The Backbeat Hit

Thanks Adrian.

I am glad i finally found that lesson. Was looking for that all over the place when i saw Justins lesson on “Losing my religion” :slightly_smiling_face:
One question though: i have a classical guitar and i am more into strumming without a pick. Am i correct in assuming that it makes these percussive hits more difficult? With a pick i found my first attempts quite satisfying. Without a pick it seems harder. Any tips on that?

One addition: when i saw the “losing my religion” tutorial i assumed that the percussive sound had something to do with the left hand movement. I think justins moving the left hand in “the backbeat hit” as well. Like releasing the downward pressure. Is that correct? And if so, why? After all, we learned that it is all about the right hand. Thank you you :slight_smile:

Hi Florian,
I myself find it a bit easier without a pick, and make the hit with my index finger (top) part and sometimes with the rest of the top of the fingers apparently…
Welcome to the community by the way,
Greetings ,Rogier

I don’t know if anyone else will find this helpful, but at first, I had a lot of difficulty with this lesson. I could not wrap my head around the logistics of it, try what I might. Then, as I was watching Justin’s video on practicing standing up, I could suddenly just do the backbeat hit. I’m not perfect at it, but it just seems to work better for me when I’m standing up. I also (when first trying this out) tended to confuse it with palm muting, which is done way at the “back end” of the guitar. Make sure to do the back beat hit right next to, if not over, where the fretboard and hole meet.

Stand by Me. That’s the song that brought me to this lesson to learn the percussive strumming. Chords are G, Em, C,D, G. Justin has a good video on that song as well. Bit late with an answer for you. You’ve probably got it perfected by now! :grin:

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I notice that when Justin hits the downstrum for the percussive hit, he lifts his fingers off the frets ever so slightly. He doesn’t mention this movement in the lesson. Is this part of how to achieve the percussive sound on the strum? Even when I manage to do this correctly without any of the strings ringing out, it doesn’t sound quite as “solid” as Justin’s. I really just beginning to practice this so I have no skill built up yet at all, but I wondered if I’m also supposed to be lifting my fingers off the frets as well?

Hi @Deirdre

Justin demonstrates this with no fingers at all on the neck with his left hand, no chords, held or lifted.
The technique is 100% in the strumming hand.
Hope that helps.
Cheers :slight_smile: RIchard

True, nevertheless as Deirdre mentions Justin is releasing the left-hand pressure on the fretted notes. Why does he do that? Is it sort of a “backup” muting technique, in case a string evades the right-hand muting? Btw, I see this very often, the fretting hand “pumps” the chord while the muted hit is occurring.

Yes, that is likely, though it is also just a whole part of getting the feeling going in your hands, arms and body. When in the groove, this will happen naturally.

Thanks for the reply Richard. I’m understanding it now to be part of getting in the groove, as it were.:+1:

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Just throwing in my recommendation for Two of Us, by The Beatles, as a great practice tune for the 1+X+3+X+ strumming/hit pattern from the lesson.

I’m having this exact same issue. Did you ever find a “cure”?

For some reason, I think it’s better if I strum right over the sound hole. Also, I do better with faster strumming.

Thanks so much for pointing me in the direction of this song and lesson. It really helped me.

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@kevguitar Kevin, I was having that problem too. Then I looked closer at the video and realized that Justin was strumming directly over the sound hole. I was strumming closer to the bridge. When I moved my hand directly over the sound hole and struck down with the side of my palm striking directly in the middle of the sound hole, I was finally able to hear the sound of the strings hitting the fretboard.

My problems with this technique was that I was thinking palm muting position, with the side of the palm resting near the bridge. That works for the blues, but not for this exercise.
The problems are that you don’t get a complete mute of the strings easily and you don’t get the percussive effect of the strings hitting the fretboard.

I had also avoided putting my strumming hand over the sound hole because somewhere in the past I was advised against strumming over the sound hole because it blocks the sound.