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Just Barely Alive: Strumming

 

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The Night They Drove Old Dixie Down

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We will be working with what I call the "basic" strum today, in 4/4 time. Please check out my tutorial on "Better Strumming" for an in depth look at getting a great sound and feel with this pattern.

This strum is a syncopated 1/8 note feel, and you'll want to be sure that you are making a down strum on the "down" beats: 1, 2, 3, 4. Up strums occur in between on the + beats. Respecting this "directionality" is at the root of executing this strum comfortably. It's a great all purpose pattern and you'll hear it many places once you are aware of it.

For "Dixie" we will be using a shuffle feel, which means a subtle emphasis on beats 2 & 4. The chords Am and C have a "5 string zone", which means you want to play strings 5 - 1 on these chords. F and D have a "4 string zone", so you'll want to concentrate your strumming efforts on these strings.
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