Hi, I’m new here, sorry for probably a repeat question.
I believe I make open cord changes fairly well. But, I don’t understand the when and how long part. How do I know the start and end of a Bar?
Here’s the issue, take “Love Me Do” as an example.
First two lines: (A over 1st Love, D over “do”)
Love, Love me do,
I’ll always be true,
Where are the bars? The recommended strum pattern in the beginner book is:
D DUD D
How does that fit? If I sing the song or listen to the Beatles its “…love me do. I’ll always be true” pretty much without a breath. How is that entire strum pattern played for the D on first line to A on second?
Edit @BaldEagle1 :If you have questions about other songs or lessons, it is best to post them at the bottom of the previous posts so that it is easier to answer … now this question will probably be moved to the right place when the mods see it (that’s okay) and keep ask what you want to know.
OK, many thanks. I think I may have this. I’m trying to apply this to all songs in the song book.
Am I right thinking that the bar starts with the Cord noted above a word in the line and ends with the next Cord letter above a word. Thats ONE bar. Correct?
So, I guess the next question is, from looking at the book, how do I know when there’s a cord change WITHIN a bar?
The trick is to find the rhythm/beats in the song. If you haven’t recently reviewed Justin’s Strumming on the Beat lesson, you might find it helpful to do so. Start by strumming down only on the down beats - this will help you internalize when to change chords. When you get good at that, learn the strumming pattern with muted strings. Once you’ve got that down, start changing chords using the strumming patterns.
You don’t say if you’re following Justin’s lessons…if not, I’d recommend doing that. He introduces all these concepts much better than I can!
Hi Judi, What you write makes sense.
I’ve watched that lesson but I’m still trying to derive from the printed page when that cord change occurs on the song line. I think its working like this (again using the Love Me Do as it seems easy). Is this correct? (D over ‘o’ in Do first line, and over ‘u’ in You second line.)
So I’m a Grade 2 beginner, which means two conflicting things: first - I’m familiar with (and currently working on, in general) your struggles, and second - I’m no expert! With those caveats, here’s what I understand:
In general, Justin discourages looking at the placement of chords with respect on the page to lyrics to guide playing. Many printed sources do not get this correct. Instead, use your ears! Listen to the song several times, without trying to play. Maybe the third time through, imagine playing. I’ve been amazed how many times I thought I knew as song well but couldn’t get the rhythm down…this really helps.
That said, I understand that in his books, he does try to place the chords approximately where the changes go.
A few things to try that should help with all songs: play along with the song. Slowly - even painfully so - at first!!! If you have Justin’s app, this is a great way to do that - you can slow things down in the app. Otherwise you can find a YouTube video and use the speed controls that YT provides.
Another option: listening to the song, identify the word on which the chord changes occur. As you observe: Love…Do…Know…You…Al(ways)…True. In this section, each chord lasts one bar. In each bar, you complete the D-DU-D-D pattern. So, after you’ve internalized the strumming pattern using muted strings, and then playing the just chords (no words), just say (or sing) the words on the 1 beat. (In more complex songs, there may be changes on different beats of course, but we’re not there yet!) That should help you get lined up. You could even mark those words in a printed copy of the lyrics if that helps you (though in this case, I think it will closely match Justin’s book!).
Hope that helps…keep us posted on your progress! Oh, and do be sure consider other advice you receive from this wonderful community.
I saw you and Rick (I think he got the idea here of going to a bar now ) typing and thought I don’t have to listen to this song and try to explaining things that takes me longer to tap than the lesson is long …and not really one of my favorites …
A bar is just like a small unit of the song which specify the rhythm or the beats given by time signature. A song consists of many of those units. In each bar you play e.g. your mentioned strumming pattern D_DUD_D for a 4/4 beat.
So a bar is like a basic framework, that guides through the song.
The chords bring in the melody/sound. It’s possible that every chord change is placed at the beginning of a new bar but there also could be few chord changes in one bar. That’s up to the composer.
Judi, Many many thanks for your reply. I’m a bit discouraged, I can play many of the songs and I feel pretty good about them. But, as soon as I try to sing (or in my case, mumble) along it all goes out the window. I’ll go back to one bar at a time. I’m doing something wrong and just not sure what it is. It just sounds like I’m banging cords and changing them once in a while, it doesn’t feel like music.
Don’t be discouraged. Combining the skills for playing and then adding singing is hard to do. The very briefest of recommendation is to get competent at playing , then singing, then combine them. Again, this is not simple, so failure is nothing to be discouraged about - you will need to work on practice for both.
There are many others here that can give you their personal experience. Me, I just haven’t tried since my voice is quite terrible.