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  #1  
Old 01-31-2005, 06:43 PM
12strings 12strings is offline
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Default teaching rhythm

Hey, any guitar teachers out there?

I've got 2 students now and i'm pretty effective at teaching them the left-handed stuff, and even a bit of finger picking...

BUT HOW DO YOU TEACH SOMEONE STRUMMING PATTERNS?

I've basically attached basic patterns to certian songs, using both up and down strokes. However, Neither seems to be able to make up a rythm without me demonstrating it exactly.

now, one of them reads music pretty well, and i've found if i just write the rythms in standard notation, they get it. but for the other, it's like he has trouble remembering the rythm i showed him, and i can write things like up and down arrows, but nothing to actually show rhythm.

I've also suggested the "just keep you hand moving" techinque, (you always keep strumming, but the pick doesn't hit the strings every time...)

It's very difficult for me to explain because i kind of just hear it and do it...
I don't remember how i learned it.

Thanks,
-andy
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  #2  
Old 01-31-2005, 07:57 PM
ibmindless ibmindless is offline
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When I started playing guitar, I also started playing the drums. Keeping a steady beat, sensing the rhythm can lend a hand for strumming.
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  #3  
Old 01-31-2005, 08:30 PM
A1rh0pper A1rh0pper is offline
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Might try having the student put the guitar down and do some listening exercises. As they are listening to a tune they like or are working on, have them tap a foot...or pat their right hand...or something.

Try to get them hearing the rhythm, then pick up the guitar and see if they can "feel" it.

Just a thought...I'm definitely not a teacher.
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Old 01-31-2005, 09:12 PM
taygull taygull is offline
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I've found the best teacher I have used always teaches me a new patern by printing it out using music software and then saying it.

Like,

1 2 and and 3 and 4 and - you have to show them where the "rest" are. If I can "say" the part I can usually play it.
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  #5  
Old 01-31-2005, 09:37 PM
Sage97 Sage97 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by A1rh0pper
Might try having the student put the guitar down and do some listening exercises. As they are listening to a tune they like or are working on, have them tap a foot...or pat their right hand...or something.

Try to get them hearing the rhythm, then pick up the guitar and see if they can "feel" it.

Just a thought...I'm definitely not a teacher.
Same sentiments here. Not a teacher either but rhythm, at least for me personally, is more of a "feel" than it is notation.

I definitely agree with the listening recommendation.

A friend of mine who was just learning to play the guitar commented that that she was having similar difficulties with the tempo/rhythm. I told her to stop by and bring her guitar and a few of her favorite CDs. I looked through her CDs, chose a tune with a very simple rhythm pattern and as we listened to the music, I told her to put her guitar down, stand up and move to the beat. I encouraged her to do air guitar, air drums, etc. allowing her to loosen up a bit and feel the music.

I should've offered her a drink but I didn't have any.

It didn't happen immediately but she gradually improved her feel for the music. She became less mechanical in her strumming. A few weeks later, I overheard her commenting about a song that "would've sounded better if she changed the rhythm a bit."

Good luck!
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Old 01-31-2005, 11:21 PM
dahn8 dahn8 is offline
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I dont think strumming is something you can teach someone easily... its more of a feel thing than a learned thing, in my opinion. I learned by getting simple songs on the CD player and playing along with it. it works!
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  #7  
Old 02-01-2005, 12:09 AM
mikeo2 mikeo2 is offline
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For the very basics, I begin by explaining the values of whole, half, quarter notes etc. Once they understand these concepts, show them how to put them together in a strumming pattern.

For example, take a simple progression like Am, C, G, Em....

Start them off by strumming these in whole notes. Then try explaining how those get divided into half and quarter notes. Try a couple of simple patterns like that.

Then try splitting it up into some 8th notes and explaining that division and upstrokes, etc...

Here's a PDF of what I'm trying to explain:
http://mikeo2.com/music/Chordpractice.pdf
Obviously you'll still want to do a lot by ear, but understanding this stuff is well worth the time it takes.
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Old 02-01-2005, 10:42 AM
Ninjato Ninjato is offline
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Rhythm is different for everybody although the best I have seen are the ones that practice w/ a metronome.

EVERYONE will go thru a "stiff" phase before relaxing into a "groove".

Sometimes I try to let them play what they feel regardless of timing. Then I take what they do and see how they can tweak it to fit properly in tempo.
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Old 02-01-2005, 11:29 AM
waynep waynep is offline
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I am going through that. I started with the 4 strums/1 per beat then wondered what to do next. I took lessons from a guy who broke it down for me into down-up-down-up to coincide with 1-and-2 and . . down on beats and up on the "ands". Once I could keep a steady thing going he had me start leaving out some "ands/ups" or beats/downs and combinations of both. So now I play around and find some pattern that seems to fit in my head. It's getting better but I am still too mechanical about the whole thing. I figure it's part of the learning process.
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  #10  
Old 02-01-2005, 12:40 PM
bwong bwong is offline
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I'm not a guitar teacher either, but when I first started, my teacher taught me the simple down-up-down strum. After that, he wasn't much help. He just told me that since music is an art, you have to come up with your own strumming patterns. I'm not exactly sure I totally agree with his logic, but I can see where he's coming from.

Eventually, I moved to a down-down-up-up-down-up strum. Personally, it took me a long time to get the rhythm right. I ended up asking people to record themselves while playing a particular strumming pattern. Then I'd take the recording and listen to it. I'd try to emulate the same thing. That seemed to help a lot. But even now, my rhythm could still use some work.

In the end, I do think it is something that just has to be felt...and I'm still working on feeling it.
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  #11  
Old 02-01-2005, 01:00 PM
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I just happened to be looking through the books by Bruce Emory last week at the guitar shop and in the one titled Guitar from Scratch he offers basic strumming patterns. Rhythm and tempo have never been a big problem for me so I have blithely strummed chords for 30 years not realizing there even were basic recognized patterns for rock, country and folk songs. But he does a pretty good job of explaining it and offering some easy songs that you can use the patterns on. Later on in the book, he offers variations of the basic patterns.
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  #12  
Old 02-01-2005, 01:19 PM
JedimasterPaul JedimasterPaul is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by A1rh0pper
Might try having the student put the guitar down and do some listening exercises. As they are listening to a tune they like or are working on, have them tap a foot...or pat their right hand...or something.

Try to get them hearing the rhythm, then pick up the guitar and see if they can "feel" it.

Just a thought...I'm definitely not a teacher.
that is an excellent idea. I definitely think it is essential to be able to feel the rhythm before you can play along with it effectively.

Play your students some tunes and see if they can tell if it is in 3 or 4, etc.

FWIW, I'm working through an accompianiment instructional DVD right now taught by John Doyle. It is excellent, and although it is geared for accompanying Irish traditional tunes, I think some of the principles would apply to any type of accompaniment. He spends time on left hand damping (which I'm good at ), right hand damping (which I'm not good at ), chord substitutions, etc.
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  #13  
Old 02-01-2005, 04:56 PM
BR-183Bob BR-183Bob is offline
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Try this guy for some practical stuff to strum along with.

Strumming patterns
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  #14  
Old 02-02-2005, 10:38 PM
Tom S. Tom S. is offline
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A couple more strum sites.
http://www.geocities.com/justinguita...strumming1.jpg
http://guitar.about.com/library/weekly/aa072600e.htm
http://www.acousticguitar.com/lesson...e_Sync/3.shtml
http://www.musicnet.com.au/lessons/g...g_patterns.asp
http://www.teachguitar.com/content/tmbasicstrumpats.htm
http://www.wholenote.com/default.asp...l%3D39%26p%3D1

The last site (whole note) has some really great strumming for beginners lessons that help get into interesting rythyms.
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Last edited by Tom S.; 02-03-2005 at 09:31 AM.
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  #15  
Old 02-02-2005, 10:55 PM
Bluesbird Bluesbird is offline
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When I was starting out, my teacher always made me count and tap my foot, as well as keep the hand moving. If they can read music, 'reading' the rhythm pattern is the best place to start from.
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