3 MOST Important Strumming TechniquesAug 02, 2023
For any guitarist, strumming is a fundamental skill that forms the backbone of their playing style. However, many players often struggle with strumming, leading to a lack of precision and control. In this blog post, we will explore the top three ninja-like techniques that can significantly improve your strumming abilities. These techniques include choosing the right pick, understanding proper counting, and practicing slowly without chords. By mastering these techniques, you can unlock your full strumming potential and become a great strummer.
1. The Right Pick - A Ninja's Secret Weapon
The first topic we'll discuss is the importance of choosing the right pick for your strumming. While there are various pick sizes and materials available, the key to sharpening your strumming lies in using a thin pick(for beginners). For electric-style single notes, double stops, or intricate picking, a thick pick offers better precision. However, for strumming, a thin pick provides more control, making it easier to hit multiple strings smoothly, unlike thicker picks, which may result in unwanted fluctuations.
Imagine combing your hair – a brush with thinner bristles effortlessly glides through tangles, while a thick brush struggles with knots. The same concept applies to strumming. A thin pick allows you to effortlessly glide across strings, producing a brighter sound perfect for strumming. A recommended pick, such as the Snarling Dogs “Brain Pick” with a thickness of 0.6 millimeters, offers excellent grip and control for enhanced strumming performance.
2. Mastering Proper Counting - The Key to Strumming Success
The second ninja-like topic involves mastering proper counting. Many beginners tend to take shortcuts and focus solely on the hand movements without understanding the underlying rhythm. To take your strumming to a professional level, you must learn to count and develop a solid sense of rhythm.
Counting is more than just reciting "down, down, up, up, down, up." It involves understanding the timing and accentuation of each strum. For example, if we're strumming to a rhythm of "1 & 2 & 3 & 4," your strumming pattern might involve emphasizing the 1, 2, 3 and 4. To learn this technique, you can refer to online lessons or courses, such as the "Strumming Video" in this series I created for you.
3. Practicing Slowly Without Chords - The Path to Mastery
The third ninja-like topic is to practice strumming slowly and without chords initially. Often, aspiring guitarists make the mistake of attempting to play chords and sing along right from the start, hindering their progress. Instead, take a step back and focus solely on your strumming hand, muting the strings with your fretting hand to create a percussive sound.
By stripping away chords and singing, you can concentrate solely on your strumming technique. Practice strumming patterns at a slow tempo, gradually building up speed as you gain confidence and control. Remember, slow and deliberate practice allows your brain to absorb the information more effectively, leading to faster progress in the long run.
To sharpen your strumming like a ninja, remember these three essential topics: choose a thin pick for better precision, master proper counting to understand rhythm, and practice slowly without chords to improve control. As you apply these techniques to your daily practice routine, you'll notice a significant improvement in your strumming abilities.
If you're serious about enhancing your strumming skills, don't hesitate to invest time in learning the fundamentals. While there may be countless online resources and lessons, consistency and patience are the keys to becoming a great strummer. With dedication and practice, you'll be well on your way to mastering the art of strumming and taking your guitar playing to new heights. So, pick up your guitar, follow the ninja techniques, and let your strumming skills soar!
Want all the strumming patterns?