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Grateful Dead Music Forum

A place to talk about the music of the Grateful Dead 

 #2801  by Shaggy
 Sat Jan 07, 2006 1:53 pm
Does anyone have any hints or little tips of exercises or things to try to improve your strumming in terms of a tempo and keeping good time.

Thanks...

 #2814  by tigerstrat
 Sun Jan 08, 2006 3:32 pm
practice to a metronome.

 #2820  by Billbbill
 Sun Jan 08, 2006 7:22 pm
Play along with the songs. It covers a bunch of bases. Helps with timing and depending on your ear, helps with scales, chords etc.

 #3020  by Shaggy
 Thu Jan 19, 2006 2:19 pm
Thanks guys for your replies.

I've been really trying to break out of the mold lately and try and nail a few songs of my own, trying to write a few. I kept hitting a stumbling block which seemed to be my timing or maybe my strumming seems boring to me so i'm not getting the best out of my chord progressions. Since then I have really sat down and started to work on some strumming techniques - bluesgrass/country style and learning how to jazz it up a bit and im finding it really helps. The moral of the story is getting out of my comfort zone and putting to bed some of the stuff i was playing all day and every day. I'm really just starting to learn that once you've learned something you need to move on, there is always something else to discover.

A point on the metronome, I dont have one and never have played with one. You recommend it?

Thanks guys...

 #3126  by qiuniu
 Wed Jan 25, 2006 9:50 pm
Drum machine can really help and its not as boring as a metronome.

That's how I learned the ins and outs of rhythm: played with a drum machine for 2-3 hours everyday for 2 weeks. Never had a problem after that.

These days people have things like Garage Band that has quite a few different pre-set loops so you can have a lot more fun than I did.

 #3127  by spilly
 Wed Jan 25, 2006 10:23 pm
I posted a lesson called fingerpicking 101 a little while back, it's a basic bluegrass pattern. i recomend this type of playing to work on your timing. the rotating bassline always seemed to keep me on the ball.

 #3139  by fum84
 Thu Jan 26, 2006 8:33 pm
play some reggae tunes. once you can do that other strummings seem easier.

 #3523  by Dozin
 Sun Feb 19, 2006 6:40 pm
learn to strum in a figure 8 patern. It's a 4 beat strum. It helps a lot with timing.

 #3524  by ch0ke
 Sun Feb 19, 2006 7:13 pm
Dozin wrote:learn to strum in a figure 8 patern. It's a 4 beat strum. It helps a lot with timing.
What's that im not familiar with this?

 #3525  by sarraqum
 Mon Feb 20, 2006 6:58 am
Try using this site:

http://www.all-guitar-chords.com/guitar_chords_jam.php

Its basically like a drum machine only with chords, I find it quite useful when practising the scales. Just put in the chords you want, choose the tempo and you're set to go.

 #3527  by knip
 Mon Feb 20, 2006 3:20 pm
I always tap my foot. If I feel myself losing the rhythm, I tap it bigger; sometimes I stomp.

Helps to train the mind to do two things at once, too.

 #3529  by jahozer
 Mon Feb 20, 2006 3:55 pm
The moral of the story is getting out of my comfort zone and putting to bed some of the stuff i was playing all day and every day. I'm really just starting to learn that once you've learned something you need to move on, there is always something else to discover
That is an excellent point. Yes!!! We all, well me anyway, tend to put on little performances for ourselves. It feels good to play what you know. It feels awful to play what you dont. The mind doesnt like feeling awkward and foolish while learning. But it takes that to learn and break through.
If I am living right, I try to figure out something new, and only then do I reward myself with something I know and play well.

As for a metronome, check out
http://www.wholenote.com

 #3531  by spilly
 Mon Feb 20, 2006 7:44 pm
I slightly disagree
the best thing in the world is playing what you don't know, because it means you've just learned something

 #3535  by Shaggy
 Tue Feb 21, 2006 1:20 am
That is what he/she said spilly.