I'm trying to improve my strumming so it sounds more sophisticated or professional. It's something that has bothering me a lot lately, and although I've been trying to work on it for a while I don't know if I'm getting anywhere.

A while back I was in a guitar class and this guy's playing caught my ear. It sounded really nice, not neccessary the chords but the feel in rhythm, although not the rhythm itself. I don't know how to explain it. It definitely had that acoustic feel, you know?

I own a decent guitar, get compliments from others who play it but I've recorded myself play and it doesn't really sound like I want it to. So I don't think it's the guitar but more so the dynamics- making sure the strings are hit evenly. Making smooth flowing strikes, or fast crisp strikes to produce different subtle sounds. Soft, very light strokes or the opposite.. etc. I also know that you don't need to hit all the strings everytime you strum and that you can hit only the bass strings, or trebles.. middles to produce a great variety of sounds. Basically that's what I've been practing lately, and I don't know if I'm getting anywhere.

Here are some examples of what I'm talking about. I might post my playing here later so you can understand what I'm talking about. It's like when I play I'm just playing chords that sounds nice but for them, when you hear it it's like they're playing a song. No need for vocals or any other instruments, just one guitar and when you're done listening to it, you're satisfied and not left out thinking there's no vocals attached to it.

Definitely the acoustic sound I strive for. Very beautiful imo.

It's that 'click click' sound when hitting the strings. How do you do that? Hit the strings very lightly and smoothly? Dunno, just doesn't sound right when I play it..

Also.. it's like you can barely hear the distinction of the chord.. if this makes any sense. This song starts out with the A chord, and when I try to play an A chord, even softly, you can hear the notes, you can hear the the A, C#, and E notes ring out even if it's ringing lightly. But when I listen to the song, it's like you can't hear it.. I think that's one of my problems that I don't understand at all.


Very beginning. Again, that 'click click' sound, but it's so soft I can't even hear a chord being played.

I've been playing for around 2 years if that matters.
Last edited by Zvahl at Aug 19, 2009,
Well im not much of an acoustic player but I dont think theres a certain strumming you do just maybe with more power? the clicking is simply coming from him just by strumming the strings. I'd be easier if we heard you strum a bit to see what you're not doing.
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Quote by shorty1372
For the "click noise" i think you may be talking about something like the very beginning of this:

is that what your talking about?

Nope, I already know how to do that. It's when you're actually struming a chord that confuzzles me. I get a click sound. Fyi when I play I do get a click sound, but not as much, it doesn't sound right.. the notes ringing out overshadows it I think.

I'll try to post my playing tomorrow or the day after.
palm muting? sounds like a simple answer but i don't get what you mean
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Thin picks. I find the best pick for strumming an acoustic (or playing them in general) is a .73mm nylon pick of some sort. Dunlop, Snarling Dogs Brain Picks, etc.

After that its just modifying your strumming technique to get the sound. For my own curiosity, what picks are you using right now?
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for that "clicking" sound try strumming closer to the bridge

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try strumming faster so you cant hear the pick hit each string
thats my guess anyway :/
there are a few things you can do. Like Natrone already said use thinner picks. I find the perfect pick for strumming is the Dunlop Nylon .73mm. they bend back just the right amount when you strum so that you dont get caught up on any strings and at the same time are not flimsy. The thinnes of the pick itself will also add a bit of that "click" to your sound. The second and probably more important thing to get a more crisp sound is to change the strings on your guitar. Old strings sound muddy when you strum chords and thats what could be causing you not to hear the difference between certain chords.

also note that on recordings the microphone used to record that acoustic guitar is going to pick up every little detail that your ear might not pick up. this includes the "click" of a strum. the mic can be responsible for a lot of that. then when you listen to the recording you'll hear the click with a much greater presence becaue the mic aimplifies these things depending on how sensitive it is and the fact that recordings and microphone are subject to a natural amounf of compression. this compression will raise the levels of things less audible to the ear when simply playing live

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Hmm this sounded a waaayyy lot better when I compressed it into a .sound thingy. Weird.


Download link is at the bottom under "Save file to PC". It's me playing a few random chords. It's only 2 mins.

Guess I'll have to work on that 'tapping' noise. Odd I never notice my right hand tapping the guitar rarely at all.