Learning to strum on the guitar is one of the most fundamental skills for any beginner guitarist. It can, however, be a frustrating and time-consuming process, requiring countless hours of practice to achieve the desired results.
Fortunately, there are a few simple tricks that can save you years of practice time and help you master your strumming technique in no time.
In this article, we'll explore five essential strumming tips that will help you improve your playing and make the most out of your guitar practice sessions.
Whether you're a beginner or an intermediate player, these tips are sure to help you take your guitar playing to the next level.
Tip # 1 - Grasp With Finesse
There are a lot of different ways to hold your guitar pick when you are first starting out. But the best way is hold the pick on your index finger, so that it's pointing along with your finger. Then take your thumb and press firmly down over it, pointing the pick towards your guitar.
This balance between holding tight enough without making the pick too rigid is what gives you the ability to strum smoothly. Your grip on the pick should allow it to still have some flexibility so that it slightly wobbles when you strum the guitar or try to move it with your other hand.
Tip # 2 - It's in the Wrist
You want to strum with a very relaxed wrist. It should be a quick flicking motion that sort of brushes up and down the strings almost as if you are flicking water from your hand.
Tip # 3 - Master the Pendulum
The Down Up motion is a pendulum motion. Tilt the pick while holding it properly and don't go too far down the strings, as that can take you too long to recover. I have a great guitar exercise for you to download to practice this motion, check out the link below!
Tip # 4 - The Moment of Truth - Switching Chords
This technique embraces the pendulum motion you just learned, and trains your right hand to keep moving. This will prevent you from stalling the strumming motion when your fingers are moving to a different chord. This is a common problem most beginner guitar students have.
Tip # 5 - Add Motion
Most beginners make the mistake of strumming all the strings when they strum down, and all the strings again when they strum up. If you want to strum like a pro, you need to learn to vary where you hit the strings.
I have a guitar exercise that will show you how to hit the low strings on the way down and then the high strings on the way up. In no time at all you will be strumming like someone who has been practicing for years! See my exercise download below to get started.