A song containing a few as one or two chords can be just as well-crafted as a far more intricate composition. Of course, the world is full of guitarists who play a D-to-G strum pattern ad infinitum, rhyme “fire” with “desire” and declare that they’ve written a song. You goal as a songwriter is to not be that person.
A lot of teachers will try to keep your business by giving you quick fixes or showing you songs and riffs before they show you how to hold the instrument so you can actually play. Many students come to me after they “hit a wall” – they feel like they aren't getting better, their hands or wrists hurt, their technique has stopped improving, or they don't know how to find their way around the fingerboard.
It’s summer! Yahoo!!! Time for sitting on the porch and strumming a tune or two, or three, or ten! This is not a “best of” list, just a collection of great, easy to play songs that’ll put a smile on your face…and everyone’s around you, too! So grab an iced tea, sit back and get your strum on!
We've watched ukulele master Jake Shimabukuro deliver some amazing performances live in the Acoustic Nation studio. We've had a wonderful chat with him about his latest album, his gear, touring, recording and so much more. Now things get hands on. Here Shimabukuro sits down with Acoustic Nation editor Laura B. Whitmore and shares some ukulele basics that are sure to get you strumming.
LP's new album Forever For Now is one of my favorites of 2014. That's why I was thrilled to have the chance to sit down with this amazing songwriter, guitarists, ukulele player and vocalist to try a lesson on how to play her new single "Night Like This" on ukulele.
In this episode of Sunday Strum, I take you through an all-quarter note strum pattern using downstrokes. I’m making each hit staccato – which means short. In addition, I’m palm muting to create a certain detached, rhythmic feel.
Here in episode 10 of Sunday Strum, I introduce rhythmic displacement. Rhythmic displacement is taking a rhythm or pattern and starting it on a different part of the measure. In the example, I begin the original rhythm on beat 1. Then, by placing the first hit after the first 1/8 note (the AND of 1), I am able to create a completely different feel.
With summer just around the corner, it’s time to pull out the guitar and pull up around the campfire, backyard firepit or friend hang just about anywhere! When it comes time to lead the sing-along, you need some easy acoustic guitar songs that are known and loved by all.
In this episode, I focus on basic dynamics (or volume) of strumming. This is something most musicians can pick up naturally. However, by honing in on this one skill, you can dramatically improve your playing. Dynamics are so important, and should be practiced just like any other technique.