Grateful Dead Music Forum

A place to talk about the music of the Grateful Dead 

 #47315  by krzykat
 Sun Aug 10, 2008 9:47 pm
I've only had my own guitar (learned on a righty) for a bout a year and a half. I'm having trouble figuring out stum patters for songs. if any one could help out with this it would be great!

 #47320  by Tennessee Jedi
 Mon Aug 11, 2008 6:14 am
I think the "upstroke" is important in good rhythm playing.
I cant explain why I think that other than its what I got from watching people play over the years and wanting to be able to play tight focused patterns.
One of my buddy's does original rock type stuff;the stuff he comes up with is so rhythmic;When I focused on his right hand I noticed the upstroke thing.
Hope this helps ...

 #47341  by owL
 Mon Aug 11, 2008 11:42 am
The way I see it, if you can tap your fingers to a song you've never heard before, (if you have a good sense of rhythm) figuring out strum patterns just becomes second nature. The main thing you need to work on is getting your strumming hand coordinated. It could also help to just strum muted strings with the song you want to play until you get the strum pattern down, because its sometimes easier to work on the strums before the fingerings. When I pick up my guitar to play a song I dont ever really think about the strum pattern, because I usually strum differently every time I play. I look at guitar playing the same way as someone would look at playing percussion or even dancing, just feel what you are playing while you are playing it, (it helps if you accent certain parts of songs..its easier to feel a song if you are building tension and releasing it) and the strums should come easy.

 #47346  by willmusic
 Mon Aug 11, 2008 12:05 pm
When I first got a guitar, I learned about strumming before I even learned my first chords. My dad gave me my first and only real "lessons" and he emphasized that what was going on with my strum hand was just as important as what was going on with my chord hand. It made things way easier when I got around to learning chords. It wouldn't have mattered what chords I learned if I didn't know how to make them come out properly I guess. My kid brother is learning to play now and I told him that being able to count with your right hand is the foundation of rhythm playing. It is for me anyway. Hope my blithering makes some sense and maybe helps a little.

 #47347  by bucketorain
 Mon Aug 11, 2008 12:44 pm
It's about feel. If you know how a song is supposed to sound you can play the correct strum patterns to make it sound they way it should.

When playing in a group with multiple guitars, you have more freedom. Watch a vid of Bobby, he's all over the place most times, BUT, it sounds all right because he is with the Band.

I saw solo Bobby with Wasserman and he played totally different. He had to play in a way that allowed you to hear the song correctly.

You will eventually learn that the up stroke and down stroke may not always be back to back. Regea songs have definitive strokes in one direction.

the one the thing to note is that a down stroke and up stroke will make the cord sound totally different which allows you to utilize the direction of the stroke to shape the sound.

Try playing along with an early 70's Me And My Uncle. This is a somewhat basic, good begining song to learn. Or try After Midnight, which has a great chord progression but it is easy to play with.

I hope this helps :-) ..I've been there before. :?