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By this point you should be able to switch between D and G cleanly, on the beat, with a strumming pattern. Now that we’ve touched upon the roles of the chord hand and strumming hand, it’s time to build upon each of them.

First, we’ll work on our chords, learning a new shape, “A.”

You’ve probably realized by now that knowing the shape is only half the battle. Now we need to practice switching to and from that chord shape.

Now we should be able to switch freely between any of the 3 chords we know: D, G and A. Let’s try playing all 3 of them together now.

     Now that we have 3 chords at our disposal, the number of songs we can play along to has gone through the roof. That raises an important question: how can so many songs use those 3 chords but sound so different? The truth is, the chords and rhythm are a backdrop for the song, which is primarily the melody and lyrics. In fact, chord progressions don’t fall under copyright law, only melodies and lyrics, so you can take that chord progression from your favourite song and use it as the basis for your own song and nobody will come knocking at your door (except maybe to hear you play :))

     Choose one of the following songs and practice along. If the strumming patterns give you trouble, no need to worry. Building a sense of rhythm takes time, and perfecting the simple patterns will lead to a better sense of rhythm which will improve your musicianship much more in the long run. Also, it’s worth it to play along multiple times – repetition is key. Every time you practice something, you get a tiny bit better at it. It won’t be noticeable on a day-to-day basis but overall it will lead to major improvements.

     For both of those songs, instead of the strumming pattern in the video you can play either of the patterns that we learned earlier. That’s the really cool thing about guitar, you can mix and match chords and strumming patterns and a lot of the time things will really work out!

Day 3 – What To Practice

  • 10 minutes – D G D A chord progression with strumming pattern
  • 20 minutes – Play along to either “Bad Moon Rising” or “The Middle” at least 4 times in a row – remember: repetition is key!

30 minutes total!

2017-05-18T12:45:46-08:00 May 9th, 2016|Categories: Article, Strum Along|