Monday, September 27, 2010

Downstroke guitar strumming exercise for basic chords

It is highly recommended that you will read my post on the best way to get started on playing guitar easily before reading this part.

If you already understand and read the first part, then this tutorial will present the most recommended beginner guitar lesson plan which I learned based on experience. This will be very simple, no technicalities, no videos and no other things you need to buy. All you need is only your guitar and your time to practice.

Realistically, I will devise a 6th month training plan for you:

1st month training: Play these chords successively after four downstrokes of strumming: A- C- D- E- G – Am – Dm- Em

How you will do it?

1.) Find the chord chart of the following chords above. You can look at it here: , and if you still do not know how to read chord charts refer to this page:

2.) First, form chord A major, then strum down stroke four times, after stroking four times, switch to chord C major, down stroke four times again, so on and so forth (same strumming pattern but different chords). Do it very slowly at first because you still need to form the chords. It should be like here: ;just ignore the chords used in the video as well as the tempo because they are not basic, but the 4 times down stroke strumming is correct which you should follow. Also ignore the fast down stroke tempo, because it is required you will play very slowly at first.

Objective: You should be able to change the above chords with your hand quickly at a speed of 80 beats per minute. Use metronome for this here: , set it to 80. Every tick , represents one down stroke of strumming. So make sure it is continuous like this:

Tick1 – Chord A 1st downstroke strumming
Tick2 – Chord A 2nd downstroke strumming
Tick3 – Chord A 3rd downstroke strumming
Tick4 – Chord A 4th downstroke strumming
Tick5 – Chord C 1st downstroke strumming on and so forth..

The most important skill to develop is to switch from tick 4 to tick 5 (from A to C) without delay. This is a good training for your hands when it comes to timing and changing basic chords.

It is expected that after one month of training, you should be able to complete 80 beats per minute of consistent down stroke strumming for these following basic chords in sequence: A-C-D-E-G-Am-Dm-Em

If this exercise looks very easy for you (assuming you are a gifted guitarist and a fast learner), you can challenge yourself by increasing the beats tempo from 80 to 100 or 120 beats per minute.

In the next tutorial, I will talk about incorporating upstrokes in your basic guitar playing exercises.

Best way to learn to play guitar easily - Beginner training plan

If you are dreaming of becoming a singer/songwriter, one of the most important skills you should have is to learn how to play a guitar while singing.

It is not really hard to do but it takes time, patience and a lot of practice to perfect these skills. So what are things needed to get started?

1.) First, you need a guitar. If you are not sure how to select and buy your first guitar, you can check out this guide on how to buy your first singer/songwriter acoustic guitar.

2.) You need to plan in advance how much time you like to actually commit in practising guitars while singing. This is very important, a lot of people wanting to become singer/songwriter fail to plan and in the end they fail how to play guitar while singing.

I assume you have a day job, whether as a student enrolled in high school, college or having a regular job. Time is precious, so if you have other important commitments; chances you will not be able to commit in playing guitar at a regular basis.

After buying your guitar, there are very important things you should know:

1.) Playing guitar continuously can hurt your fingers and hands. So it is good to play at an interval and limit your training time not more than 3 hours per day.
2.) Playing guitar with hurted fingers and hands will not be effective in your training. So you need to give some time until the pain will be gone.

The training plan: You need to fill up the data below as realistically as possible. This is important in knowing how much time you can devote to playing guitars alone. Different persons may have different priorities, so set your own time. The only thing that will not be change is the 24 hour data in one day, which is constant.

Number of hours in a day: 24
Number of hours needed to sleep (realistic average): 8
Number of hours in school/work: 12
Number of hours rest, socializing, studying, etc outside work or in school: 2

Total number of hours you can commit to play guitar: 24-8-12-2 = 2 hours

You need to commit 2 hours playing guitars on a daily basis. There will be no excuse for skipping practice as it is already managed.

3.) OK, the most important part is how to get started and what are lessons that you need to learn. Click this link for the next tutorial: How to practice down stroke guitar strumming easily