Check my technique - Wonderwall

Hey there,

I would like to ask you for few minutes of your time and have a look on my Wonderwall progress. I can finally match strumming pattern and chord progression together. Playing it on electric guitar, because its too late and I live in block of flats. Also chords holding is much easier to me…
I watched Justins Wonderwall video maybe 50 times, because I really love part where he is covering this in the end of video… but I can see he is playing it really different from me. Also pretty different when he explains technique… he got some speed, rhytm and sound inside and I dont know how to reach it too. I think my sound is just boring without anything… like some robot. Hope you understand what I am trying to say. Any idea which direction is right for learning this song properly?

2 Likes

I don’t think there’s much wrong with what you’re playing other than needing to work on speed. Once it’s up to speed it’ll sound right, less robotic.

It’s one I’ve been practicing and has taken me ages to get up to speed and it’s still on the outer limits of what I can do. People can be a bit dismissive of Wonderwall but the strumming is quite fast given the irregular pattern.

As an exercise, have you tried playing the rhythm faster but with muted strings? Forget the chords for this exercise and just try bringing your strumming up to speed and see how that sounds. If you can maintain the rhythm with muted strings against the recording then it’s time to gradually bring the chords up to speed. Good luck

1 Like

I would suggest that you use more forearm movement instead of wrist movement on your strumming. Watch the video you linked and others like it, and you will see Justin’s forearm moving quite a bit. It’s a habit you will want to form now instead of finding it is limiting you down the road.

1 Like

Not as off as you seemed to indicate! Don’t worry about the speed, you can still play this at 60% of full speed and it can sound great.

I agree with @WonderMonkey that you want to move more at the elbow for this strumming. When I tried this after watching the video, I was keeping my wrist far straighter and moving the whole forearm a lot.

The other thing I noticed is that the first set of up-strums (about 10 second point into your video) where the downs are missing seemed too focused and you need to come fully back to the start even if you are not playing the down. Later in the video your attack, focus, and movement range was better. Keep the focus on the down and then let the up come as a relaxed return to be ready for the down. Be consistent so the ups are all kind of the same and the downs are all kind of the same (for this, for now). I do hear Justin emphasizing some of the downs and you can get that under control as you progress with your practice.

One thing I cannot tell, just see, is that your thumb is over the top a lot. If I am not really careful, I can push hard enough to fret the top string. What I do instead is keep my thumb placed on the top with the knuckle back a bit so it won’t wrap over and fret the string. Muting that 6th string only takes a thumb tip on the side of the string, it doesn’t need to be covering it. Maybe this can help if you are pressing too hard and it rings out a bit? You’ll need to decide. :slight_smile:

oh, and one more note! Keep your speed consistent. you started pretty slow and sped up when you started to get comfortable. Practicing a consistent speed will help you out in the long run. Keep a mental beat going and keep it from getting faster or slower. If that doesn’t work, find a metronome or simple drum beat to keep you in time until your head gets used to a stable timing.

1 Like

Hey Michael,

I concur with others here. You are getting basics down pretty well. Naturally, Justin sounds much better, considering hes been playing for decades.

The only real differences are in your tempo, touch, and dynamics. And that’s something that will just evolve over time as you progress.
Come back and watch this video in 12 months. All the best.

Cheers, Shane.

1 Like

Hello @Carreta !

Just so happens this is a song I have been working on for months!!! I do mean months! This one took alot to get the strumming down without thinking. I noticed a couple of flubs and you weren’t quite on the push or on the late switch. A little dumbly with the chords, but that will come playing those chord progressions slowly and knowing them by heart. Of course I mean the stuck 3 and 4 chords. If you watched it 50 times, you should know what I’m talking about. :wink:

I also noticed that even though you have the first 3 chords right, you are bouncing from Cadd9 to G and not hitting you Dsus4 or A7sus4 chords?? Is this a correct observation? Because this will certainly make it not sound right.

Keep er up, know that chord progression well and the strumming pattern. Keep both as seperate practice sessions. 5 mins, 5 mins. Practice song, if you can’t keep full pace slow down track if you can. If not keep practicing slowly until eventually with time, because your fingers just are now programmed correctly. Practice perfectly, because practice makes permanent!!

Rock on!
Darren

1 Like

You are on youre way down the right path Michal!
That sounded good.
I echo all the other tips you allready got.
Well done!! You will smash this one before you know it! :grin:
Well done!!

1 Like

I have to respectfully offer an alternative viewpoint to @WonderMonkey and @sequences about the forearm movement.

Justin’s play through at the start of the video lesson contains a lot of dynamic hits to accent certain beats. On those and those only does he swing his forearm and go up higher or follow through a bit lower. For the remainder, the action is in his wrist.

This is 16th note strumming and at proper tempo, you need your wrist moving, relaxed, loose and to reduce the amount of forearm movement and cut short the arc your arm travels through.

I slowed his video down to 0.25 speed to try to screen capture the extremes at either end.
Top:
image
Bottom:
image

He is only going that far on the accented beats. It is very hard to catch at full speed.
Check this graphic for general strumming advice, but especially on fast and 16th strumming.

1 Like

Addendum

Watch the first 20 seconds of Justin’s lesson with the volume on mute.

See how infrequently his forearm does a big swing and how much of the time is spent with very shallow forearm arcs of swing where the wrist takes control.