Guitar strumming for beginners: EX3 and 4.

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In the previous lesson we've seen the most basic strumming patterns in EX1 and EX 2, in this lesson we're going to move to a more sophisticated ones.


Exercise 3:


ONE and TWO and THREE and FOUR and      (repeat this)
The first exercise is the play 1 downstroke followed by 1 upstroke with every number
ONE and TWO and THREE and FOUR and
down        UP        down              UP

Exercise 4:

ONE and TWO and THREE and FOUR and      (repeat this)
The first exercise is the play an upstroke with every number
ONE and TWO and THREE and FOUR and
 UP         down          UP          down

You have to play these strumming patterns slowly to memorize them and after that you can speed up a little.

Guitar strumming for beginners: EX1 and 2.

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If you want to learn strumming you have to begin with the most basic patterns and move to the more complicated ones and here are some exercises that you can make use of to improve your strumming.

 
 Exercise One:

As i told you before you can use a metronome or even count in you head if you don't have one and the count will go like this:

ONE and TWO and THREE and FOUR and      (repeat this)
The first exercise is the play a downstroke with every number
ONE and TWO and THREE and FOUR and
down       down          down           down

Notice that you can repeat this 3, 4 or even 10 times, and you can fret a chord or just play open strings.

Exercise Two:

ONE and TWO and THREE and FOUR and      (repeat this)
The first exercise is the play an upstroke with every number
ONE and TWO and THREE and FOUR and
 UP            UP              UP               UP

Learn strumming

Posted by | Posted in , | Posted on 7:21 AM

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Another key factor to master guitar is to learn strumming, strumming gives a song its unique color, so make sure you learn it before you move to learning guitar scales or anything else.

Some people say that rhythm is something you have or you don't and you can't acquire it by learning, i say this is the most ridiculous thing i have ever heard of, because every person on this planet can learn guitar including the theory behind it as he can learn anything else as well.

The key factor to learn strumming is to develop your musical ear so you can differentiate between an "Upstroke" and a "Downstroke" and when i say develop you ear, i don't mean that you have to develop a perfect pitch ear that can identifies notes by listening to them, because differentiating between an "Upstroke" and a "Downstroke" is so easy, a small child can do it.

You don't have to fret a chord if you're learning strumming, just play with open strings or mute the strings with your left hand if you pick with your right, the next thing to do is to grab a metronome if you have one (even on your computer or mobile) and set it let's say at 80 bpm. If you don't have a metronome, just count in your head.

Listening to your favorite music can develop your ear, so make sure to listen to great artists and by time you'll be able to know what they are playing and how they are strumming.

To learn strumming you have to begin with the most basic strumming patterns, read this post about "guitar strumming for beginners".

The 2 ways to using guitar scales and modes

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The reason behind learning guitar scales and all modes for guitar is of course to use them. Guitar scales in western music are played along with triads or "Chords", this process is called harmony, so what is harmony anyway?

Harmony is anything that's played along with a melody, in other words, harmony is "melody + chord". When we harmonize the major scale for example, we get 7 different chords from it in this order: MAJ - MIN - MIN - MAJ - MAJ - MIN - DIM, so if it's the C major scale, we get: CMAJ - DMIN - EMIN - FMAJ - GMAJ - AMIN - BDIM.

The most common scales that guitarists use are: The major scale and its modes, the minor scales (natural minor, harmonic minor, melodic minor), pentatonic guitar scales (major and minor) and blues guitar scales.

The most common way for beginners when improvising or soloing over a specific chord progression is to play one scale over all the chord progression, the key to find the scale is to find what chord this chord progression resolves to, if you discover this chord you can play the most appropriate mode or scale to it.

Note: This method is only if you're just starting and the only reason that makes great guitarists use it is with rapid chord changes.

The second and the more professional way is to play 1 scale or mode per chord, this means when the chord changes in a chord progression you have to play the corresponding scale to it (if you have 4 chords in a chord progression you have to play 4 different modes or scales).

The combination:

To make your playing perfect you have to use both of them, because sometimes you come across a fast chord change in chord progression, so you have to use the first one.

Modes for guitar: The Locrian mode (the 7th and the last mode)

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The Locrian mode is the 7th and the last mode of the major scale, it is based on the 7th note of any major scale and it's the less used among all modes for guitar. This mode has a very dissonant sound because it has a lot of flats in it. The interval structure of the Locrian mode is: 1 - b2 - b3 - 4 - b5 (diminished 5th) - b6 - b7.

The Locrian mode is considered as a minor mode or scale because it has the b3 note in it and it is used in some heavy metal songs. Because it doesn't have a perfect fifth that gives the scale stability, it's very hard to use it alone so most musicians use it with the Phrygian mode. If you want to know what is the major scale of the Locrian mode you're playing you just have to go 1 half step forward and that's it!

The whole and half steps formula of the Locrian mode is: H - Wh - Wh - H - Wh - Wh - Wh.

You can play the Locrian mode especially over m7b5 chords because it's the triad that contains the most notes of that scale, unfortunately you will not be using that chord much.

Major scale   G - A - B - C - D - E - F# - G

The seventh and last mode (Locrian mode), we begin with the seventh and the last note of the G major scale F#

E---------------------------------------------------------------
B---------------------------------------------------------------
G---------------------------------------------------------------
D------------------------------------------------14---16-----
A----------------------------14---15---17------------------
E---------14---15---17-------------------------------------

Now you have a clear picture of the modes of the major scale and their use, while they have the same notes of the major scale, they sound very different, because what makes the difference is the order of the notes not the notes themselves.

A small advice from me:

I advice you to learn and apply these modes (when and how to play them all over the neck) and not only playing one octave. Learning guitar scales is the secret to understanding the theory, so by the time you've learned some scales and all modes for guitar, you'll be able to write your own songs in a specific key that will blow your friends or audience's minds.


See also: All Modes For Guitar

1- The Ionian mode "The major scale" (The first mode).
2- The Dorian mode (The 2nd mode).
3- The Phrygian mode (The 3rd mode).
4- The Lydian mode (The 4th mode).
5- The Mixolydian mode (The 5th mode).
6- The Aeolian mode "The natural minor scale" (The 6th mode).
7- The Locrian mode (The 7th mode).
 

Modes for guitar: The Aeolian mode "Natural minor" (the 6th mode)

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The Aeolian mode or the natural minor scale is the 6th mode of the major scale, it is based on the 6th note of the major scale, as its name refers to, the Aeolian mode is a minor mode and has 3 differences with the major scale: b3, b6, b7. The interval structure of the Aeolian mode (the natural minor scale) will be: 1 - 2 - b3 - 4 - 5 - b6 - b7.

In music the 6th note of the major scales is considered the relative minor of that major scale, so if you want to know what is the relative major of the natural minor scale you're playing you have to go 1 whole step and 1 half step forward (3 half steps), or 4 whole steps and 1 half step (9 half steps).

The whole and half steps formula of the Aeolian mode is (Wh - H - Wh - Wh - H - Wh - Wh).

Chords that you can play the Aeolian mode over them are: Minor chords, m7 and m9, because they have the b3 and b7 intervals. It is considered as the most minor mode of all modes for guitar. If you want to mix it up with minor pentatonic guitar scales, go ahead.

Major scale   G - A - B - C - D - E - F# - G

The sixth mode (Aeolian mode or natural minor scale), we begin with the sixth note E

E---------------------------------------------------------------
B---------------------------------------------------------------
G---------------------------------------------------------------
D------------------------------------------------12---14-----
A-----------------------------12---14---15-----------------
E----------12---14---15------------------------------------

The Aeolian mode is probably the most used mode among others, it has that dark minor sound that's used in almost every song, it's so important because we can harmonize it to obtain 7 chords in a minor key.

I personally use the Aeolian mode or the natural minor scale so much and i advice you to do the same by learning how and when to apply it when learning guitar scales.

See also: All Modes For Guitar


1- The Ionian mode "The major scale" (The first mode).
2- The Dorian mode (The 2nd mode).
3- The Phrygian mode (The 3rd mode).
4- The Lydian mode (The 4th mode).
5- The Mixolydian mode (The 5th mode).
6- The Aeolian mode "The natural minor scale" (The 6th mode).
7- The Locrian mode (The 7th mode).

Modes for guitar: The Mixolydian mode (the 5th mode)

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The Mixolydian mode is the 5th modes of the major scale, It is also considered a major mode or scale as the Lydian mode because it has one only difference with the major scale, which is the flatted 7th (b7). So the interval structure of the Mixolydian mode would be: 1 - 2 - 3 - 4 - 5 - 6 - b7.

Because it has only one different note with the major scale, it doesn't mean that they sound the same, the Mixolydian mode sounds very different from the major scale. From all modes for guitar, this particular scale is played over Dominant 7th, 9th and 13th chords because it has a b7 note in it.

The Mixolydian mode has this whole and half steps formula: Wh - Wh - H - Wh - Wh - H - Wh. If you want to know what is the major scale of the Mixolydian mode you are playing, just move back 1 half step and 3 whole steps (7 half steps).

Major scale   G - A - B - C - D - E - F# - G

The fifth mode (Mixolydian mode), we begin with the fifth note D

E---------------------------------------------------------------
B---------------------------------------------------------------
G---------------------------------------------------------------
D---------------------------------------9---10---12---------
A---------------------9---10---12---------------------------
E--------10---12---------------------------------------------

So with this D Mixolydian mode you can play a D7 chord. In general the Mixolydian mode is played along with the 5th chord of a specific key since its Root note is the 5th note of the major scale.

Once again, these modes for guitar will give you a better understanding of the theory, so make sure to understand and apply them properly when learning guitar scales, because they will help you with your solos and also when writing your own songs.

See also: All Modes For Guitar


1- The Ionian mode "The major scale" (The first mode).
2- The Dorian mode (The 2nd mode).
3- The Phrygian mode (The 3rd mode).
4- The Lydian mode (The 4th mode).
5- The Mixolydian mode (The 5th mode).
6- The Aeolian mode "The natural minor scale" (The 6th mode).
7- The Locrian mode (The 7th mode).