applies to both acoustic and electric guitar playing, as the strumming
action is the same for both. Even the
positioning of your strumming
path falls around the same area. See below...
- standard strumming path over the sound hole:
strumming path around the first pickup:
aren't, of course, tied to those paths, as different positions create
different sounds (for example, strumming and picking close to the
bridge gives you a sharper, crisper tone), but most of the time you'll
using this standard position for a well balanced tone.
Some key points to remember before we get started...
Sounds obvious, but it's easy to tense up when you feel you need more
control when strumming more complex patterns. Try and keep your arm and
wrist relaxed. Let the plectrum
the strings rather than jab at them. Even if you're
strumming aggressively, keeping relaxed is still the most important
thing. Keep both
your wrist and forearm flexible
Although you will need to move your forearm, your wrist should also be
loose and free-flowing. Keeping your wrist stiff, and relying on your
forearm alone will obstruct your strumming path. Some strumming
techniques require very little movement from the forearm, so get into
the habit now of using that wrist joint as the secondary pivot point,
with your forearm as primary, for support and driving power
(when you need it).
avoiding unwanted strings
Many chords don't require the use of the low E string, or even A
string, so obviously you'll want to try and avoid these when down
Through regular practise, you will learn to target your downward
strumming attack to start on the correct string, most often the lowest
the chord you're playing.
just the low E string you need to avoid, you can use the following
muting technique (if your
hands can accomodate it):
Let's take a
My thumb curls over the top of the guitar neck
just enough to touch
the low E string, which mutes it. To compensate, you'll need to pull
up slightly from it's regular position.
Now, I understand this is a bit more difficult for
those of us with smaller hands, but if you can't physically use this
method, keep practicing avoiding those unwanted
strings, simply by not
picking/strumming them and you'll be fine.