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  #1  
Old 07-21-2009, 04:10 AM
LazyBrian LazyBrian is offline
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Default ISO: Songs to help learn strumming

Hi Guys, I'm new to the forum. I've been playing guitar for about 18 months now grabbing time here and there after work as a way to relax. I get roughly weekly lessons from a local musician and he has helped me make a lot of progress. I've gone through the Hal Leonard Guitar Method books (1-3) and learned a number of other songs from tab/music off the Internet.

I've learned a few fingerstyle songs (Blackbird, Freight Train, Dust in the Wind, Candy Man, Stag O' Lee, Pacing the Cage, Wondering Where the Lions Are) and a couple of strumming songs (Personal Jesus and Hard Days Night among others). I can play these relatively well with some awkward moments I still have trouble consistently doing the Am/G chord in Dust in the Wind and my timing is a bit off in parts of Candy Man.

I think I'm reaching the point where I've got a good start on the basics of the guitar, but I need to work on my strumming (flatpicking?) skills. What are some good songs for me to try to learn to help develop my strumming skills?

My guitar instructor is great, but my work schedule and his gig schedule are conspiring to limit our lessons over the next couple of months.
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Old 07-21-2009, 06:56 AM
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vac4873 vac4873 is offline
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Default Paul Simon

I learned quite a few Paul Simon songs that helped me improve my right hand, both in picking and strumming. For example "The Boxer" is pretty long, thus requiring you to play the pattern consistently for quite awhile, and also incorporates a little bit of fingering work on the G chord a la "Dust in the Wind" on the C and Am chords. "Me and Julio" is a great exercise in using a fast a slightly different strum, as well as fast chord changes, and "Kodachrome" has a nice little riff that incorporates into the song, as well as a nice strum and some fast chord changing.

It probably doesn't hurt that I really like his music, and most folks really respond well to his songs.

Matt
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Old 07-21-2009, 07:47 AM
Malcolm Malcolm is offline
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Strumming is a feel thing - I always hated it when the old guys told me to feel it - but, that is the best information I can give you.

Most of the rhythm guys - myself included - have three or four basic strums and then they mix and match them to the song being played. I think the key to strumming is to be able to reach into your bag of tricks and bring out THE correct strum for this specific song.

So, do you have your 3 or 4 basic strums in muscle memory? My instructor told me to take a new pattern to the couch and watch TV. Grab the neck around the 5th fret +/- to deaden the sound. Now strum your pattern. After an hour's show that pattern will be in muscle memory and belong to you.

Good luck.
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Old 07-21-2009, 04:46 PM
rcadian rcadian is offline
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When I started a to learn the guitar in May 08, I think I asked the same question - and there will be a thread on this forum somewhere about good strumming songs that I started... I have since learnt that a couple of simple strum patterns are enough to get you by at any friends or family sing-along... D Du uDu being the most basic and useful (IMHO)...

However, here are three sources you may find useful, giving a lot of different strums patterns and audio that you can play along with:

First: http://spytunes.co.uk/Practice/Level...r-Pat-1-5.html
(Dig around on the site and you'll find 15 different strum patterns)

Second: http://kickstartguitar.com/default.aspx
(lots of free song video WITH strumming patterns)

Thirdly: http://www.guitar.gg/strumming.html
(Not the best looking website, but very useful and with downloadable MP3's and suggested patterns for different, specific songs)

I am not asscociated with any of the above websites although I have used them all and found them helpful...

Good luck
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  #5  
Old 07-21-2009, 09:29 PM
gagibson gagibson is offline
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You've Got To Hide Your Love Away by the Beatles would be a great one to learn. It's got a hell of a lot of chord changes while strumming
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Old 07-21-2009, 11:11 PM
Billy Memphis Billy Memphis is offline
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I have often thought that the simplest things are the hardest to do well. A simple strum such as a waltz (one-two-three,two-two-three) or any simple bass and strum pattern can be very challenging. It sounds funny, but try to keep a steady rhythm is sometimes harder than it looks, at least for me.
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Old 07-22-2009, 04:34 AM
LazyBrian LazyBrian is offline
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OK, thanks guys. You all have given some leads to follow.
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