machine set on 100 bpm.

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Prominent Member
Joined: 19 years ago
Posts: 959

Intensity and dynamics are something that beginners often struggle with. Strumming is particularly difficult because it mixes the fine motor skills needed to hit tiny strings, and the gross motor skills needed to hit them all at once, and in some sort of rhythm.

My advice for improving this would be:

1. Hordes of practice.
2. Focus on Control - Know which strings you hitting, and when.
3. Diversify your song selection - Play strummed songs with varying patterns and varying dynamics, and really listen for the way that the changes affect the mood of the song.

Have fun!

Do something you love and you'll never work a day in your life...

Estimable Member
Joined: 22 years ago
Posts: 126

Another thing to keep in mind is how you are holding the guitar. It's tough to get an even strum if you have the guitar tilted up toward the ceiling so you can see the fretboard. Make sure your fretboard is straight up and down. If you want to look at your fingers/fretboard while you are playing you can get a mirror to place in front of your fretting hand.

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Trusted Member
Joined: 21 years ago
Posts: 72

Here's a strumming web site-
Someone posted it here before.
This will let you hear it.

Hope this helps- Bull