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onewilyfool

Strumming advice????

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Just wondering a few things about strumming styles....where do YOU normally strum your guitar....over or near the fret board, over the sound hole, or between the sound hole and the bridge???? How about picks? Do you use medium, light or heavy? Speaking of picks......I have bags full of them, and I'm amazed at the differences in sound each one produces...which brands do you prefer...again...beginner questions from a strumming novice

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Often a combination of styles within a song, strumming over the soundhole or towards the end of the fretboard will sound a little fatter, emphasising mids and bass. Towards the bridge is crisper and emphasises highs.

 

I use picks ranging from .73 to 2mm, for the reasons you mention.

 

Overall the song usually dictates how I would approach it.

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I prefer to strum over the soundhole, on the right side of the soundhole. However the SJ sounds brilliant a little closer to the bridge, that real Americana tone. However I like to add dynamics in my strumming and one easy way to do this is to simply change the location of where you strum during a song. So if you generally strum over the soundhole its a nice effect to at the right time move closer to the bridge or vice versa, to the fretboard.

 

With picks I've generally settled on a .73mm Dunlop Tortex. I find its light enough to give me a 'lush' strumming tone but also hard enough for some decent flatpicking.

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For me personally the arm/elbow dictate the pick position for strumming

 

Ensuring an easy relaxed action

 

Moving either side for dynamic and tone

 

I use large heavy picks from Ibanez, Stagg, Gibson etc.....

 

V

 

:-({|=

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I found a sweet spot with my J45, just on the right edge of the soundhole. Saying that I'll sometimes play right up against the bridge for an oldey timey jangly sound, or over the neck for a more lush, open sound.

 

I don't use a pick.

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For me personally the arm/elbow dictate the pick position for strumming

 

Ensuring an easy relaxed action

 

Moving either side for dynamic and tone

 

I use large heavy picks from Ibanez, Stagg, Gibson etc.....

 

V

 

:-({|=

That's mostly my take as well.

 

I think strumming, it is more of a CONSTANT rhythm thing, so, in a way, comfort can be a little more important than tone. I mean, if you are relaxed physically, you aren't subconsciously thinking you need to strain to make the music. I seldom change position for tone, but I affect tone by how I strum.

 

It seems I usually have either the front of my arm anchored to the top of the guitar, or the very corner of the hand, the bone near the wrist, resting or pressing somewhere near or on the bridge.

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I use Dunlop .73. As most everyone said, I change up the location of where I strum depending on the tone I want. But I favor over the soundhole, slightly right of center (just seems to be where my hand naturally falls, and I think feeling natural and comfortable is important).

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Learning righthand technique is tough, perhaps the toughest task in learning guitar. Think about it.... Everyone plays all first position chords the same - the strings must be fretted in the same way or it's not the chord. It's the right hand (in my case, the left hand) that makes the difference in players, and each is unique in their abilities and sensibilities in applying that hand to the strings. To me it's the pick hand that makes the player. It controls tempo, volume, attack, rhythmic feel.....everything comes from the hand over the guitar's body. Yes, changing the location in which you attack the strings will vary the tonal output of the instrument, but I think that's a minor point in developing a style that's identifiable. Tommy E is a good example. I've known many players over the years that have just as much skill at moving their fingers around the fretboard, but what makes Tommy a standout is what he can do with his right hand to take full advantage of left hand positions. I think it comes down to making an emotional connection between pick hand and the heart - how well can you translate those little emotional nuances of your soul into the string with your pick hand. Can that really be taught? To some extent maybe, but the best players have something others don't: a right hand that is emotionaly connected to the strings.

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Learning righthand technique is tough, perhaps the toughest task in learning guitar. Think about it.... Everyone plays all first position chords the same - the strings must be fretted in the same way or it's not the chord. It's the right hand (in my case, the left hand) that makes the difference in players, and each is unique in their abilities and sensibilities in applying that hand to the strings. To me it's the pick hand that makes the player. It controls tempo, volume, attack, rhythmic feel.....everything comes from the hand over the guitar's body. Yes, changing the location in which you attack the strings will vary the tonal output of the instrument, but I think that's a minor point in developing a style that's identifiable. Tommy E is a good example. I've known many players over the years that have just as much skill at moving their fingers around the fretboard, but what makes Tommy a standout is what he can do with his right hand to take full advantage of left hand positions. I think it comes down to making an emotional connection between pick hand and the heart - how well can you translate those little emotional nuances of your soul into the string with your pick hand. Can that really be taught? To some extent maybe, but the best players have something others don't: a right hand that is emotionaly connected to the strings.

 

Yes, I agree with that.

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I would agree with that. The right hand technique is much undervalued generally speaking and its important not to forget how big a role it plays. Its very easy to get complacent and 'comfortable' with the right hand and focus on all the slurs that can be used to create texture on the left side.

 

Thats why I love watching and listenign to Malcom Young from AC/DC play rhythm as he plays basic chords but he has a way of making a basic chord sound deliciously huge and nasty, and a lot of that comes through the right hand. He's the guy that sets it all up for Angus to run around the fretboard like a demanted child ..

 

Learning righthand technique is tough, perhaps the toughest task in learning guitar. Think about it.... Everyone plays all first position chords the same - the strings must be fretted in the same way or it's not the chord. It's the right hand (in my case, the left hand) that makes the difference in players, and each is unique in their abilities and sensibilities in applying that hand to the strings. To me it's the pick hand that makes the player. It controls tempo, volume, attack, rhythmic feel.....everything comes from the hand over the guitar's body. Yes, changing the location in which you attack the strings will vary the tonal output of the instrument, but I think that's a minor point in developing a style that's identifiable. Tommy E is a good example. I've known many players over the years that have just as much skill at moving their fingers around the fretboard, but what makes Tommy a standout is what he can do with his right hand to take full advantage of left hand positions. I think it comes down to making an emotional connection between pick hand and the heart - how well can you translate those little emotional nuances of your soul into the string with your pick hand. Can that really be taught? To some extent maybe, but the best players have something others don't: a right hand that is emotionaly connected to the strings.

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Just wondering a few things about strumming styles....where do YOU normally strum your guitar....over or near the fret board, over the sound hole, or between the sound hole and the bridge???? ........

 

About a week ago Sear posted a nice video lesson for his students that covers this nicely. - http://forum.gibson.com/index.php?/topic/67872-video-lesson-on-tone/ - And actually, that's where I'm at. I move my strum toward the neck or toward the bridge to get the tone I want.

 

Picks - tons of them. But Matt also hit on this topic. The angle you take at the string and/or how much of the flat surface of the pick you strike the strings with can change the tone. I like to angle mine a bit so some of the pick edge is hitting the string (this tends to sharpen the edge of the pick and you wear it out a bit faster). So yep, I change this aspect depending on the tone I want.

 

Once you have these techniques down, then experiment with some picks to figure out what you like and don't like. B)

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I have always been a strummer and have played for close to 45 years now. Lately I have taken some lessons and am moving on to playing leads and scales and such. I still find myself needing to form the chords and strum the chords in my efforts to play the lead licks. I just makes more sense to me to break thing down like that.

 

Strumming with alternate bass lines or adding a note when you strum in the up stroke all ad to the depth of the songs you play. You can usually tell a beginner by how many strings they break learning to control the pick and the angle of attack.

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Just check out any Pete Townsend video, great strummer .... plus as added bonus you get to see how to strum a J-200 :-)

 

Thanks guys...all great strumming advice....I forgot to add, if you see any good example of on-line or youtube strumming, can you post links here??? Thanks

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I think it comes down to making an emotional connection between pick hand and the heart - how well can you translate those little emotional nuances of your soul into the string with your pick hand. Can that really be taught? To some extent maybe, but the best players have something others don't: a right hand that is emotionaly connected to the strings.

 

Very well said! [thumbup]

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To me it's the pick hand that makes the player. It controls tempo, volume, attack, rhythmic feel.....everything comes from the hand over the guitar's body

 

That's it, right there. Dont worry about picks and such. Get a good fluid motion going and lock it in. Also, strumming doesnt mean churning. Allow variations in dynamics, accents, spaces--

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Thanks guys...all great strumming advice....I forgot to add, if you see any good example of on-line or youtube strumming, can you post links here??? Thanks

 

I tend to strum on the bridge side of the sound hole. At least that's where the pick stains the strings. I use .73mm picks mostly but just got some .60 Dunlop tortex to try out. I like the sound of thin picks but really thin ones break on me. Check out Mike Masse on YouTube and find his Pinball Wizard video.

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I strum over the center of the sound hole with a thin pick. IMO I get a sound that is fuller and has more low end. I've always used thin picks from first learning guitar to present day. I use thin picks on both acoustic and electric. I think I have a "light touch" when I play. I find that more expressive. I also first learned my open chords using my pinky more than my middle finger on my left hand. That comes from learning from chord diagrams instead of an instructor.

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I like how TP strumms close to the bridge on the inro to the song, makes it sound almost electric. Excellent example not only of good strumming but how to use dynamics.

 

Thanks for sharing !

 

And.

 

Petty. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lbo2ryPq8OU

 

Couger.http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SZv5_efc-3s

 

Fogerty.

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