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View Full Version : Changing chords in the middle of a strum pattern?



Matt Clara
08-29-2009, 02:48 AM
I guess the only way to get good at this is to internalize the strum pattern so I don't have to think about it, but right now, keeping track of strum patterns and making chord changes is fumblingly difficult--any advice?

deach
08-29-2009, 02:49 AM
go slow. you'll eventually get it.

Kanaka916
08-29-2009, 03:40 AM
Try not to concentrate on the strum pattern and use a simple one to start with till you're familiar with the chord changes. As you progress or become more comfortable with the song, then add your chunks, mutes or whatevers. There's nothing set in stone saying you have to use a particular strum pattern. When you start feeling the song, how you play it will constantly change.

Matt Clara
08-29-2009, 04:17 AM
Try not to concentrate on the strum pattern and use a simple one to start with till you're familiar with the chord changes. As you progress or become more comfortable with the song, then add your chunks, mutes or whatevers. There's nothing set in stone saying you have to use a particular strum pattern. When you start feeling the song, how you play it will constantly change.

Yeah, maybe Aldrine's Uke Lesson 5 with down up chunk up down, up up chunk up down isn't the best place to start...

Matt Clara
08-29-2009, 05:08 AM
Yeah, maybe Aldrine's Uke Lesson 5 with down up chunk up down, up up chunk up down isn't the best place to start...

Speaking of which, at four beats per measure how may measures does one pass through that strum pattern consist of?

Uncle Rod Higuchi
08-29-2009, 05:19 AM
I believe rhythm and strumming should be the LAST thing with which to concern yourself.

First learn the chords that make up the song.

Write them out in the same sequence as they will appear when you play the song.

Then practice forming the chords and "smoothly" transitioning from chord to chord within a steady pace with a simple strum ( no real 'pattern' here, just a down, down, down, etc, or up-doen, up-down, up-down, etc) Your GOAL is to 'play' through your practice sheet smoothly without interrupting your strumming and without looking at your fingers.

When you have reached your goal (per the above) start humming or subvocalizing the melody of the song and experiment with where to place the chord changes to support the melody. NOTE: all your prior practice will have been without reference to the melody of the song. That practice dealt with learning the chords and practicing making smooth changes between the chords.

After a few attempts to hum the melody while strumming through the chord sequence, return to the original song sheet and begin PLAYING the song. By now you KNOW all the chords and you are ABLE to move from chord to chord easily, so you can focus your attention on the lyrics and the melody.

Finally, when you are able to play the song in a simple rhythm and steady pace, begin working on your strum patterns. If you start with the strum pattern without knowing all the chords or without being able to transition from chord to chord seamlessly, you'll be constantly interrupting yourself as you jerkily maky your way through the song.

Here's a link to a FREE booklet with a few practice songs for you:

http://www.4shared.com/file/123858410/4f4615dc/Free_Songbook_Master.html

I believe this "strategy" will help you/anyone lay a firm foundation with regard to chord knowledge, finger dexterity, muscle memory, etc. By trying to "Play" a song at first glance, all at once, beginners bite off more than they can comfortably chew. You may not be a beginner, however, working on strumming patterns, I believe, should be the last thing any of us would be wise work on while endeavoring to master a song.

Humbly submitted (sorry if I sound like a know-it-all, cuz I'm NOT)

Hope it's helpful,

Matt Clara
08-29-2009, 05:26 AM
I believe rhythm and strumming should be the LAST thing with which to concern yourself.

First learn the chords that make up the song.

Write them out in the same sequence as they will appear when you play the song.

Then practice forming the chords and "smoothly" transitioning from chord to chord within a steady pace with a simple strum ( no real 'pattern' here, just a down, down, down, etc, or up-doen, up-down, up-down, etc) Your GOAL is to 'play' through your practice sheet smoothly without interrupting your strumming and without looking at your fingers.

When you have reached your goal (per the above) start humming or subvocalizing the melody of the song and experiment with where to place the chord changes to support the melody. NOTE: all your prior practice will have been without reference to the melody of the song. That practice dealt with learning the chords and practicing making smooth changes between the chords.

After a few attempts to hum the melody while strumming through the chord sequence, return to the original song sheet and begin PLAYING the song. By now you KNOW all the chords and you are ABLE to move from chord to chord easily, so you can focus your attention on the lyrics and the melody.

Finally, when you are able to play the song in a simple rhythm and steady pace, begin working on your strum patterns. If you start with the strum pattern without knowing all the chords or without being able to transition from chord to chord seamlessly, you'll be constantly interrupting yourself as you jerkily maky your way through the song.

Here's a link to a FREE booklet with a few practice songs for you:

http://www.4shared.com/file/123858410/4f4615dc/Free_Songbook_Master.html

I believe this "strategy" will help you/anyone lay a firm foundation with regard to chord knowledge, finger dexterity, muscle memory, etc. By trying to "Play" a song at first glance, all at once, beginners bite off more than they can comfortably chew. You may not be a beginner, however, working on strumming patterns, I believe, should be the last thing any of us would be wise work on while endeavoring to master a song.

Humbly submitted (sorry if I sound like a know-it-all, cuz I'm NOT)

Hope it's helpful,

Thank you Uncle Higuchi! I've seen your advice before, and I do try to follow it. In the three months I've been playing, I've pretty much done nothing but strum up down, changing chords with the lyrics, and sometimes strumming with the syllables of the lyrics themselves. Those tend to generate patterns of their own, but nothing like the "real deal" such as the pattern Aldrine is teaching in the video lesson I mentioned. I'm pretty good with chord changes now, provided they're the five or six I've practiced the most. So, I want to start working harder on the patterns.

Uncle Rod Higuchi
08-29-2009, 05:34 AM
If you like 'Latin" rhythms (Sway, Besame Mucho, La Cucaracha, etc) try leaving out the first up (&) stroke in a 4-beat (8-stroke) down-up (1-&) pattern.

Instead of D-U, D-U, D-U, D-U for the 4 beats, try D-_, D-U. D-U, D-U. It should sound like DOWN__, down/up, down/up. down/up, DOWN__, down/up, down/up, down/up, OR ONE__, 2-&, 3-&, 4-&, ONE__, 2-&, 3-&, 4-&,etc.

If you'll let us know what song you're practicing, I'm sure someone who knows it will chime in with some helpful advice.