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View Full Version : how do I figure out strumming patterns?


chickenshorts
02-26-2006, 11:05 PM
I've been playing guitar for a couple months now so I'm still very much a beginner. I feel like I'm making alot of good progress when it comes to playing songs that use individual notes and melodies, but I'm having trouble playing songs that use chords. For example, I looked up the tablature for a song that I like and I found out what chords it uses. It starts out with a G chord, and then goes to Em. I've gotten pretty good at playing those two chords and I can even switch between them pretty easily, but no matter what I do, it just doesn't sound like the song I'm trying to play. I think its the strumming pattern that I can't figure out. Or I think that maybe the artist is putting more emphasis on certain strings. Whatever it is, I can't figure out how to emulate the sound. It's beginning to frustrate me because I feel like I'm making no progress when it comes to playing songs that use mainly chords.

Anybody have any suggestions for me? (By the way, the song I'm trying to play is by Ryan Adams, Damn Sam)

acapella
02-26-2006, 11:58 PM
I know this isn't what you want to hear, but there is only one way to figure that out. You have to practice. There is no secret method for it. You have to play and listen to a lot of songs, and eventually something will start to click and you'll find it easier and easier to hear how the strumming patterns go in songs. Timing, upstrokes and downstrokes, you'll just hear it, you'll just know. Practice, practice, practice! That's all you can do! Good luck.

sailorjim
02-27-2006, 12:00 AM
but no matter what I do, it just doesn't sound like the song I'm trying to play.

Anybody have any suggestions for me? (By the way, the song I'm trying to play is by Ryan Adams, Damn Sam)

Are you using a CAPO? If you put the capo on the 3rd fret then play the chords it will sound much better. He is doing a little stuff with the picking but even if you strum it it should still sound ok.. With out the capo playing those chords you would be playing it out of key... and darn that is ugly if you are trying to play along with the song. However if you are not playnig with the cd it would sound ok, just in a different key...

if you want to play the song with out a capo.

G = Bb, Em = Gm, C=Eb, D=F this would put it in the right key

sailorjim
02-27-2006, 12:31 AM
I know this isn't what you want to hear, but there is only one way to figure that out. You have to practice. There is no secret method for it. You have to play and listen to a lot of songs, and eventually something will start to click and you'll find it easier and easier to hear how the strumming patterns go in songs. Timing, upstrokes and downstrokes, you'll just hear it, you'll just know. Practice, practice, practice! That's all you can do! Good luck.


What he said. But Psssst!!!!!! There is a secret. He uses a Capo

chickenshorts
02-27-2006, 09:31 AM
thanks for the help guys! I've been using a capo on the 3rd fret the whole time, but I still can't get it to sound right. I guess I just have to keep practicing.

thanks!

mxh
02-27-2006, 06:23 PM
Are you using a CAPO? If you put the capo on the 3rd fret then play the chords it will sound much better. He is doing a little stuff with the picking but even if you strum it it should still sound ok.. With out the capo playing those chords you would be playing it out of key... and darn that is ugly if you are trying to play along with the song. However if you are not playnig with the cd it would sound ok, just in a different key...

if you want to play the song with out a capo.

G = Bb, Em = Gm, C=Eb, D=F this would put it in the right key


whats a capo?

magicninja
02-27-2006, 07:00 PM
whats a capo?
:eek: Sorry, I forget there was a time I didn't know either. It's a little device you can strap or clamp onto the fretboard to put the open position at say the second fret. It pushes and holds all the frets down. It's great for playing open chords higher up the fretboard.

quickfingers
02-27-2006, 10:07 PM
yea, if you want to play that song in open chords, youd need a capo. but it sounds just as similar (in that song) as if you just barred the chords. plus, he does a little 4th-to-5th thing with his finger when he plays the chord to get that kind of rhythym, like this: (assuming its in open position)

---------------------------
---------0-0-----------------
---------0-0---------------
--2------2-2---------------
--0-h-2--2-2-------------------
--0------0-0------------------

Kole_Music
03-07-2006, 12:25 PM
It seems that the rhythm or ( strumming pattern ) is your main concern, considering the fact that you are playing the correct voicings of the chords. If you can not find the original score for this piece and check to see what the correct rhythm is, then you will have to decipher it by ear. This is a skill that many Guitarists do not have ( or have not developed fully ). It is very useful and studying Aural training will help you figure these things out more easily. Hopefully this post will help you explore Aural Training, as it is a very useful skill and will help you decipher the rhythm of this piece.

-Kyle Hicks ( Kole )
-http://www.myspace.com/kolemusic