Play the Guitar: Lesson 12 plus

   In the previous part we've talked a little about strumming. Now we will talk a little more on the subject.

   Guitar Strumming - Some common patterns

   As we've seen yesterday, we can play a song by playing a bunch of chords one after the other. They generally repeat a lot and... they are usually not too many. A song can have as little as three chords (and we'll talk about that soon).

   In order to make these songs sound good, we need to give them some body; some structure. Playing one chord at a time only once as we did until now was kinda... embarrassing, and it's a tool that should only be used for learning purposes. It is great when we first learn a new song.

   If we want to have more structure, however, we can play the chords more than once at a time. A very common number is four.

   So. Instead of playing a a chord only once, we will play each chord four times. Down - No Up - Down - No Up - Down - No Up - Down - No Up. That's the simplest pattern of them all. Play each chord four times, all down strokes, from top to bottom, nice and easy, as usual, the four thin strings only. The speed is not important right now, because counting to four will turn out to be incredibly difficult! (at first, anyway). Later some of the "Down"s will become "No Down"s and some of the "No Up"s will become "Up"s, building on each other to create patterns.

   Not all songs repeat each chord four times. Some repeat them only two times, other three, other six, other 8, others... I don't know. A bunch.   

   Some of the common patterns are (and we are rushing things a little):

   - Down - No Up - Down - No Up - Down - No Up - Down - No Up (the one above)
   - Down - Up - Down - Up - Down - Up - Down - Up (all the strokes are played, up and down)
   - Down - No Up - Down - Up - Down - Up - Down - Up (all the strokes are played, except the first Up)

   And because that notation is kinda hard to follow, we will switch to short hand. So:

   1. d_ d_ d_ d_
   2. du du du du
   3. d_ du du du
   4. d_ du d_ du
   5. d_ d_ du du
   6. d_ du _u du
   7. d_ du _u d_
   8. du du _u du

   The first one is included here for learning purposes only, you won't see it in too many songs. The most common pattern is 6, I think, and 3 is also a popular one.

   To practice, just take a random chord and practice only one strumming pattern until you get it. As I said, counting to four will turn out to be incredibly difficult, at first, so don't be discuraged if it is hard.

   Then move on to another strumming pattern and try that one.

   Once you feel pretty good about yourself try changing chords at the same time. A very good exercise is to practice using the following sequence of chords: G-Em-C-D. Or C-Am-F-G. When I first started out I practiced these sequences for months. And still do!

   As I said, I've been rushing things a little, it could take weeks to get comfortable doing everything I just mentioned. If there are problems, there is an excellent video of how to do it, which I highly recommend (Link to YouTube, opens in a new tab). Just try to relax and take it easy. No rush, no pressure, it is only meant to be fun.

Add picture here...

To be continued...

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