Strum-strum-strum-switch

First post… go easy on me.

I’ve been enjoying the lessons so far. Two months in, and I am learning a lot, and basically content to pick up a lot of fundamentals to get in shape for later. No need to make it cry or sing just yet. I could play scales or whatever exercises for an entire practice session, because I know I am building the basics.

I’ve been using the song practice app… “chord karaoke” as I like to call it. Many of the easier songs use a single chord per 4-beat measure. I find that I tend to either just strum slowly once on beat 1, or twice on beats 1 and 3, or maybe three times on beats 1, 2 and 3. But I spend most of beat 4 trying to get in place for the next measure. Please tell me my changes will get faster and more natural feeling!

For reference, I am playing an electric with a Mustang Micro headphone amp, which can be set clean or noisy, with a long or short sustain. And I can consistently achieve more than 30 changes per minute in the 1-minute changes app… on some combinations I get as high as 70-80 changes per minute.

I guess I just wanted to throw this out there… I appreciate the workout that the song app provides. But do others feel a disappointed at the dullness of strum-strum-strum-switch?

(On the other hand, a song with a more challenging repeating pattern like Free Fallin’ just makes me happy I got through the whole thing!)

Alan

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Hi Alan, welcome to the forum.

Yes, changes get faster and easier with practice.

The app shows you chords and allows you to play along but doesn’t really show you unique strumming patterns per song. An easy default is to try applying old faithful. Alternatively you could watch Justin’s lesson for a song for the strumming pattern, or listen to the song and see if you could figure it out.

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Hi Alan and also a welcome from me!
What you’ve described I think is perfectly normal, it’s a different beast going from OMC to actual songs as you’re thinking of a bit more than just the single change.

As JK has described mixing in a bit of a strumming pattern beyond just down strokes is a good call, you’ll likely find you feel more of a flow to the song with it which could help unclutter your mind. Perhaps in tandem with that knock 10% or 20% off the BPM of the song.

It will come along with more practice though and certainly don’t feel disappointed, it’s all part of the evolution. You’ll look back on this period and smile!!

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Hi Alan and welcome.

I’m a couple of months in to learning and with regular practice, my changes have got both better and faster. Keep at it :sunglasses:

But the app does show the strumming pattern? Top right corner there’s a little icon that you can click to show the chords and strumming pattern for the song. Though you’re right it’s hardly a unique pattern, it does show whether to do 4 down strums per bar, just one, old faithful, etc.

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I’m about 6 months in, and I’ve had the same struggle (we all have). It just takes time and practice. Personally, I could rock my OMC but hitting those changes in songs was hard. When it finally clicked, it was pretty awesome! Just keep practicing, and you’ll get there.

You could also throw in some metronome training, using a 4:1 tempo, and upping the bpm if you can change smoothly.

Been a couple of months since I used the app so it may have changed, but then it seemed the strumming patterns in the app didn’t match the actual song.

True; though I thought that had to do with certain songs being proposed for certain grades/modules at which the original strumming pattern would not yet have been taught or deemed too difficult.

@aporter At some point in the lesson plan Justin does a video on strumming, and describes a “3 minute strumming” exercise.

I found that one very helpful, and so did my girlfriend.

Don’t be afraid to skip ahead in the lesson plan if you have not seen that one yet. Though stay with Justin’s plan overall…it really is very well structured!

Thank you all for your words of encouragement!

I had missed the place in the song app where you can see the suggested strumming patterns. Plus, I find that some songs just have more interesting beats than others.

Now to just make sure I practice slow enough so that “practice makes permanent”.