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Old 06-19-2009, 06:23 PM
musicianwannabe musicianwannabe is offline
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Default More strumming questions...

I went to a guitar instructor, asked her how to strum, and was told that I should strum the first three strings with my thumb and the other three strings with my four fingers.

My questions are as followed:
- Do you actually have to strum with all four fingers?
- To strum, do you use your fingertips, your nails, or your knuckles? (I've been told not to strum with my fingertips or my nails, so I'm starting to wonder if people actually strum with their knuckles.)
- How do you strum upward? I've been told to use my wrist, which makes sense in theory but which I can't actually do since I'm still bending my fingers in a way that makes them feel weird and unnatural.
- When you strum upward, do you have to hit all the strings? Are people going to be able to tell the difference if you just hit two or three strings instead of the supposed, say, five?

That's all for now. Thanks for answering!
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Old 06-19-2009, 06:50 PM
Bryan T Bryan T is offline
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Most people hold a pick when strumming. The pick would hit the strings that you want to sound.
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Old 06-19-2009, 07:03 PM
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rick-slo rick-slo is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bryan T View Post
Most people hold a pick when strumming. The pick would hit the strings that you want to sound.
There are all kinds of ways of strumming although I don't remember seeing anyone knuckle strum.
Your best bets are visuals. Try some youtube videos.
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Old 06-19-2009, 07:55 PM
Nimrod Nimrod is offline
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use your nails
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Old 06-19-2009, 08:54 PM
Malcolm Malcolm is offline
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Quote:
Do you actually have to strum with all four fingers?
If you are using your fingers to strum, there are all kinds of ways to do that. There is strumming and there is finger picking. Two different things. If you ask three people how to finger pick I bet you will get 6 different ways. LOL
Quote:
- To strum, do you use your fingertips, your nails, or your knuckles? (I've been told not to strum with my fingertips or my nails, so I'm starting to wonder if people actually strum with their knuckles.)
Never seen any knuckle strumming. Frailing as used by the clawhammer banjo people will use the back of the finger nails and yes sometime I frail my guitar. Again there are all kinds of ways to make those strings make noise. Most of the time we will use a pick or strum with the meaty part of our thumb and then finger picking will use the thumb and 2, 3 or 4 fingers depending on the way you were taught or like best.
Quote:
How do you strum upwards?
With a pick and you have to be holding it correctly so it does not go flying off into space. Yes it is a wrist motion. If finger picking the thumb picks down and the other fingers pick up.
Quote:
- When you strum upward, do you have to hit all the strings? Are people going to be able to tell the difference if you just hit two or three strings instead of the supposed, say, five?
An up strum normally only hits two to three strings. As to people telling the difference - yes - an up strum sounds different than a down strum -- that's one of the reasons of doing an up strum.

You mentioned an instructor. Do what your instructor says. If you are paying for advise -- take it -- your instructor will get you there, hang in

BTW Good luck. .

Last edited by Malcolm; 06-19-2009 at 09:07 PM.
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  #6  
Old 06-20-2009, 09:10 AM
SteveBlueenote SteveBlueenote is offline
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You should probably learn to strum with a pick first. Then, learn how to introduce rhythm and melody into your strumming patterns. You have to train your brain to transfer your ideas into your hands and into your guitar: it takes time and practice. Once you learn how to do it with a pick, start to use your fingers. You'll soon see that you will use all parts of your hand for many things: everything from muting to picking a distinct sound.

Also, an easy way to learn it is to take simple chords & just start strumming. You'll make allot of mistakes, but some of those mistakes sound real cool and will become part of your playing. I learned more new tricks from mistakes than by any book or video. Make sure you have fun when doing it! Also, don't be afraid to be daring or bold. Use the pick to force your ideas into the guitar.

http://www.youtube.com/results?searc...+beginner&aq=f

http://www.google.com/#hl=en&q=video...fp=leBsIIJAIN0

http://www.amazon.com/Peavey-Present...5510711&sr=1-4


Quote:
Originally Posted by musicianwannabe View Post
I went to a guitar instructor, asked her how to strum, and was told that I should strum the first three strings with my thumb and the other three strings with my four fingers.


My questions are as followed:
- Do you actually have to strum with all four fingers?
- To strum, do you use your fingertips, your nails, or your knuckles? (I've been told not to strum with my fingertips or my nails, so I'm starting to wonder if people actually strum with their knuckles.)
- How do you strum upward? I've been told to use my wrist, which makes sense in theory but which I can't actually do since I'm still bending my fingers in a way that makes them feel weird and unnatural.
- When you strum upward, do you have to hit all the strings? Are people going to be able to tell the difference if you just hit two or three strings instead of the supposed, say, five?

That's all for now. Thanks for answering!
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  #7  
Old 06-20-2009, 09:20 AM
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ljguitar ljguitar is offline
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Hi wannabe...
Hello and welcome to the group.

I teach students fingerstyle, and we learn to strum without picks using the nails of fingers 2, 3 for the downstroke, and the back of the thumbnail for the up strum.

There is no precedent that says you must either use a pick or not use one. Know this that there is more variation in tone produced by picks than by your nails (which are always the same weight and approximate thickness).

It would probably be fun to learn both with a pick and with your nails. I'd suggest using a med-thick pick and strum near the lower end over the sound hole, as that will produce a more robust tone than thin picks near the bridge (and will break less strings).

But whatever method you learn, have fun and learn to play relaxed and take discussions like this with a grain of salt...most of us only think we know best what others should do...
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