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Rock Guitar Lessons: Holding the Pick: Down/Up Strokes

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All right.
We're gonna work on strumming in this
And again, I begun left handed because I
want to feel what it feels like
to strum for the first time and this takes
me back.
So, now that I've learned, let me flip it
This is gonna be a bit more comfortable
for me, and I can show you what I'm doing.
All right.
Strumming is where you hit
all the strings of a chord.
And I suppose it's, it's kind of
impossible to exactly hit them all
at the same time, but it's pretty much
[SOUND] at the same time.
It's sort of one beat, [SOUND] like that.
And you can strum down [SOUND].
You can strum up [SOUND].
And when I was a kid, I made the horrible
mistake of only strumming up.
I don't know why.
Just, I thought that's the way you did it.
And for two excruciating years, I only
strummed up.
So, I'm gonna save you that grief, and and
let you know that it's okay to strum down
It's okay to strum up [SOUND].
Now, holding the pick is gonna be a
helpful thing.
And I actually have several ways of
holding the pick.
But right now, I'm gonna give you the way
that I use when I strum.
And that's going to be it's basically,
it's based on almost if
I didn't have a pick and I just had to
strum [SOUND] with my fingers [SOUND].
And because my second finger is the
longest finger,
it sort of hits the string first.
So really,
the pick is just an extension of that
second finger.
And I think it's about the best thing you
can do with your second finger, is,
is to hold a pick.
So I'm gonna hold my fingers out, flat
like that.
Lay the pick across and put my thumb down,
and there I've got it.
And let's see what happens.
I just want to check out.
Strum a little bit.
Now, what ends up happening in when I
strum is that because my second
finger is longer, I've got it pulled back
a little bit.
You know it's, it's bent a little bit.
So you can see the second finger is more
bent than the first one
in order to have a place where I can
balance that pick on there.
And I just put my thumb on and we're all
Now the other thing I wanna show you is
the thumb has kind of a, this would be a
concave angle.
Sort of a, sort of a soup bowl.
It's, it's not going up like this.
And, it's going down like this.
And that's just what it needs to do in
order to get
with the most comfortable strumming
I'll show you at a couple of different
angles here.
There's one, there's another, kind of that
concave bowl shape, and
that helps you do your upstroke, [SOUND]
and your down stroke [SOUND].
Now, let's also look, you know, you don't
want your arm out like this.
I tend to have this part of my arm
touching the top of the guitar.
And that way,
your wrist ends up giving you a lot of the
And, you know, I don't want to give you
too many adjustments at once.
I mean, you'll just try it and, and
you'll, you'll gradually ease into these
But you know,
the goal is to make it sound [SOUND] a
nice smooth strum when you go down.
[SOUND] Something that you go up, and
you'll be able to control the rhythm.
And speaking of the rhythm, the rhythm
that I want you to play today,
I opened with.
This is a great rhythm.
It's really good for your strumming
And eventually, will pay off big time when
we do our single note picking as well.
So let's take a look at it.
It's a very specific pattern.
You've got to do it like this.
I'm going to be a, a a teacher with, a
And tell you exactly what I want you to do
Two down strokes.
And an upstroke.
And the rhythm is.
So that's down down up, down down up.
in order to teach that to you, I put a
hole there.
But when we actually play it, we're gonna
loop it.
So it'll be down.
So down,
down, up, down, down, up, down, down, up,
down, down, up.
Now at that slow tempo,
you can kinda get away with anything.
I mean I can even go back to my all
upstrokes you know,
first two years of my playing.
And it,
it kind of works where I can do all downs.
Or any number of ways.
When the tempo is that slow, anything is
But I want to make this something that we
can speed up in the future.
So for that, we really need to do two
downs, and one up.
Down, down, up.
Down, down, up.
And then loop it.
All right.
That's starting to feel good.
Now let's do two of those.
Up, and I want to end it with the mute.
And that's where we, again,
reviewing taking this part of your hand.
And stopping the string.
So we'll go, one, two, three, four.
And then I'll do a long one.
All right.
So, duh duh duh duh, duh duh duh duh, duh
duh duh duh, duh duh duh duh.
So let's try it at a medium tempo.
One, two, three, four.
Now, if you can do this and
you can stop those strings.
I'm really proud of you, cuz that's
a really, really fantastic technique for
controlling the electric guitar.
And especially when we begin to crank up
[SOUND] and get more distortion and volume
and, you know, you're on stage, that kind
of technique, to mute those strings,
is gonna be incredibly important so it's
good to start with it now.
All right.
So practice this as much as you, as much
as you can and
have a great time with this cool rhythm.
At a medium tempo.
One, two, three, four
Now if you can do this.
At a medium tempo, one, two, three, four.
Now, if you can do this.