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Old 12-05-2012, 07:39 PM   #1
danifloss
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Can't get the hang of strumming

For some reason I find strumming the hardest thing to get the hang of on guitar. I can notice fast progress with other things I'm learning (scales, chords, fingerpicking) but I don't seem to be improving at all with strumming.

I can do the Down, Down, Down, Down (and probably other simplest patterns) but it's not really useful when I try to apply them to songs I have the chords for. I know all songs have different strumming patterns but I can't seem to figure them out at all.

I definitely underestimated the importance of the strumming hand when I first wanted to learn guitar.

What can I do? I'm thinking of buying a DVD of guitar strumming, there are some videos on YouTube but even if I memorise strumming patterns I'm not sure how useful it is for specific songs I'm learning which may need something completely different.

p.s. I don't have a teacher I'm learning through YouTube

Thanks!
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Old 12-05-2012, 08:51 PM   #2
Vicious_Turtle
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you need to improve on the rhythm aspect of things, get a metronome. use it. also have to just feel it, not real great way of explaning it. if you have a hard time following a fairly simplistic beat you need to work on it. find a beat you like, mute the strings with your left hand and just strum to the beat
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Old 12-05-2012, 09:15 PM   #3
Acou97
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[QUOTE=Vicious_Turtle]you need to improve on the rhythm aspect of things, get a metronome. use it.[/QUOTE

and is it just your having trouble hearing the patterns of the strum, cause that comes with time and practice, whenever you're listening to music, like driving or something try humming along to the guitar, don't care what people think it will really help your timing, you might get to a point where you can hum a whole song without having to hear it, incredibly useful, especially with solos but thats a bit off topic

or is it you're having difficulty performing the strum itself, specifically the up stroke since you say you do down, down, etc its mainly having a firm grip on your pick, make sure you're not muting strings and play SLOW as slow as you have to to play it right, the slower you play now the faster and cleaner you will play later

hope thats kind of what you're lookin for

EDIT: i forgot this but when you strum you're more "brushing" the strings then picking them if that makes any sense to you, since you say you've been learning scales and such and progressing at them your right hand(if that your picking hand) might be in a natural tendency to try and pick the stings instead of strumming them, if the low notes( on EAD stings in standard) ring out a lot on your down stroke but your high notes (on strings GBE) sound weak that might be whats happening, just practice "brushing" the strings up and down real slow and you'll get it

Last edited by Acou97 : 12-05-2012 at 09:25 PM.
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Old 12-05-2012, 09:23 PM   #4
racertj5
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I found that it helped when I was struggling with this to throw the pick away. Hear me out for a second and just try it. Lay your thumb flat across the body parallel with the strings and try to strum. For me personally this helped me learn the strumming easier then I could pick the pick back up and it just seemed to work. Then again, I started on acoustic and picks felt awkward so I learned to fingerpick and barely touched a guitar pick for like a year.(Think intro to wanted dead or alive, picked using thumb and 2 fingers)
But hey, worst that could happen is it doesn't work and you are back where you started
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Old 12-06-2012, 10:29 PM   #5
SFosterS
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I always practice strumming patterns with my thumb on my knee when Im driving and listening to music, or just when Im at home listening, or at work to the tunes that the radio station plays. Try to here the up and down patterns because they sound different. Also pick some songs with simple rhythm pattern and get VERY comfortable with them. Also, take time and just jam out with no back-round music with simple power chords and try to make it sound interesting using the rhythm more than the notes, like just try to play random patterns and focus on using different up and down combinations to the beat until you are more comfortable... it'll come.
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