I'm trying to learn to play rhythms like this: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QsnCQ0oo57o (first part of the video).

I can play some reasonably complex picking patterns, but I can't figure out how to strum at the same time and make it sound right. Is he just strumming with his thumb? Or is it his whole hand? What about when you need to pick a note and strum at the exact same time? I'm having trouble hitting multiple string with my thumb while playing fingerpicking pattern at the same time. Is this just a practice thing, or am I doing it wrong?
I have no idea... I am in complete awe of that man...
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Looks like he's flicking / slapping at the same time, and to get the solo strings to come through, he's muting strings around them at the same time. If that makes sense. Can't say for sure though.
he's sort of striking the strings while plucking.

if you know the song by death cab called i will follow you into the dark, it's sort of like what ben gibbard is doing, except faster and a strum on the upbeat.

i can't be more clear than that, as in, i don't know how else to explain what he's doing. sorry.
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Quote by MiNiDoggy
Sounds kinda like John Mayer's technique.

Yup, sorta.

Watch in depth lessons on "Stop this train"

That should at least get you pointed in the right direction.
MrJulius: I listened to that song, and I'm watching through some tutorials now. It seems really similar to what M. Ward is doing, thanks for pointing me in the right direction!
Last edited by mpiroc at Dec 21, 2009,
This slapping/striking technique is pretty hard! I've been making some progress when the strings to be slapped and struck have at least one string in between them, but it's much more difficult when they are next to each other (i.e., slapping the D string and striking the G string). Here's a tip I've found for anyone else struggling with this:

Strike both the D and the G string. Since you're slapping the D anyway, it will be muted, and you'll only hear the G string. This only works when the two strings are next to each other, but it helps a lot in those cases.
It is weird at first, but eventually it becomes second nature (Like everything).

Any easier song by John Mayer that uses this technique in a limited manner (not as rapid and just easier to play) is Heart of Life.

Also, really random, but listen to "The Turtle Song" on www.myspace.com/jordanweller

He sorta does something similar.
Looks to me like he is slapping the strings with his thumb and picking strings with him fingers. at some point he probably is using his thumb and maybe another finger to strum too. Hard to tell.
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It looks like he's using an open tuning as well, could be wrong though. That would be a good starting point cause it's much easier to do this sort of strumming/fingerpicking parts in an open tuning (Not to say you couldn't in Standard tuning).