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Beginner Guitar Strumming

By Edited Jun 14, 2016 1 3

Most beginners see that the hardest part of learning how to play the guitar is the finger placement in chords and the transitions from one chord to another. This baffles the minds of beginners since they are overwhelmed by how fast the fingers have to jump from one string to another, sometimes leaping three, four, or even more frets in the process.

While it is true that mastery of chords and tabs is one battle, it must be understood that it is only half of the battle. The other half of the struggle depends on your other hand, rightfully so. If you want to learn the basics of beginner guitar strumming, then read on.

Strumming may be one of the most underestimated aspects of guitar playing. Many people do not understand that knowing how to position one's fingers in the numerous chords will not be worth any good if he does not know how to properly strum the guitar.

The first tip in strumming is that people have to understand that they do not necessarily have to hit all six strings. There are so many chords that sound better if only the bottom four strings are strummed. While the standard strumming involves all six strings, there are times when the two lowest tuned strings make the chord sound too heavy. Many players leave these strings as is.

The second bit of information about beginner guitar strumming is that there are two types of strums involved – downward and upward. For starters, you may want to concentrate on the downward strumming first. You can practice with this drill: down, down, down, up, down. Use this technique when you play a song for the first time.

Once you've mastered the timing, you can then change the drill according to what fits your style best. To appreciate more complex guitar strums, one must master beginner guitar strumming drills first.

They will pave the way for the guitar player to take on more challenging songs. Whoever said that guitar playing is just all about the chords and beginner guitar tabs definitely is mistaken. If you really want to play a guitar, strumming is as essential as any other aspect.



Jul 22, 2010 7:03pm
Strumming is definitely key to sounding natural on guitar. Strumming that is disjointed can make a song sound "off".
Nov 30, 2010 12:06am
Nice article. It's true, you don't need to strum all of the strings in a chord. In fact, in some chords the bass strings should not be strummed. For example, the sixth string open is not one of the notes in a 'D' chord. If it's strummed, people can pick up that something doesn't sound right. One of the differences between a professional guitarist vs. and amateur is what strings are not strummed.
Jan 21, 2013 9:01am
So true. Nothing sounds worse than someone banging away on a guitar with no thought / finesse on which strings to hit at any given moment.
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