Coming along nicely Geoff. You’ve identified the timing issue yourself. Keep listening to the backing track/metronome and don’t get so lost in the strumming that you drift away from the timing.
I wouldn’t say it’s appalling…sounds like you are mostly on the beat.
Yes, emphasizing the 2 and the 4 is very important for this song.
I gave up on it quickly when I first tried it a few months ago…couldn’t get it to sound right. But tried it again just a few days ago, and did a much better job of the rhythm right out of the gate. You might just have to gain more experience, like I did.
I find it takes a few bars to get with the beat on some songs, this was one I can start on the beat, I am trying a few songs with different tempos. Luca takes a couple of bars to get in sync. Also Brown Eyed Girl which I am using as revision as it has the C chord, I am using open chords rather than the stuck 3/4.
Not sure if its been mentioned, but Justins course - Strumming Techniques 1 & 2 - is brilliant. Completely transformed my strumming and rhythm over a few months. Complete with comprehensive downloadable video and worksheets. Highly recommended by many.
I used to struggle with synching to the beat as well.
Getting my strumming hand moving first and counting in before starting to play helped a lot. All the App songs have a count in. Though 4 beats are not very many to synch with.
You might want to experiment with slowing down the tempo in the App. I find with some songs there’s a “sweet spot” at slower tempos, where I can quickly and consistently get on the beat. Once I can do this, I can then gradually raise the tempo back to the original recording.
Don’t be afraid to slow the tempo a lot. For me there’s a kind of “a-ha!” feeling where it seems I just lock on to the beat. But this took a while to develop.
I was waiting for somebody more expert than me to answer this, but no takers so far, so here’s my thought:
I think 1 strum per beat is 8th note strumming. It’s an 8th note strumming pattern in which all the up strums are omitted. The strumming hand is moving up and down with the same motion as for other 8th note patterns, such as Old Faithful. 16th note strumming is twice as fast: you have 8 down strums per bar, on the beat and on the “and” between beats. I actually don’t think I’ve ever heard anybody talk about 1/4 note strumming.
This is my take, but I’m happy to be corrected by somebody more knowledgable.
Technically speaking yes, this is correct.
Though, for ease mostly, if there are no upstrums whatever it is more conventional to describe this is 1/4 notes / beats.
Once even just a single Up comes into the strum pattern does the need to subdivide to 1/8ths become apparent.
For ease, when learning 16ths, it can be easier to view one bar of 16ths as two bars of 1/8ths.
I think what makes this riff cool is the way the chord changes “push” around the solid backbeat hits on 2 and 4. Very tricky to do, though, when you are starting out.
If you want an easier introduction to chord pushes, take a look at Don’t You (Forget About Me). The D to Em change is pushed in the intro. The Em change comes on an upstrum, assuming you are doing 4 downs to the bar strumming.