Drill of the Week #34 – Acoustic Guitar Strumming Technique

richardsguitarstudio on May 8, 2014

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Acoustic guitar strumming is an integral part of any guitarist’s arsenal – even if you play electric guitar and rock/metal styles. Strumming helps develop a solid sense of beat, rhythm, and syncopation. In addition, many rock style bands incorporate ballads into their repertoire, so you’ll eventually need this technique, anyway. Here are a few tips on this acoustic guitar strumming progression:

  1. Use rest strokes for the bass notes. Follow through with the pick and land onto the adjacent string. So, if you pick the A-string, the pick should cut through and land on the D-string. This will allow you to confidently play a solid, full-tone bass melody without hitting the other strings and causing a bunch of unwanted noise. Try it on a few songs like My My, Hey Hey or Wish You Were Here – great examples of this technique.
  2. Follow the strumming symbols. The strumming symbols are aligned with the rhythm – downstrokes on strong beats and upstrokes on weak or up-beats. The pick should follow your toe while tapping your foot – downstroke with the tap and an upstroke as your foot is lifting back up. Think of a string attached from your pick to your toe and you’ll feel what I mean.
  3. Strum with a relaxed pick-hand grip. Many students squeeze the heck out of the pick, making it get stuck inside the strings as they strum and causing bad tone, as well as unwanted tension. Your pick grip should be light enough for you to easily wiggle the pick right out of your grip with your opposite hand.

Lesson on acoustic guitar strumming technique in this lesson on bass solos with chord accompaniment.

Nate shows you a bass solo with chord accompaniment technique found in Wish You Were Here by Pink Floyd, My My Hey Hey by Neil Young, and other popular acoustic guitar songs. Learn how to bring out the bass melody with rest strokes and strum chords in rhythm with good picking and strumming technique.

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