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An extremely common strumming pattern for beginners

by Johnny

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One of the most important things for new guitar students to do is learn something that sounds half decent, maybe even “good.”

This is actually harder than it seems. Why? Because sounding good requires a fair amount of coordination between both hands. Beginners tend to know one hand better than the other (or not know how to use either), but not both. Maybe he started out focusing on just learning to hold chords and neglected the rhythm. This is very common.

In fact, most guitar students of any level tend to neglect rhythm when it comes to practice. That’s why a guitarist with true mastery of rhythm REALLY stands out.

Malero from recently posted this useful lesson on strumming a VERY common rhythm pattern. The chords used are the basic G, C, Am, and D. Also a very common progression.

Some suggestions

If you are a beginner, my suggestion is to:

  1. Practice the chord changing separately from the strumming pattern. So practice chord changing first with no strumming. Just use a simple down strum each time you change chords. Then practice the strumming pattern separately by strumming the pattern to one chord without changing (or even to dead strings muted with your left hand fingers).  The point is to focus on each, get it right, understand it, and then combine and get THAT right.
  2. Practice this much slower than the video at first. Don’t even use any tempo or rhythm. Just get used to switching between the chords. Try using 2 chords at a time to switch between. So for instance, switch back and forth between the G and the C chord, then between the C and the Am chord, etc…
  3. If you can change chords properly and have the strumming pattern down, now it’s time to combine them together like the video shows. Do it a few times SLOWLY and CORRECTLY without the video first. Concentrate on switching chords right at the very last strum to make it sound the smoothest. In fact, the last strum in the pattern could be dead or open strings if you want more time to change chords.
  4. After you have gotten comfortable with changing between chords and can maintain a steady rhythm, try to follow along with the video. If you have trouble, you can also use your own metronome and set it to a slower tempo like 60. The video uses 80, 100, and 120, but this may be much too fast if you are just getting started.

This strumming pattern is used in so many places, it’s mind boggling. So I suggest you learn it well. Once you do, it becomes second nature. I use it constantly when trying out new chords.

Have fun!



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{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

arnita October 12, 2011 at 2:58 pm

where do i get the free book


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