Heart Of Gold by Neil Young Lesson

I have never slowed down and practiced any song by strumming rhythm. I’d rather make some mistakes or imperfections than play with an awkward feeling of tempo.

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Attention seeking :joy::joy::joy:


Sorry, yes, on a re-read it’s not clear that I was suggesting an alternative! Completely agree that ‘practice in context’ is often a good way to go. My (badly made) point is that sometimes it is also worth doing some additional drills, to check the underlying technique.


Don’t forget to just practice the strumming pattern. Mute the strings with your fretting hand and strum to the metronome, slowly increasing.

You want to get the strumming pattern so ingrained that it is not what you think about while playing.


Reading this again and I am not an app user, is that the norm ? A 10% jump in tempo ? Because in my experience practicing scales and expecting to be ok with that kind of leap, is next to impossible. Maybe 5% but 10% Noooo. Recommendations I got here years ago was baby steps 2-3% maybe 5% max. Guess it might be different when strumming but I would have thought 5% increments would be more manageable. But like I say not an app user. My 0.02 Euros :sunglasses:


The app adjusts in 10% and only slows to 50%. So 50%, 60%, etc.

I agree it would be helpful to have a finer scale. The jumps are difficult.


I’d practice it slower as Tony has suggested. As Tony has said try NOT using the App…you’ll probably find you play it a rhythm/tempo that feels comfortable but that is slightly faster than you are playing against app.

Remember people you don’t want to be playing songs against the App forever! at some point you want to break free and play them on your own. If you’ve memorised the chord sequence there is nothing stopping you doing that.


Lots of solid advice here!

I didn’t realize this was a common struggle…good to know!

Makes good sense. The main chord progression is Em-C-D-G. I’ve been using a metronome for my OMC practice and gradually increasing speed since I saw it suggested in a thread here, and it’s really made a huge difference, but I hadn’t thought to practice the progression with a metronome and gradually increase the speed. I’ve just been practicing 2 chords back and forth.


Thanks for pointing out the importance of practicing the strumming pattern separately from play with the fretting hand. It looks like I have taken that for granted!

VERY good point! And important for me to remember. Thank you!

In a nutshell, I gather from all comments together that a better course for me to learn a new song is to practice tricky chord progressions with a metronome and gradually increase the speed, and to separately practice strumming patterns, then marry them together when they each feel smooth and confident and up to the desired tempo.

Thanks for all the advice! I think this will really help a lot :blush:

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I’ve done a very quick scroll to check if the following info has been shared, can’t see it.

I find this app very helpful, you can program it to increase or slow speed in increments, plus a heap of other useful functions.

Justin’s Time Trainer app … excellent


I will check that out, sounds pretty useful :blush:



Adopt deep voice-over voice …

Previously on 'The Community …


Heather it certainly works and I still use that approach if I am struggling with a new song at tempo. Once I understand the progression, I’ll drop the backing track to say 80% and start there and work up. Not just rhythm as well, when I was learning the lead intro to White Rabbit I literally dropped it by half, so I could painstakingly tease the notes out and get the right feel. Slowly slowly catchy monkey. :sunglasses:


Agreed Maggie I use this all the time. It’s a good app.

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29 days is a long time ago, especially over Xmas and New Year and you can’t count the last one as it was a copy and paste.

I missed your one, sorry. :cry:

No badge then :frowning_face:

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Hi Fast-Eddie,

I’ve returned to this again! lol. What I never realized, was I was holding the pick incorrectly. I was holding it as if I were pinching it, thinking it was correct. I recently went back to Justin’s lesson on how to hold the pick and have looked at a couple of other teachers. It seems there are different methods but all advised against the way I was doing it. The funny thing is, since changing to a correct method, it has messed up my strumming a bit so I’ve gone a little bit backwards. All part of the journey as Justin would say. Anyway thank you again for that advice way back from December. Hope you are enjoying the summer weather from where ever you hail. Take care, Steve

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I would like to confirm the strum count for the verse sections of this version of the song (https://www.justinguitar.com/songs/neil-young-heart-of-gold-chords-tabs-guitar-lesson-st-909)

Is it

1 & 2 & 3 & 4 &

1 (strum) & (base) …

Or is it

1e 2e 3e 4e

1 (strum) e (base)…

It seems like it is the second version because there are some up strums in the verse

Any thoughts?

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Justin teaches the strumming in detail starting at 7:11 of the video.

This sort of song lends itself to small variations to the strum pattern. I think a good base pattern would be

1 & 2 &a3 & 4 &a

accenting the beats a bit relative to the &'s. You can add or subtract up strums to this for variations. That would be my approach.


Thanks, that is helpful. I think what am trying to figure out was how to count the bass note strum. If you watch the intro to this video the strum for some of the verse is full strum - bass strum (eg Em C. 1& 2&) so full strum of Em and then bass on the & and then the same for C. Justin also explains this later in the lesson (I think)

I am used to an up strum on the & so far in my journey but I think in this case it is a down strum on the &.

Am I on the right track of still fuzzy?

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Yes, it’s 16th note strumming, so it’s downs on the 1, 2, etc and also the &'s.

I haven’t gone back and watched the video again, but to my ears, I hear the strum hitting only the lowest strings on the 1 & (i.e. two down strums on the lowest 1 or 2 strings), then a hard accented strum on 2, then a light down-up on “&a” after 2. That makes half a bar, which is then repeated. So, I would write out the half bar like this:

B   B   v  
1 e & a 2 e & a
D   D   D   D U

Where the “B” indicates bass note strum and the “v” indicates accent. If you listen closely to the song, it’s kind of hard to hear what the guitar is doing because the drums are pretty loud. The bass notes and accent in the above pattern kind of give you the feeling of the drum part.

I’m not saying the above is “right”, but I think it’s a reasonable base to start from.