The Basics. Part 2

author: petergillies date: 07/15/2004 category: for beginners
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This whole lesson is going to be devoted to chords. As said in the previous lesson, rhythm and beat is one of the most very important aspects of playing the guitar. You need beat to keep in time and you need beat to be a good rhythm player. And you need to be a decent rhythm player before you become a good lead guitarist. So where does it all start? With the basics of beat and strumming. This whole lesson is going to be devoted to chords. This meaning that there will be a lot of strumming and beat involved. As you read this now, don't, whatever you do, start to think negatively, being able to strum with good rythm is great. You will be able to play many songs written by your favourite artists (and have your music actually sound like theirs! ). We will start off with some more complex chord progrssions. It is highly recommended that if you haven't done the first lesson, you go back now and do it, or review it. The same chords used there will be used here. G, A and D. In the previous lesson you would have found this exercise.
v v v v v v v v v v v v v v v v v v v 
A A A A | D D D D | G G G G | D D D D ||
If you can't play that, then just keep at it until you can. There is no point moving on if you can't play it. And make sure you keep the beat right, ie. if it takes you 2 seconds to change to a chord, make each note 2 seconds long. This may be a very slow way of doing it but it works! If you have got that progression down pat, (you can do it), we can move on. In the last lesson you were introduced to the strum 'symbols' v = downstroke, ^ = upstroke. Here we will be using the ^ symbol as well as the v symbol. When doing the upstroke, don't use your whole hand and wrist to angle the pic, use just slight movements of your fingers and your hand if absolutely necissary. You should hardly be trying to move the pic, just let it go its own way. Tip: Don't hold the pic too tightly, you will get too stressed and you will have a lot less moving room in your fingers so you will be forced to use you hand. Hold it strong enough so it doesn't fall out of your grasp, but not too tighly, you should be able to feel it moving as you strum. Try this progression:
v ^ v ^ v v ^ v ^ v v ^ v ^ v v ^ v ^ 
A A A A | D D D D | G G G G | D D D D ||
I am sure if you got the first one right, you should get this pretty quickly. You should be used to switching from each chord to the other, in that progression. So we need to have you capable of switching between chords in different sequences. Try this:
v v v v v v ^ v ^ v v v ^ v v v ^ v ^ 
D D D D | D D D D | G G G G | A A A A ||
This might take you a little while. It is more coordinating the strokes than chords this time. Just practise. Now for some more exercises. I will write these down, and finish off this lesson, so just spend some time and get them right. I will add some more chords.
v v v v v v v v v v v v v v v v v v v 
G G G G | Em E E E| D D D D | C C C C ||
(Rhythm from the bloodhound gang song, Fire, Water, Burn).
v v v v v v v v v v v v v v v v v v v 
G G G G | D D D D | C C C C | D D D D ||
v v ^ ^ v v ^ v v v ^ ^ v ^ v v ^ v ^ v v ^ v ^ 
Em EG G | G G Em E| G G G G | Em E E E| G G G G |
(You might notice this rhythm is from the Nirvana song, About A Girl). Just practise those and tah dah, you finished the second lesson. Congratulations. Now it is time to move onto the next lesson. Good Luck.
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