#1
I totally suck at strumming. It sounds all choppy and robotic. Whenever I try to play along with a song I can get the chord changes but I can't get the strumming rhythm to sound smother and flowing. My friend told me to stop thinking about it and just "feel" it, but that is not working.

So, how do I improve on this? Are there any specific strumming patterns I should practice or something? I already know a few.
#2
What I tend to do is have my iPod playing the song I'm trying to learn the strumming pattern on, and then one earpiece in, and then try and play along as accurately as possible. Then, you can start to apply the strumming patterns to your own stuff.
#3
Try using both your wrist and arm for the strumming motion.
E:-6
B:-0
G:-5
D:-6
A:-0
E:-3
#4
My friend has told me I'm too choppy when I strum on acoustic. I think it's because I play too much electric stuff and I'm not used to having to use big strumming patterns, but I too have trouble making acoustic stuff "flow".
Quote by WCPhils
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#5
Try and learn different strumming techniqes (I wthink I spelled that wrong but w/e), and try and see which one works best for you.
If you're trying down strumming (like James Hetfield/Kerry King type shit) then I can see why you're having trouble.
#6
Learn some basic rhythmic patterns also. You'll develop an ear for it.
On playing the Paul Gilbert signature at the guitar store extensively, my missus sighed:
"Put it down now, It's like you love that guitar more than me!"
In Which I replied.
"Well it has got two F-Holes!"
#7
Somebody's going to call me crazy for this, but ...

... learn to dance.

Learn to enjoy dancing.

Dancing is all about intuitively feeling and moving with the music. Learn what that headspace feels like - and your ability to flow with the music you're playing will improve.
#8
I have the same problem sometimes when playing other peoples songs. I've been getting a little better by trying to really listen thru the mix to the guitar strumming pattern in the song. If I cant hear that, I'll try to lock into the beat, of the snare drum in particular. Not sure that's the right way but it seems to help me.
#9
Quote by HotspurJr
Somebody's going to call me crazy for this, but ...

... learn to dance.

Learn to enjoy dancing.

Dancing is all about intuitively feeling and moving with the music. Learn what that headspace feels like - and your ability to flow with the music you're playing will improve.


I suck so bad at dancing. I don't know what to do with my body at all, all I can do is well, headbang. And I sure as hell don't enjoy making a fool of myself trying to dance.
Quote by WCPhils
According to that chart, women like men with a Pringle canister down there.
Michael Kelly Patriot Glory
Ibanez RG8
Blackstar HT 20 w/ Jet City cab
whole bunch o' pedals
#10
Learn to read and understand rhythm notation.

Once you can do this and can perceive counts, then you'll know how to practice a part slowly and count it correctly after you identify it. Then practice it slowly until your ability develops to play it to speed.

Best,

Sean
Last edited by Sean0913 at Jan 1, 2012,
#11
Quote by OfCourseNot
I suck so bad at dancing. I don't know what to do with my body at all, all I can do is well, headbang. And I sure as hell don't enjoy making a fool of myself trying to dance.


That's the problem - you're THINKING about what to do with your body, rather than just being present to the music.

It's the exact same problem with your strumming sounding robotic. You're thinking about it.

The reason I said you should learn to dance is because it's a way to learn to connect to music - particularly rhythm - away from your instrument, to stop you from thinking so much about what you should be doing.

Just listen to the music ... and move however your body wants to move. And who the heck cares if you silly - you're not trying to impress anyone, you're trying to have fun.
#12
Quote by OfCourseNot
I suck so bad at dancing. I don't know what to do with my body at all, all I can do is well, headbang. And I sure as hell don't enjoy making a fool of myself trying to dance.

Every single person I've talked about dancing who didn't already know how to dance says the same thing. You're not alone and you're not incapable of dancing either.

When I started dancing I began to pay more attention to the rhythm of a song. When I hear a swing, blues or jazz tune I no longer focus on melody as much as I did before I started dancing.

Plus, it helps with the ladies.
^^The above is a Cryptic Metaphor^^


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#14
Quote by Flibo
Try using both your wrist and arm for the strumming motion.

+1. TS, loose wrist.

You don't have to learn how to read rhythmic notation to get good at strumming, although it would help, there's no denying that.

Do you have a metronome? Set it real slow, and strum 4 times (D U D U) to one click/beep.

The reason I say to set it slow, is to develop your rhythmic and dynamic control. By dynamics, I mean softly and/or loudly (piano/forte, respectively).... and to be able to maintain control, and good time, at a slow tempo is more difficult than at a faster tempo.

Also, you don;t have to hit the strings on every stroke. Try missing the strings on certain strokes.
#15
Heres how you improve strumming:

1) Make sure to clip your nails, the wind resistance created by long finger nails hampers the rhythm of strumming
2) Gently massage your hands every day, this will release ki into your wrists allowing you to play rhythm more effectively
3) Do wrist push ups, strong wrists mean you'll play better!

Obvs theres no secret, you just have to keep learning as many songs/strumming patterns as possible. Start with easy pop songs, and then move your way up to harder and harder songs.