How to Strum Guitar Songs
Recap of video:
- To practice, mute the strings with your left hand by lightly touching the strings.
- Use only one finger (not the thumb) to strum. It sounds better this way and allows to to build on it later.
- Move up and down through the strings from the elbow.
- Count: 12345678-12345678 etc (Remember: 1 is always a downstroke.)
- Decide on a number, and don’t let that number sound (but still move up or down as usual)
- Switch up numbers so that you are good at all of them. Start to speed up.
- When you are ready, choose two numbers to take out. Practice as above.
- 2 and 5 are the most common pair to take out, so be sure to master that one.
- Each pair has it’s own character. Notice which ones you like.
- As you speed up, you can stop counting and just listen to the pattern.
- Counting is a way to remember and start a strum. Eventually you will rely on it less and less.
- The biggest pitfall you may encounter is your arm stopping on the silent beats. Keep moving!
- As you can, play chords with the left hand. Eventually, switch chords while keeping the strum in time.
Hi, I’m Allen Mathews.
I started as a folk guitarist, then fell in love with classical guitar in my 20’s. Despite a lot of practice and schooling, I still couldn’t get my music to flow well. I struggled with excess tension. My music sounded forced. And my hands and body were often sore. I got frustrated, and couldn’t see the way forward. Then, over the next decade, I studied with two other stellar teachers – one focused on the technical movements, and one on the musical (he was a concert pianist). In time, I came to discover a new set of formulas and movements. These brought new life and vitality to my practice. Now I help guitarists find more comfort and flow in their music, so they play more beautifully.
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