Strum Efficiency – by Mike Overly

January 28, 2015

Strum

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Let’s begin by showing tone numbers 1, 2 , 3 on a six string guitar,

Guitar Tones 1 2 3

and on a four string bass.

Bass Tones 1 2 3

Whether you use a pick or your fingers to strum your guitar or bass, there are only two ways to strum efficiently: alternate or toward.

The definition of efficient is less energy. Less energy means less strums. And less strums will result in much faster technique!

The following two strum suggestions will help you play more efficiently when strumming with a pick.

1) When tones are on the same string you use alternate strums. The definition of alternate is “to switch back and forth one after another.”

2) When tones move to a different string, you strum toward that string. The definition of toward is “in the direction of.” For example, when your fretting finger moves down to a lower numbered different string, strum down toward that string. Conversely, when your fretting finger moves up to a higher numbered different string, strum up in the direction of that string.

The down stroke sign looks like a staple and the up stroke sign looks like a V.

To help you strum the following exercise with even greater efficiency, begin with a stroke up.

 

pick strum

 

The following two strum suggestions will help you play more efficiently when strumming with your fingers.

1) When tones are on the same string or move down to a different lower numbered string you use you use alternate strums. Remember, the definition of alternate is to switch back and forth one after another.

2) When tones move up to a different higher numbered adjacent string use the same finger to strum that string. The definition of adjacent is “next to.”

For example, if you are playing tone 2 with your m finger, you will alternate and play tone 3 with your i finger. However, if you are playing tone 3 with your m finger, you will use the same m finger to play tone 2 on the higher numbered adjacent string. In other words, you use alternate strums except when the next tone is on a higher numbered adjacent string. In that case, you strum with the same finger toward that string.

Your index finger is i and your middle finger is m.

To help you strum the following exercise with greater strum efficiency, fingers i and m are shown.

Finger Strum

’til next time, have some efficient pick and finger strum fun… I’ll be listening!

www.12tonemusic.com

 

 

 


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