Strumming guitar is the quickest pathway to sounding like a real guitar player. If you master just a handful of patterns there is literally no limit to the amount of songs you can play. Playing songs around the campfire, jamming with friends or even performing at an on open mic are within reach as soon as you master this essential skill.
While this may sound logical enough, many new guitarists are intimidated because the are afraid they have not rhythm. In my own training, I actually had guitar teachers tell me that, “Rhythm cannot be taught, you either have it or you don’t.”
Unfortunately this myth has pervaded our musical culture and having the ability to strum a guitar with good rhythm can seem mystical or impossible to an outsider.
After teaching hundreds of adult beginners over the past couple of decades, I can tell you that you have better rhythm than you think you do and strumming guitar can definitely be taught to anyone.
In the StrumWise course of the GuitarWise library, I go through all of the essential strumming patterns in short easy steps that will get you playing these essential strum patterns in no time.
The reason that people believe rhythm can’t be taught is because it is actually difficult to teach. It is a complex skill that needs to be sliced and diced into is simple building blocks.
Just like every GuitarWise course, I take the complex art of strumming and break it down into digestible and practical steps. Using highly efficient practicing techniques, you will find yourself strumming effortlessly.
That’s what we all want right? To play effortlessly. You want your strumming to be a part of you.
Think about anything else that you can do with ease.
Driving across town, tying your shoes and typing on a keyboard were all once complex skills that felt foreign to your mind and body, but now they are part of your muscle memory and can be done without a single thought.
Strumming can be the same way, but there is a hidden danger here.
Your muscle memory does not distinguish between correct and incorrect.
If you practice good habits, they will become second nature, if you practice bad habits “stop-start” strumming and bad technique will become second nature.
This is why it is so important to go slow and to make sure you have a teacher that knows how to build good technique into the foundation of your strumming.
In the StrumWise course, we start with the essential element that most teachers skip. It gets skipped because it seems too easy to both the teacher in the student; however, it is the single most important thing a new guitarist can do.
It involves counting out loud, moving your body, and playing very simple strum patterns.
Ultimately, it is about feeling the beat instead of thinking the beat. If you start out thinking the beat, your playing will always sound mechanical and choppy. If you take the time to start feeling the beat up front, your strumming will be rhythmic and fluid forever.
Its just one one several simple things that can change your skill set in a small amount of time.
If you are ready to start your strumming journey today, sign up for your free trial at GuitarWise.io
There are an endless amount of chords, but how many chords do you really need to know? Unfortunately, chord dictionaries and tab sharing websites are essentially useless when it comes to real-life guitar playing. In this course, Jake only teaches practical, easy open chords. No barring, no extra fluff. See you on the inside!
So many guitarists play for years without actually understanding how the fretboard works. The funny thing is, it's really not that difficult. After this course you will be able to tune by ear, quickly find any note on the guitar, and build a solid foundation in fretboard theory.
Tired of spending your whole life in the first three frets of the guitar? Easily unlock the fretboard with one of the most famous shapes in guitar playing. By mastering power chords and a touch of music theory, you can incorporate these into any song or write your own. See you inside!
One of the most common roadblocks for guitarists is the dreaded barre chord. It can be one of the hardest concepts to master on the guitar, but only if it is taught incorrectly. In this course Jake breaks barre chords down to easy steps you can master and apply.
Does soloing and improvisation feel like a mystery? LeadWise is the quickest way to go from not knowing anything about playing lead to feeling confident jamming in any situation. I skip out on the majority of the music theory and just show you how to start improvising right away!
Want to play guitar like Crosby Stills and Nash, Bob Dylan, or Chet Atkins? All of these guitarists used travis picking as their essential right hand technique.
Unfortunately, almost all new guitarists develop bad habits when they first begin to travis pick . After all, it is far more complex than strumming. You have to press down the correct frets with the left hand, pluck the correct string with the correct finger with the right hand and also play the right rhythms.
Even the best of intentioned students end up with one or more of these things going wrong.
This isn’t the students fault, it is the product of bad teaching.
Almost all teachers will simply demonstrate to you how well they can travis pick, tell you what to do and say something along the lines of, “just keep trying.”
If the student happens to have a strong musical aptitude or previous experience, then they might be successful with a few weeks of practice.
However, after mentoring adult beginners for over a decade, I can tell you that this sort of lesson only creates frustration and bad habits for students.
Let’s take a close look at how travis picking can be learned by students without previous experience or natural talent.
Earlier I mentioned 4 different aspects of travis picking.
- Left hand chord shapes
- Plucking the correct Strings
- Using the correct R.H. fingers
- Playing the correct rhythm
When these 4 elements are attempted at the same time, it is a recipe for bad habits and frustration. When learned in isolation with highly efficient practice strategies, anyone can learn regardless of age or ability.
In the travis picking course in the GuitarWise library, I take you through each element of travis picking and make sure that you have mastered each element before putting them together.
To practice the left hand chord shapes, I guide you through left hand isolation practices. These remove all of the other distracting factors and can help you master any chord progression in a fraction of the time it would normally take.
In a similar fashion, I spend an equal amount of time on a right hand isolations to ensure you are placing the correct finger on the correct strings. Through imitation and rhythmic isolation practices you will begin to understand the rhythm with your body and mind.
At this point, your muscle memory has been developed with healthy technique and you are ready to move towards integration exercises. These involve short rapid repetitions of overlapping music.
As you master each simple sections we gradually increase the amount of music you are practicing until you are playing the entire exercise with ease.
I hope you can see the difference between these two approaches.
The first really doesn’t require any curriculum on the part of the teacher while the second takes a holistic approach to your education.
The first only works for students with previous experience while the second can turn a musical foreigner into a native if they are willing to piece together all of the correct elements.
It is much easier to find a good guitarist than it is to find a good teacher. I recommend you take your educations seriously and start your free trial at GuitarWise.io.
See you on the inside!
Ever wonder how guitar players are able to improvise all over the neck of the guitar? Mastering the pentatonic scale system is the quickest way of joining the ranks as a lead guitar player. In this course, you will learn the 5 scale patterns, creative ways of switching between them, and characteristic guitar licks that will have you playing like a pro in no time!
Many guitarists find written music frustrating and often give up; However, if you know a few simple tricks, reading music can feel like reading a book.