Picking Guitar Chords - Strumming Acoustic Guitar

Sound Like A Piano Player By Combining Picking Guitar Chords And Strumming On The Acoustic Guitar

Picking the notes of your guitar chords and strumming the acoustic guitar together is a very cool combination, that will have what you are playing sound much more difficult than what it actually is. This approach is much like how a piano player might play the chords on a piano. Instead of playing all the notes of the chord at the same time, they tend to break them up, and this is what we are going to do by combining picking our guitar chords and strumming on the acoustic guitar.

Lets begin with a typical guitar strumming pattern:


Acoustic strumming progression



Now lets take the same chord progression but this time we will be picking our guitar chords. That is we will pick out single notes of each chord we play. To keep it simple, i’ll use a similar rhythm as I did for the strumming example above: 


Acoustic picking chord progression



Once you are comfortable with both the guitar strumming and the guitar chord picking examples, it is then time to start to combine the two of them.

In the example below I am alternating bars of strumming with picking the notes of each chord:


Combining picking and strumming chord progression

Strumming and picking chord progression



This may sound a little mechanical at the moment but it is important to do this step so that you can begin to get use to combining both your acoustic guitar strumming and picking of the chords in the same progression.

Let’s take this a step further now by strumming the guitar for half a bar and picking the notes of each chord for the other half. This will further work on combining the 2 approached together for you.


Picking and strumming chords half a bar each



Finally, lets bring this home by picking our guitar chords and strumming them within the same bar. I have purposely not made any 2 bars the same. This will have what you are playing sound much more natural and musical. It gets away from that exercise like sound.


Combining picking and strumming chord ideas progression



The best thing you can do now is take any chord progression you know and go through the same steps I have above with it. Repeatedly doing this with various chord progressions will enable you to be able to do this on the spot, in real time, and that is the goal. It would also be a good idea to learn some songs that use this approach.


Picking chords on your acoustic guitar and combining this with a nice acoustic guitar strum takes your playing to a new level. People love to hear the acoustic guitar played this way. It really sounds like you know what you are doing........and you do!

Here are some songs to check out that use this kind of approach:

  • Patience by Guns N’ Roses (The Opening 8 bars of the Intro)
  • Paradise City by Guns N’ Roses (The Opening 4 Bars of the Intro)
  • Breathe by Pink Floyd (Opening track to Darkside of the Moon)


Learn how to fingerpick your acoustic guitar and feel great about yourself as a guitarist