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Strumming 101: Developing Rhythm

Instructors: Chris Feener, Al Joseph, Sean Conklin Total lessons in study:
Learning how to strum is one of the first tasks of a beginning guitarist. In this study, you'll learn how to strum correctly and also how to understand the rhythmic theory behind strumming.

1. Strumming: Rhythms and Chord Changes

1. Strumming 101 - Intro & Patterns
Rhythm
Any Style
Beginner
Hey everyone! For this tutorial, I want to focus on the fine art of strumming. Throughout my years of teaching, one thing I've found is that many players who avoid taking the time to establish how the right hand executes rhythms, wind up having issues later in their guitar lives. It's extremely important to understand why '...Read More
2. Strumming 101 - Chord Changes
Rhythm
Any Style
Beginner
So let's have some fun by practicing our new rhythms with chord changes. I chose just two open-position chords to practice with, D and A.  There's an added column with either D or A for each strum pattern. This is the chord we'll switch to before starting the pattern which proceeds it. Play each excercise as many tim...Read More

2. Rhythmic Strumming

3. Rhythmic Strumming - Introduction
Rhythm
Acoustic
Beginner
In this tutorial, I'm going to show you how to use only two chords to build your sense of 'Pocket' playing, i.e. Rhythmic awareness. We're going to discuss how to go about maximizing your strumming technique for various strumming patterns you may encounter throughout your further guitar study. Rhythmic Strumming Let's loo...Read More
4. Rhythmic Strumming - Ex. 1
Rhythm
Acoustic
Beginner
With the following 5 exercises, you must remember to: 1. Maintain an 8th note (down-up-down-up ect.) pattern when executing the rhythms 2. Relax your right hand (strumming hand) and use your wrist. You can use your elbow for emphasis on the beat if you'd like. 3. Use the backing tracks I've provided and have fun people!Read More
5. Rhythmic Strumming - Ex. 2
Rhythm
Acoustic
Beginner
Exercise 2! Remember to: 1. Maintain an 8th note (down-up-down-up ect.) pattern when executing the rhythms 2. Relax your right hand (strumming hand) and use your wrist. You can use your elbow for emphasis on the beat if you'd like. 3. Use the backing tracks I've provided and have fun people!Read More
6. Rhythmic Strumming - Ex. 3
Rhythm
Acoustic
Beginner
Exercise 3! Remember to: 1. Maintain an 8th note (down-up-down-up ect.) pattern when executing the rhythms 2. Relax your right hand (strumming hand) and use your wrist. You can use your elbow for emphasis on the beat if you'd like. 3. Use the backing tracks I've provided and have fun people!Read More
7. Rhythmic Strumming - Ex. 4
Rhythm
Acoustic
Beginner
Exercise 4! Remember to: 1. Maintain an 8th note (down-up-down-up ect.) pattern when executing the rhythms 2. Relax your right hand (strumming hand) and use your wrist. You can use your elbow for emphasis on the beat if you'd like. 3. Use the backing tracks I've provided and have fun people!Read More
8. Rhythmic Strumming - Ex. 5 and Wrap-up
Rhythm
Acoustic
Beginner
Exercise 5! Be sure to wait until the end of the video for some final thoughts. Remember to: 1. Maintain an 8th note (down-up-down-up ect.) pattern when executing the rhythms 2. Relax your right hand (strumming hand) and use your wrist. You can use your elbow for emphasis on the beat if you'd like. 3. Use the backing tr...Read More
Audio Guitar Lesson
9. Rhythmic Strumming - Backing Track 100bpm
Rhythm
Acoustic
Beginner
I've provided two backing tracks. One with with bass and drums, and another with drums only. When you feel comfortable, use the drums-only track to use other chords and to make your own rhythms as well. Have fun :)Read More
Audio Guitar Lesson
10. Rhythmic Strumming - Drums Only Track 100bpm
Rhythm
Acoustic
Beginner
For this backing track, I soloed the drums and took out the bass, so now you can practice strum patterns with whatever chords you'd like. Have fun!Read More

3. Learning How to Switch Chords

11. Chord Changes for Beginners - Transitions
Chords
Any Style
Beginner
Hey beginners! I developed this lesson for the purpose of identifying some of the issues associated with difficulty making chord changes. We'll examine three different sets of chords, D & A, E & Am, Am & C. Here in part 1, we'll simply be strumming each chord eight times before switching to the next. NOTE: The ...Read More
12. Chord Changes for Beginners - Strumming
Chords
Any Style
Beginner
So, let's try altering the strumming pattern so that this starts to sound a little more musical, as opposed to like exercises. The rhythm for the strum pattern is as follows: 1 & 2 & 3 & 4 & D   D   D U D U The main technique that we're going to address in this ...Read More

4. Strumming Basics

13. Strumming Basics - General Overview
Rhythm
Acoustic
Beginner
Welcome everyone! This tutorial is designed to lay out the very basics of guitar strumming. If you're just starting out on guitar, then these lessons are for you! First, be sure to review the important posture points that I bring up in the video. Keep those points in mind, and make sure that you're completely relaxed. If y...Read More
14. Strumming Basics - Strumming with Em and A2 Chords
Rhythm
Acoustic
Beginner
As mentioned in the video, for all our strumming exercises we'll be using chords with similar shapes. Doing this allows us to keep most of our focus on our strumming hand. Before playing the patterns below, watch the video a few times and study my timing and form. Then when you're ready, give the patterns a try. I'd also...Read More
15. Strumming Basics - Strumming with C and FMaj7 Chords
Rhythm
Acoustic
Beginner
Now let's try some patterns with the C and FMaj7 chords. These patterns are a little more difficult because there is a lot more silence between the strums. The more silence there is, the more responsible you are for keeping good timing during the silence. Strum Pattern #4 is especially tricky. There is a lot of silence b...Read More