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.