The Secret To A Great Rhythm Guitar Sound - Combining Strumming With Picking

by Simon Candy


Combining Strumming And Picking Guitar Chords ImageIn this video lesson, I show you how to pick and strum guitar at the same time.

You learn a 5 step process that gets you to a point where you can ad lib (ie. make up as you go) picking notes out of a chord and strumming.

Combining strumming with picking is something you do a lot of the time when playing rhythm guitar parts to a song.


Sometimes it’s more strumming with some picking, other times it’s more picking with a little strumming.

There are many possible combinations.

In this lesson, I show you 5 steps to strum and pick your guitar with ease:

1. Chordal Picking:

Here you learn the basics of chordal picking. What to do and what not to do.

2. One Bar On, One Bar Off:

Next, you train by alternating bars of strumming with bars of picking.

3. Half Bar On, Half Bar Off:

To further integrate strumming and picking, we will reduce the alternation of the two approaches to half a bar each.

4. Integrating Strumming/Picking Combinations:

Here, I show you the very important step of mixing together different strumming and picking combinations.

5. Randomize:

Finally, you learn how to randomise your picking and strumming combinations so you can make it up as you go.

Watch the video below to learn more:



Combining Strumming With Picking

Chordal Picking

Here is a typical chord picking pattern that we will use to combine strumming with:




Alternating - One Bar Strum, One Bar Pick

Here are two ways to begin combining strumming with picking alternating every other bar:








Alternating - Half Bar Strum, Half Bar Pick

Here are two ways to begin combining strumming with picking alternating every half bar:








Mixing Strumming With Picking Approaches

To further work with combining strumming and picking we can alternate the half bar approaches from the previous example like so:



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