Green Day Good Riddance @L3k03
Pink Floyd’s Wish You Were Here and Brain Damage songs use mixed picking and strumming.
Thanks for adding the tabs for this exercise. I just started using this exercise. Picking out strings can really makes playing sound better. Seems like Justin uses this technique a lot when playing songs for lessons.
I realized when Justin was playing the Dm variations at the end of the lesson, that an important use of this style of playing is imitating the sound of playing a Sitar (or at least an electric Sitar). A Sitar is used on Paint It Black (which has an intro based on the Dm picking variations Justin was playing at the end of the lesson) and Norwegian Wood. Look at the Song Video lesson for Norwegian Wood, which is a Grade 3 song. Also look at the song lesson for Paint It Black on the website. I’ll probably give it a try, even though it is a Grade 4 song, but play it at half speed. That is, after I have practiced the examples in the lesson for a few weeks, because I’m not that good that this technique at this point.
If you want to find other songs that can use this technique, you can search for “rock songs that use a Sitar” and find entries such as 100 best Rock Songs with Sitar.
@jkahn @TheMadman_tobyjenner Thanks for putting the tabbed progressions in the discussion. Although I attempted the 2 bar progression, I found that it was better to focus on the 1 bar progression and repeat for the entire 5 minute exercise, remembering to alternate up and down strums on every 8th note count (down on 1,2,3,4 and up on the +). This helps me focus on strumming and picking, and letting the chords continue to ring out while I am picking the notes, since this exercise is called picking notes while strumming, not strumming, then picking notes.
I didn’t understand at first, but there is a subtle difference between this technique and linking chords with picking notes. In this technique you are strumming up and down on every beat and picking a bass note on the down strum and a higher note on the upstrum or just strumming a chord, but you are always continuously strumming across the 6 strings, which is different from alternate picking notes between strumming chords. Since this is based on strumming, you really can’t use an anchor finger, which means I really have to struggle to focus on accurate strumming.
@JesseLGoulet Based on Justin’s discussion and link to the song lesson library the answer would be any song you can strum, but some songs work better with this than others. @jjw1 gave some song suggestions. Another Neil Young song that uses this strumming technique is Old Man with the song lesson link: Old Man with right hand strumming technique demonstrated at 7:45 and 17:00. The Neil Young songs are grade 4, so I am looking forward to finishing grade 3 and getting to the songs that are more challenging and interesting. Of course;, there is nothing to step me from trying to play them ahead of schedule.
Also, my ultimate aspirational or future goal song SRV Pride and Joy JG song lesson video uses this technique on the main Texas shuffle rhythm after the opening riff. This emphasizes changes in the bass notes and up strums on the bottom strings. This exercise will help me work towards the dream of playing this song, but also other blues songs.
Is it okay if I have to look at my strumming hand in order to pick the correct strings?
I’ve been practicing the ‘Luther Perkins’ style strumming. A combination of picking individual strings, alternating base picking and palm muting. A real tryout😁
Definitely when learning this IMHO
Absolutely! It will take awhile to be able to do this without looking. Not looking would be a long-term goal.
When you start changing chords while doing this, you’ll really find out how solid your chords are! You can’t look at both hands at the same time, after all LOL!
Thanks. That’s helpful!
I must have averaged 5-10mins a day for 3 months now and I’ve yet to nail this down consistently at 90+bpm. Is this supposed to be really hard?
I find this quite challenging, Ber. Have you ‘nailed it down’ at slower BPM? I guess drop back and advance in smaller increments?
I jumped ahead to try this technique today. Just playing it slow and deliberate with C and Am and my eyes glued to the pick. I was able to speed it up a bit once I got the hang of it with the 2 bar pattern.
I like what I’m hearing when Justin plays it faster and fluently. Sounds great and will spice up playing chord progressions.
I’ve been at it for 5 months now, 5 minutes/day as well. I’m currently practicing C-Am-F-G (2 measures each chord) at 100bpm, and have been stuck here for almost a month.
So, either we both SUCK equally, or it takes alot of practice to get this right at speed.
My goal is 120bpm.
Yes but it feels like I’m stuck at 80ishbpm if I want 5x of consistency. I took a 2 week break from it recently out of frustration and boredom.
This is probably necessary for most people at first, but I found I got a lot of benefit from adding some “no looking” practice once I had the basic patterns down.
I found that made me focus more on the kinaesthetic senses - like I was feeling what my fingers were doing…which was quite a different mental experience than just watching them.
This made me much more aware of previously unnoticed muscle tension and clumsiness of specific fingers, and let me focus on relaxing, or giving the problem finger more practice.
I usually had to lower the BPM at first, but it seemed to improve my speed in the long run.
@stitch often says “use your ears, not your eyes”, which is resonating with me more and more as I progress.
I think this is a similar thing, though it needs a nice catchphrase.
"Don’t look at your hands…feel them!
Or you could say “Your hands already know what to do So let them” sometimes our brains get in the way of progress. Like Justin says “You think You Stink”
I’ve only had a few practice sessions with it so keeping it slow and deliberate and watching and thinking and counting.
I intend to wean myself off looking when I’m at the stage of not needing to think about it as much.
Only when I can play it without looking will I start to increase the speed.
And yeah, I listen to the notes I’m picking and hear those same notes in the strumming part.
Or you could say…
“Don’t look at your hands, listen to what they’re playing “