(strumming guitar) – Hey, I’m Nate
Savage from Guitareo, and I wanna talk to you a little
bit about strumming today. Strumming is one of those
techniques on the guitar that’s so critical
and fundamental that it’s worth putting in some extra time to get
it to a high level. In fact, it’s so important that I’m including it as one of the techniques
I’m talking about in the new course that
I’ve been working on, that proves how
putting in concerted, focused, practice time to develop critical fundamentals and really good technique
with those fundamentals, can get you better, way
faster, on the guitar. But for this video today,
what we’re gonna talk about, is the single, most
important strumming pattern to develop your
strumming technique. And you may be
saying to yourself, Nate, how can you say that? There is no one, single, most
important strumming pattern. Well, that may be true but the strumming pattern
that I’m gonna show you is so chock-full of
strumming techniques that when you get it
down and you can play it, your strumming’s gonna
come up to a higher level and you’re gonna have
a lot easier time figuring out strumming patterns
in your favorite songs, and coming up with your
own strumming patterns. So let’s jump into
the strumming pattern. I’m gonna break it down
into five easy steps. That way, no matter
what level you’re at, you can jump in whenever
you feel comfortable. Now the first part of
this strumming pattern, to get started, all
you’re gonna do, is work on your down
strokes on quarter notes. So one, two, three, four, one, two, three, four, and I’m not making
any chords right now just so we can concentrate
on our strumming. But when you’re working
on down strokes, you’re gonna be really
focusing on your technique. And the number one thing
that I see guitar players do, or newer guitar players, when they’re working
on down strokes, is lock their wrist and
just strum from the elbow. And that can really hurt you. It can make it difficult
to get through the strings. It can make it difficult to keep up with the
tempo of the song. So what you do is just loosen up and strum from your
wrist and your elbow, and get kind of a
rotation in there. Pretend like you’re
trying to flick something off of your hand. And that’s a really good
foundational technique for down strokes. And you can go a long way with just down strokes
in your strumming, if your technique
is really good, they can sound really good and they’re really usable in
a lot of different situations. So that’s step number one, one, two, three, four. Just remember, stay relaxed,
don’t lock your wrist, and use that rotational
kind of movement. And only dig in as much
of the pick as you need to in the strings to make it sound. And I was playing a G7 (strumming guitar) in that little playing
at the beginning. (strumming guitar) So you can put
that on it like… (strumming guitar) So that’s step number one. If you’re new to
strumming, get that down, spend some, focus on this. Step number two is the
opposite of downstrokes, and it’s upstrokes. A lot of newer players
have trouble with upstrokes because they tend to
focus on just downstrokes and neglect their upstrokes. The two tips I have for
you for your upstrokes, same thing, just on one two, three, four. Tip number one is that you don’t have to hit all six
strings on your upstrokes. Oftentimes I’ll only hit the
top three to five strings on my upstrokes, so don’t feel like you
have to hit all six strings when you’re playing upstrokes. Also, the second thing
for your upstrokes is don’t dig too much of your
pick into the strings, or it can get caught
in the strings, and it can feel like
it’s really tough to get through the strings. Only use as much of
the pick as you need, just the tip of it, to get through the strings
and make it sound good. So those two things: only
the top few strings maybe, and then just enough of
the pick to get it through. So work on that technique,
and really develop that. It’s gonna make it a lot easier to learn more complex
strumming patterns. So one, two, three, four. So then one, two, three, four. And actually look
back at your hand, and think about all those tips. Think about the ones
for the downstrokes. Think about the ones
for the upstrokes too. Taking time to develop your
technique on this level will really help you be able to play a lot more
complex strumming patterns in the future. So work on your downstrokes
and your upstrokes by themselves, and then
you can put them together. That’s step number three. So instead of just
all downs or all ups, you’re gonna alternate downs
and ups on eighth-notes, so you have one-and,
two-and, three-and, four-and. And it may be a little
bit difficult to
think about the tips for the ups and the
downs at the same time, but slow it way down (strums guitar) and think about everything all the tips that
we’ve gone over so far. So keep that rotational
movement in there. On your upstrokes, don’t feel like you have to
dig in to all six strings, maybe only the top three to
five strings, stay relaxed, really look back at
your strumming hand, and also one tip I
have here for you is a lot of players
find it difficult to kind of hold onto the
pick as they’re strumming, especially with upstrokes. They find that it kind of
flies out of their hands. So what you can do is just kind of constantly adjust
that pick in your fingers to keep it where you want it, or you can use two fingers to
kind of hold onto that pick. I do that a lot if I’m
doing some faster strumming, but that’s step number three: putting your downs
and ups together. one-and, two-and, three-and, four-and. Only dig enough of the
pick into the strings to make the sound you want. I’m gonna put that G7 on here. (strumming guitar) Stay relaxed. Do that rotational
movement in there. That’s step number three, so take some time throughout
the next week or two, or however long it takes, and develop alternating down-up, down-up, one-and, two-and, three-and, four-and. Step number four
incorporates something that’s really critical for
developing your strumming, and it’s called the constant
strumming technique, and believe it or not, we’ve already been
incorporating this on the first two steps. Check it out. When you’re going
through step number one, doing all downstrokes, you kept your hand going, down-up, down-up, down-up, down-up, even though you weren’t
digging into the strings on your upstrokes. So you kept your constant
strumming technique going, one-and, two-and, three-and, four-and. But you didn’t dig into the
strings for those upstrokes, and that is what the constant
strumming technique is. So for step four, we’re gonna
learn what I would consider a real-life constant
strumming technique pattern, and the pattern is one-and, two-and, so just two downstrokes
on beats one and two, and then for beats three
and four you’re gonna have down-up, down-up. So one-and, two-and, three-and-four-and. So two quarter-notes, and
then four eighth-notes. Let me do it again. One-and, two-and, three-and-four-and, one-and, two-and, three-and-four-and. So that is your mission. You need to get that
strumming pattern down, and we’re almost there. We only have one
step after this, so one-and, two-and, three-and-four-and. And remember, all of the technique tips
we’re gone over so far, as far as the downstrokes
and the upstrokes, staying relaxed, one-and, two, three-and-four-and, one, two, three-and-four-and, one, two, three-and-four-and. Let me put some chords on. I’m gonna throw that
G7 chord on here and let you hear how
this sounds in context. One, two, three, four. (strumming guitar) So if that’s new for you, if
that level of strumming is new, take some time, a couple
weeks, get it down, and do some really
intense, focused practice. Focus on just the
strumming pattern at first, and then put some
chords with it. The last step to get us to kind of our ultimate
strumming pattern is to put a muted strum in
with our strumming pattern. And you already
know the pattern, all you have to do is
incorporate one more technique to kind of make the
strumming pattern come alive and make it a little bit more
percussive, and it’s this: on the downstroke of beat three, you’re gonna add a muted strum, so all it is, is you
lift up all the pressure on whatever chord you’re making, so we’re kind of muting
the strings, right, and you mute the strings
with your palm as you go through them, so there’s not really
any notes ringing out. (strums muted strings) It’s more percussive, so one, two, three-and-four-and. So it may take you a
while to get used to doing that kind of muted
strum through the strings, and that’s something that
you can practice on its own to make it really
tight and percussive, and don’t be afraid to be a
little rough with the guitar to make it sound more
like a snare drum. That’s what we’re kind of
trying to imitate here. So one, two, three-and-four-and, one, two, three-and-four-and. (strumming guitar) So that’s, to me, the
ultimate strumming pattern that incorporates a lot
of different techniques that can get you to a new,
higher level in strumming. Take each one of these. If you’re a beginner,
start with level one, and you’ll go through the steps. If you’re more of a
intermediate player, get this fifth version of
the strumming pattern down, and see what it can
do for your playing. Getting the right technique down can really make or break
your practice time, and applying that technique to
critical guitar fundamentals will help you get better faster. That’s what this new course that I’ll be
announcing very soon really concentrates on, so
to find out more about it, sign up for updates,
or leave comments. You can follow the
link below this video. Stay tuned, it’s coming out very soon.