How To Sound Better Strumming Guitar - Forget Strumming Patterns!

by Simon Candy

 

Sound Better Strumming Guitar ImageIn this video, I show you how to sound better strumming guitar. To do this, don’t focus on patterns, but rather focus on the sound of your strumming instead. 

Patterns are important, however they are only the training wheels needed to get your arm moving in time with the music as you strum. At some point, you need to shed the training wheels, that is the patterns you are strumming, and focus on the sound you are getting instead.

I often have students ask me, what strumming pattern should I play for this song, or that song. What they should be asking is,

"How do I get this strumming pattern to sound like the song I want to play?"

In this lesson, I show you how with these 3 ways to achieve a better guitar strumming sound:

1. Guitar Strumming Dynamics

When strumming guitar, you do not strum all the strings, all the time. This makes for a very bland and flat strumming sound with absolutely no dynamic. You must accent certain parts of the beat by targeting different strings when strumming as well as vary the attack at which you hit the strings with your pick.

2. Palm Muting

Palm muting is a great way to create nice dynamics with your strumming. Like targeting strings, this allows certain beats to be accented, bringing much shape to your strumming.

3. Percussive Strumming

Percussive strumming brings a cool groove to your guitar strum sound. This is achieved with percussive hits on beats 2 and 4 of each bar as you strum, emulating the snare or high hat of a drum beat.

Watch the video below to learn each of these techniques and greatly improve the sound of your strumming on guitar:

 

 

Guitar Strumming Video Content

Strumming Approach 1: Dynamics

Targeting the strings of the chords you strum help bring shape and dynamic to your strumming: 

 

Guitar Strumming Sound 1 Dynamics

 

Strumming Approach 2: Palm Muting

Palm muting also helps bring shape and dynamic to your strumming:

 

Guitar Strumming Sound 2 Palm Muting 

Strumming Approach 3: Percussive Strum

Percussive hits/strums on beats 2 and 4 of each bar bring a groove to your strumming sound:

 

Guitar Strumming Sound 3 Percussive Strum

 

Learn more ways to greatly improve your rhythm guitar playing skills with this 5 day minicourse