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  #16  
Old 10-15-2012, 02:24 AM
JonPR JonPR is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GuitarFundi View Post
I think I can learn more from learning how a talented player uses his right hand than I (very untalented) can learn from making it up as I go, but I appreciate what you are saying.

I think I am a fish out of water asking a bunch of birds how to fly and they just keep telling me to flap my wings (flippers) and it will happen. I think many of you have a skill set that you do not realize is not shared by all of us mere wannabees
Good point. As a teacher, I grapple with this all the time. Things I take for granted (forgot I learned) I have to dredge up from my subconscious and dismantle in order to teach them.

One thing I would say about strumming patterns is that in most songs they don't matter. In some songs, the strum rhythm is a distinctive and important part of the song (eg , Smells Like Teen Spirit, Wonderwall), but in most the player just strums the chords any way he feels like it. The dudu pattern is arbitrary.

The main thing about strumming is to always move your hand down on the beat. As you count 1-2-3-4, your hand should be moving down on every beat. Sometimes at slow tempos you can have downstrokes between the beats too. IOW, if it's slow enough for you to be able to comfortably play another downstroke between the beats, you probably should.
Now, these downstrokes don't always hit the strings. Sometimes they miss. Like you don't always put an upstroke between every downstroke.
Obviously, between each downstroke, your hand has to move up to get to the next downstroke! Upstrokes are no more mysterious than that (do you let the pick touch the strings on the way back up, or not?).

If I can put it in dudu terms, in an average 4/4 bar at medium tempo, your hand is moving like this:
Code:
1 2 3 4
dudududu
- it just doesn't hit the strings on every pass. (It's usually up to you which strokes you feel like connecting with the strings.)

At slow tempos, your hand is moving like this:
Code:
1 & 2 & 3 & 4
DuduDuduDuduDudu
This is where 16th-note patterns come from.
The capital Ds just mean that those are the most vigorous or wide-ranging moves; the ones marking the beat count. Again, you don't hit the strings on every pass. In fact, in this type of rhythm, you probably miss more strokes than you hit.

I don't know if this all seems like common sense to you (as it does to me ), but I know many beginners struggle, thinking they need to change the direction of their hand, and developing a jerky movement ending up playing some upstrokes on the beat. Watch pro players and their hands never falter from the regular DUDU movement; it's a constant, relaxed swinging movement, regardless of how fancy the strum pattern is.
Of course (as I guess you might say) it can be hard to tell when they're actually hitting the strings and when they're not! In that case - it doesn't matter! If the strum pattern matters, you will clearly hear when the strokes hit and when they miss.

Even so, where there is a clear and distinctive strumming rhythm (special to that song, rather than a generic one that many songs might have), it can - I agree - be hard to work out where the strokes hit, the exact combination of beats and off-beats. To help you there, I recommend some slowdown software. I use Transcribe all the time, best there is, IMO:
http://www.seventhstring.com/
If you think your ear is not good enough (and most of us feel like that at least some of the time ), that kind of thing is essential. It doesn't tell you answers (not totally reliably anyway), it just helps you listen.
Quote:
Originally Posted by GuitarFundi View Post
I was robbed of music as a child and learned to not give it any notice and when the Music Fairy came one day and said here listen to what you have been missing it was life changing.
Sounds like my own experience..
Quote:
Originally Posted by GuitarFundi View Post
I am now obsessed with music and yet have little time for it and struggle greatly. Thank You!
The only thing I ever struggled with was hearing. My lack of a musical childhood left me with a very undeveloped musical ear. When I started (age 16), I'd use a 2-speed tape deck to help transcribe music. (There was no tab then; I could read music, but the music I wanted to learn wasn't available in songbooks.)
That effort was invaluable, and I strongly recommend you try doing it yourself, using whatever aural aids you can find.

Justin Sandercoe has some great tips on slow tempo techniques:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gl4jkbBAkc8
- notice that the first down-up pattern requires an uncomfortably slow arm movement. That's why we double up the downstrokes at tempos like that: it's more relaxing to move the arm quicker.
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  #17  
Old 10-15-2012, 06:14 AM
GuitarFundi GuitarFundi is offline
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I can't tell everyone how much I appreciate all of this info! It sounds ridiculous I know, but I just don't know what questions to ask most of the time because my greatest musical knowledge is that I know I DON'T KNOW, but have very little idea of what that is All of this keeps the fish that wants to fly from floundering on the floor quite so much and gets me motivated and closer to be more productive. I just need enough guidance every now and again that makes me feel like I am not spinning my wheels and am atleast moving forward. Thanks Again!
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  #18  
Old 10-15-2012, 09:01 AM
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Mr Fixit eh Mr Fixit eh is offline
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I struggled for a long time with trying to learn and duplicate 'strum patterns'. The best thing I ever learned was to ignore any advise about patterns, and just listen carefully to the song and try to replicate the sound. Figure out where the 1, 2, 3, (4) beats fall and make sure you catch them with a strong down strum and JonPR has some great tips.

Although there is much talk about making chords in the early days of learning, right-hand work is often much, much harder for folks to learn and master. We just don't seem to talk about this journey as much.

Work on listening and be patient - it will come.

Steve
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  #19  
Old 10-15-2012, 09:13 AM
Roselynne Roselynne is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GuitarFundi View Post
Thanks! I'll look into the ear trainer and that website of strumming patterns.

I actually bought a harmonica to learn thinking that I could mess around with it while driving to help develop my ear to identify notes..... have no idea if that is possible, but it was an excuse to buy a harmonica and with the best intentions of developing my ear
Sorry, don't think I was clear. I didn't get a dedicated ear trainer; I just found a guitar teacher who's experienced in teaching adult beginners. On our first phone call, I was very upfront with him about the vast gaps in my knowledge and skills.
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  #20  
Old 10-15-2012, 09:49 AM
PlaysGuitar PlaysGuitar is offline
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I'm still struggling with strumming. great thread - i've bookmarked it.
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  #21  
Old 10-15-2012, 10:15 AM
Hotspur Hotspur is offline
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I mentioned this before, but I will again:

The Function Ear Trainer is a free download from miles.be. Get it and us it.

Five or ten minutes a day. It will seem totally impossible at first. It will pay huge dividends.

You can not play better than you can hear.
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  #22  
Old 10-15-2012, 10:24 AM
Long813 Long813 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hotspur View Post
I mentioned this before, but I will again:

The Function Ear Trainer is a free download from miles.be. Get it and us it.

Five or ten minutes a day. It will seem totally impossible at first. It will pay huge dividends.

You can not play better than you can hear.
Haven't heard of this, I'll check it out!
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  #23  
Old 10-15-2012, 10:55 AM
Roselynne Roselynne is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hotspur View Post
I mentioned this before, but I will again:

The Function Ear Trainer is a free download from miles.be. Get it and us it.

Five or ten minutes a day. It will seem totally impossible at first. It will pay huge dividends.

You can not play better than you can hear.
Downloaded. Many thanks!
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  #24  
Old 10-15-2012, 02:23 PM
GuitarFundi GuitarFundi is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hotspur View Post

You can not play better than you can hear.
Great quote for me to adhere to Thanks
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  #25  
Old 10-18-2012, 05:49 PM
tstrahle tstrahle is offline
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I'm going to be doing some more lessons on the subject. Check out these posts...

http://proguitarsecrets.blogspot.com...strumming.html

http://proguitarsecrets.blogspot.com...lk-groove.html

http://proguitarsecrets.blogspot.com...ext-level.html

http://proguitarsecrets.blogspot.com...ge-groove.html
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  #26  
Old 10-19-2012, 09:08 AM
naccoachbob naccoachbob is offline
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I'm learning guitar thru the Gibson Learn & Master course, which I recommend to anyone who can't get a good, qualified teacher. In the course, around the 6th session, he gets into strumming patterns.
To show the patterns on a staff, he uses lines that look like notes, but don't have the circles that notes have at the end of the stem, instead they have a slanted line. Those would be quarter notes. Eighth notes have a connecting line between them at the bottom. Half notes have a diamond where the empty circle would be, and whole notes just a diamond with no stem.
Take a look HERE. Go to page 38, and you'll see what I'm talking about.
I think the strumming patterns are very useful. If you have a number of patterns that you're familiar with, you can try to apply them to a particular song. See if it works, if not, try another. At least you have a starting place. As others have said, you don't have to be married to a particular pattern, but you can use it as a tool to make music.
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  #27  
Old 10-20-2012, 07:01 PM
kats45 kats45 is offline
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This is a great topic. When I started to learn guitar many years ago, I was never taught strumming patterns or rhythm, except in reading music. I've struggled too with application of rhythm to strumming. I understand the idea, but I guess it does go back to the ear. I can say I do have a better ear than I did even just a couple of years ago, but I have a long way to go. I'm checking out the miles.be site.
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  #28  
Old 10-20-2012, 07:05 PM
kats45 kats45 is offline
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When I look at the screen shots for Transcribe, it looks really complicated to me. Can anyone help simplify?
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  #29  
Old 08-08-2019, 04:42 AM
Good_Ol_Rock Good_Ol_Rock is offline
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I totally hear you. I'm having the same problem. The best approach, I guess, is to put yourself in the shoes of a song writer or composer and write your own lyrics and then put chords and strumming patterns beneath the words or syllables, with a melody in mind of course. Obviously, that's very difficult. I think it's what all professional musicians do - but it could be some sort of a trade secret. Another way is to find a real pro who will teach you how to do this. Good luck. You can test a bunch of 'musicians' (there are tons of them on the Net and YouTube) and ask them what the strumming patterns are for a song such as "Eight Days A Week" by the Beatles, for example. There are two official strumming patterns that really work perfectly. The chances are, they won't know what they are, they won't be able to write them (with the letters D and U or the numbers 1&2& etc.).
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  #30  
Old 08-11-2019, 09:04 PM
DesertTwang DesertTwang is offline
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The strumming pattern depends on how YOU choose to play the song. Remember: the left hand is what you know -- the right hand is who you are. [emoji6]
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