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Guitar Noise Podcast #3 – “Combining What We’ve Got (so far…)”

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Hello to everyone and welcome to the third of our Guitar Noise Podcasts!

In this GN Podcast, we’re going to start with looking at the differences between strumming various note values, in terms of timing, and try a very simple exercise to help you work out the strumming of quarter notes, eighth notes, sixteenth notes and triplets.

We’ll then focus on the “generic” strumming pattern from the end of the second podcast and work up ways of making it more interesting and fun by applying ideas from the first two podcasts (hammer-ons and alternate bass lines) to the pattern.

As in our previous Guitar Noise Podcasts, I’ll be talking you through the process. So get your guitar and get comfortable and come play! And, as always, please let us know what you think.



  1. Vin
    May 23rd, 2012 @ 5:02 am

    Hi David,

    The volume was very low in this podcast. couldn’t hear a thing.

    • David Hodge
      May 26th, 2012 @ 12:52 pm


      Hello and thanks for writing. I just had a listen to Podcast 3 and there is an initial drop of volume but (at least on my cheap headphones) I could still hear everything without a problem. I’d be happy to send you a copy of the MP3 directly to you, but I’m not sure that’s going to make much of a difference. Let me know.

      Looking forward to chatting with you again.


  2. Nicole
    February 9th, 2010 @ 7:37 pm

    I have just recently discovered guitar noise and i must say it is really rad!! I have lessons as well but I enjoy listening to the podcasts every week. It gives me extra to practice and look up the harder parts I didn’t quite get during my lesson. Fantastic job!! Great pace, and although i am a quick learner this pace will work for most learners as you are very thorough with your explanations and go twice over everything!
    thankyou for the time put into these podcasts
    I do have one question, are the podcasts available to get onto my ipod?

    • David Hodge
      February 15th, 2010 @ 8:05 pm

      Hi Nicole

      Thanks for writing and thank you very much for your kind words concerning the Guitar Noise Podcasts. It’s always appreciated when someone makes time to post about them and I’m glad they are being of help.

      I don’t own an iPod myself (I think most people would be astonished to find out how behind the times I am when it comes to this sort of things! but I do know that if you are an iTunes that we have these instructions posted somewhere:

      From the “Advanced” menu click “Subscribe to Podcast.” Paste the following link into the box and click “OK”. iTunes should automatically download the latest podcast when it’s published.

      I hope that this helps. If not, I’m sure that one of our readers will post better instructions. And maybe one day in the not too distant future (next Sunday AD?) I might start learn about the technology of the past ten years!

      Looking forward to chatting with you again.


  3. Mona
    October 10th, 2009 @ 10:15 am

    A friend of mine told me to check out your website. I discovered these podcasts and am amazed at the amount of useful info and how quickly I am picking this up. I am 57 and a total novice. This is the first time I have felt excited enough about my progress to keep me picking the guitar up all day long. Thanks so much!

    • David Hodge
      October 12th, 2009 @ 12:16 pm

      Hi Mona

      Thank you for your kind words, not to mention for taking time to write! I’m glad that the Guitar Noise Podcasts are being of help to you and I hope they continue to do so. Please feel free to write anytime, either here or through email. You’ll also find a lot of support from your peers over at the Guitar Noise Forum page!

      Looking forward to hearing how things are progressing with you!


  4. David Hodge
    February 18th, 2009 @ 2:18 pm

    Hi Jeremy and Mark

    Jeremy, while it’s really important to not think of keeping beats in terms of “downs and ups,” you’ve got the right idea. A triplet is dividing a single beat into three equal parts.

    While I find it easier to do this as “down up down” there are a lot of guitarists who will play triplets as “down up up” and it can also depend on whether you’ve got more triplets coming afterwards.

    Ron, glad to hear that we’re being of help to you as you pursue your dream of playing. It’s a blast, isn’t it?

    There’s always going to be more to learn, but as long as you’re having fun doing so, it’s going to be a great lifelong adventure.

    Thank you for your kind words and I look forward to hearing how things are going for you.


  5. Ron
    February 17th, 2009 @ 7:53 pm


    At 47 I am finally getting around to my dream of learning to play guitar. I just found your podcasts a few weeks ago and I am amazed. I’ve tinkered with the guitar over the years but always ended up putting it away in frustration (even with professional lessons). Now I’m strumming with hammer-ons after only a few weeks. There is still a lifetime of learning left but now I am actually looking forward to the lessons.

    A thousand thanks for this wonderful gift of music.


  6. Jeremy
    January 21st, 2009 @ 4:07 pm

    Man, that was tough. Great lesson though.

    I was a little confused about the whole triplet strumming. So is it just a down up down strum in one beat?

  7. David Hodge
    August 13th, 2008 @ 12:42 pm

    Hi William

    Thanks for your kind words. As I mentioned in a different Guitar Noise Podcast comment thread, it’s not always easy to figure out just what pace to set these lessons at. So gettig feedback from you and everyone who’s following them is extremely helpful to me as I prepare and continue the series. So my thanks to you for your comments, too!

    Looking forward to hearing how things are progressing with you.


  8. William
    August 13th, 2008 @ 9:47 am

    Hello David –

    I have been a fan of your website for some time, but somehow only recently discovered these podcasts. They are terrific. I am working my way through them one by one, and have so far made it to #3. There is clearly quite a road ahead. But the pace is excellent, and there is just enough in each one to feel my brain (and hands) stretching, while not being totally overwhelmed. Then when some modicum of success is finally achieved, a great sense of accomplishment sets in, and I begin to look forward to the next one.

    Many thanks to you for these gifts.


  9. jen
    March 12th, 2008 @ 12:27 pm

    Thanks David,
    I will, I’m finding I get a good hammer-on with the index and middle fingers, but a barely perceptible sound from the ring and pinky – I’m wondering if those finger-exercising machines are a good idea?
    yes, if there’s anyone out there in the wicklow area of Ireland and is willing to give lessons to a very slow student, I would be grateful to get a message from you!
    regards, jen.

  10. David Hodge
    March 10th, 2008 @ 9:30 am

    Hi Jen

    Sorry to hear about your bad Internet connection. I can certainly appreciate how it feels when your Internet service is intermittent at best. If we hadn’t upgraded ours last summer, these podcasts wouldn’t even be possible.

    As for the fingers, remember that your fingers are trying to do something that they don’t ever do except when playing the guitar. If you’re patient and persistent, they will eventually get it.

    Where do you live? It’s possible that someone at Guitar Noise knows a good teacher in your area…


  11. jen
    March 7th, 2008 @ 12:33 pm

    Due to a very dodgy internet connection I have had to wait longer than most to get my fix of podcasts ;) still, weeks of practising hammer-ons from lesson 1 came in useful! Again, the lessons are very clear and easy to follow, excellent work! ( I am having difficulty in co-ordinating the finger which lifts off – particularly on the D chord, if I don’t watch those fretting fingers like a hawk, the ring finger invariably lifts off instead of the middle one! What is that all about? Pesky muscle memory hasn’t kicked in yet! )
    Thank you for the most enjoyable podcasts, I am enjoying the experience of having my first ‘real’ lessons – I just wish I could find a teacher like you here (Or, having seen your photos, I think I may move over there!)
    Cheers, Jen.

  12. David Hodge
    February 29th, 2008 @ 12:11 pm

    Hi Peter

    Unfortunately, I had some things at home that had to be dealt with first! But the article in question, Getting Past Up and Down, will hopefully go up online in the middle of next week – Wednesday or Thursday.

    Thanks for your patience with this!


  13. Peter
    February 28th, 2008 @ 9:11 am


    In your pod cast you mention some text “More than up and down”. Has this been posted yet?