Well i'm a definite beginner and i'm trying to learn Must be Nice by Lyfe Jennings, but the problem is it involves strumming and i only know how to pick the guitar lol.

do you guys know how i should strum this?


i know you're supposed to hold down the strings, but im not sure if you're supposed to strum down on all of the strings, then strum up on the strings or what.
I thought strumming was instinctive...

Oh, learn to hit just the three strings that you require (will take some time/practice in your cames) , or just use the bar chord form. But I assume you can't bar yet.
When I first started, like the first 2 or 3 weeks I couldn't strum properly. It just comes to you I guess. Especially up & down strokes together, I had trouble make them sound right, but just let your pick slide across the strings, and learn how to mute strings that shouldn't be played.
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I just learned how to strum (still can't switch chords fast though) But you always want to keep a steady rhythm with your hand. Don't try to move your hand to the rhythm, instead, just miss the strings instead of stopping your hand movement.

Idk, its hard to explain but this is what I was taught and it seems to be working.

-edit I've only learned one song so far, so idk if it is like this for everysong.
for that song would I have to strum up and down, up and down, or just strum down?

edit - how would you know what the strumming pattern is like someone said lol.
Last edited by staRRkID at Sep 23, 2006,
For a powerchord like above, it won't matter as much as long as you hit the right strings.

But for fuller chords, down stroke sounds different from upstroke. Learn to differentiate by year, its not very hard.

If you are not given definate way, strum whichever way you want to.
When I first started learning guitar, I was shocked that my right hand could magically strum only the strings that needed to be strummed.

Of course, I lacked consistency and my right hand would drift around and I'd have to correct myself. But when properly placed, it is indeed instinctive to strum only the strings you need.

Now that I've been practicing for a few months, I am getting better consistency, but still no where near perfect.
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Quote by leelee

Of course, I lacked consistency and my right hand would drift around and I'd have to correct myself. But when properly placed, it is indeed instinctive to strum only the strings you need.

Well, change "instinctive" to "impossible" and then you would be talking about me.

Even experienced guitarists find it hard to strum only 3-4 strings accurately. The thing is, a lot of them don't even care about it, because they MUTE the strings they don't want to be ringing out.

If you can play power chords (can you?), then you know how to mute the strings with your left hand in that part you have posted, and you don't need to care about hitting the wrong strings: they won't sound anyway.

Of course, with good technique you are supposed to end up having the control needed to hit only the strings you want at all times.
Obviously, you have to listen to the song to get the pattern.

As for playing only 3 strings... Well, you could try muting the E string (the top, thick one) with your index finger by touching it with the fingertip. Or mute it with your thumb (I dunno if it's easy for a beginner). And just don't play the bottom 3 (or mute them with the fingers that are fretting the D and the G string).
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i dont know, these are basic powerchords. listen to the musical piece, if you cant really hear any distinctions between up or downstrokes, just fret the powerchords (i would use my index for the root, ring finger for the 5th, and pinky for the octave) and downstroke the whole thing.
I don't like muting the strings for learning purposes; it's audible and is more of a crutch, as you'll regret doing it later and will have to break the habit.
play alot of songs with rhythm... it will come to you.. try not to tense your arms too much..keep it relaxed dude.
as for playing the exact notes.. its doesnt matter that much if u accidently hit 1 or 2 wrong strings.. so long as its muted.. cos the muted note wont be heard over the sounding/ ringing note.. always every part of your hands to learn how to mute unwanted notes.. this is very very very important..