Physicality of strumming

I did not quite realize,I hate to admit ,how much stamina it takes to strum a five minute song.It did not dawn on me that one of main 6y reasons I fail to consistently nail chords is because say a Five minute song at 50 beats a minute, with one strum per beat requires 250 strums( or am I missing a beat here)I will go a song( Hey Joe) four-times without much of break…That’s a whole lot,specially at this age.In other words give myself a break…Just an observation


Agree with you, playing rhythm guitar strumming is a good physical exercise. I’m often sweating when I play. And the more sweat I get, the more I enjoy, really like a sports.


I played a lot of metal, The speed can be tiring sometimes. I’m just glad I don’t play an instrument like harmonica at the same time. That would be a complete HIIT workout.

1 Like

I’m impressed when I look in the mirror: playing guitar is giving my arms some nice definition!

1 Like

I have been working on the full F barre cord. My left thumb is ripped!


On some bluegrass stuff (like the second part of Blue Moon of Kentucky) I simply can’t strum that fast. I don’t know how they do it.

That was a real laugh out loud comment :rofl: :+1:

1 Like

I hope it is not because they started young… that ship has sailed.

I agree there are many aspects of theirs that seem “how the heck?” But if I compare my strumming, picking or chord change speed now with that of a year ago, I have made worlds of progress in terms of speed. So, it boils down to practice.

1 Like

Feedback is good thing.I get so caught up in trying to get it perfect as fast as I can that I lose perspective and forget that my arms and hands are tired.Im starting to wonder if I’m just have to find that my speed is limited by my age and there are some things I just won’t be able to play. " This I’ll be the last Time" by the Stones being a song I know well but…

I sometimes feel that too and I am not sure what to say since I am still in the learning process as well, not fast at all…yet.

However, in the absence of a problem like severe arthritis or Parkinson’s disease, there is no reason we can’t get fast enough.

I think of how slow everything was at the beginning, struggling to get to 30 cord changes and all, strumming like a tired drone, and how much faster I am now. Most cord changes (the standard ones, no F…) are over 60 changes per minute some quite a bit more.

Now I struggle with 16 beat strumming at over 80 bpm, so lots of progress.

We may never be the Instagram scale shredding teenager, but I don’t want that anyway.

This was what took me so long to get sorted out when I learned Muse Plug in baby; the fast pumping 8’s in that were very tiring plus you also had to keep count of the number of bars to play - it was not easy :joy:

1 Like

My right shoulder got really sore from a combination of strumming and alternate picking with too much tension in my right arm. Pay attention when Justin says to learn to play with a relaxed feel.

3-4 trips to a massage therapist and my shoulder is feeling great again!

1 Like

Like working out…

1 Like

Ha! I was just practicing a 6/8 at 60 bpm by metronome, DDUDDDUD

A minute or two got me tuckered. I need to practice it more and be like the falling leaf.

Which version of Blue Moon of Kentucky?

I think “starting young” certainly helps with development of something like strumming speed but it is really all a matter of practice. It’s just that if people started as kids they maybe didn’t conciously realise the effort in learning. You can get there!

“You’ve got to hide your love away”

1 Like

Flow like water…