Acoustic Guitar Playing for
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For many people their first experience of making music
comes from acoustic guitar playing. That is probably due to the fact that the enormous world wide
popularity of the instrument has meant that there is no shortage of acoustic guitars to play. There is one
lurking somewhere in most households waiting for the day it can once more voice it’s song. Perhaps a new
generation seeking to start acoustic guitar playing can give it new lease of life.
The greatest value can be made of the instrument by
learning to play guitar properly. The greatest value in guitar tuition is going to come from a Home Study Guitar
Course. With a Home Study Guitar Course you can pick it up and put it down as the mood takes you. Learning to play
guitar in this fashion puts you under no pressure – save your own desire to learn and master
Even with their Home Study Guitar Course many students
starting out acoustic guitar playing do not balance their practice time properly between their fretting hand and
their strumming hand. While the fretting hand certainly requires a lot of attention, it is important to devote time
to hone the guitar strumming hand as well, especially so for a beginner.
Starting out as a beginner to acoustic guitar playing it is
good to start learning a few chords, typically G, D, C, A minor and E minor. Then move on to learn strumming with
some basic strumming patterns. Sometimes this means simply strumming quarter notes with a metronome or recording.
If the student has played another instrument before then certainly a more difficult pattern can be
Where many students run into difficulty is when they want
to play one of their favourite songs. The bad news is that playing the strumming pattern exactly like the recording
is far more difficult than it sounds. Rarely do songs have a simple downstroke pattern. Even the slowest or easiest
sounding songs have syncopations and tricky upbeats. It only takes a little piece of a song to frustrate the
beginner into stuffing their guitar back into the closet and moving on to another hobby.
What helps many students is simplifying the acoustic
strumming patterns. For example, take Lynyrd Skynyrd’s “Sweet Home, Alabama.” The chord progression is very simple:
D chord for two beats, C chord for two beats and G chord for four beats. How about trying a basic acoustic
1. Make a D chord play four even downstrokes, then a quick
2. Stay on the D chord and play this a few more times.
3. Play the down-down-down-down-up pattern once with a D chord, once with a C chord
and twice with the G chord.
4. You’re now able to play “Sweet Home, Alabama” – start to
The more guitar strumming patterns you learn, the more you
will realize that acoustic strumming patterns are typically only one or two measures long and carry over into the
entire song. Another great thing about guitar strumming patterns is that you can apply the same strumming pattern
to different songs. Enhance your skills at acoustic guitar playing by applying the strumming patterns just
discussed from “Alabama” to other songs such as Jimi Hendrix’s “Hey Joe” or U2’s “One”. Both are slower songs with
simple chord progressions.
Learning how to play rhythm guitar can mean nothing more
than knowing a few chords and having a solid strumming hand. Most rock, pop and country songs are no more than the
five chords mentioned earlier. What makes them unique is the feel of each song. For guitar players this is all in
the strumming hand.
One of the best tools anyone beginning acoustic guitar
playing, but especially the new rhythm guitarist, can use is a metronome. It really is an indispensable tool for
improving your time and sense of the beat. It is also great for tracking your progress. Set the metronome for a
medium tempo of say 80 beats a minute and try the guitar strumming pattern for “Sweet Home, Alabama”. If it’s too
fast you can slow it down. Find a tempo that feels good, not too rushed. Then, when you’ve found a comfortable
tempo, add five beats to the metronome. Likely, it will feel rushed. But just keep at it and eventually, with some
practice it will feel comfortable. When it does, add five more beats. Before you know it, you’ll sound just like
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