Express Guitar - The Ultimate Guitar Learning Kit

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Beginners guitar lessons, rhythm - 3 tips to get the most from your strumming 

  

  Rhythm guitar playing is a lot more than playing a few open
  chords, it's a real art form. When people listen to music the
  first thing they hear (or feel) is the rhythm. In fact it's the
  determining factor as to whether a listener likes the song or
  not.

 Often the beginning guitarist purchases a chord book with the
 view of learning to play their favorite songs, so they set about
 learning a whole bunch of difficult chord shapes, eventually many
 potential guitarists give up playing the guitar because they
 could not produce the sounds they were hearing on their favorite
 recordings.

 The trick is to be able to identify the real problem, where these
 guitar newbie, tone deaf, untalented or did they simply not know
 how to go about learning.

 The answer is "they simply did not know how to go about learning
 the guitar". In a nutshell, those who know how to learn, get it
 and those who don't ...don't!


 Here's a list to help you choose what to practice to develop your
 beat and eliminate the confusion.



 Tip 1 -- shaker

 I recommend developing an awareness of your rhythm without the
 guitar at first. The good news is everyone has a natural sense of
 rhythm, it's just a matter of building an awareness of your
 rhythm.

 To develop your rhythm, (a) take a plastic drink container and
 convert it into a shaker by half filling the container with rice
 or sand.

 (b) Next, put on some music you enjoy and simply invent a rhythm
 with the shaker (imagine you are a percussionist sitting in with
 the band).

 (c) Make certain to tap your foot while listening to the music
 and using the shaker, this may be tricky for a start, it's a bit
 like "patting your head and rubbing your tummy", it takes a
 different type of concentration, with practice you will get it.

 (d) Use your strumming hand for the shaker (right hand) for right
 handed players.

 When you feel comfortable with the shaker and foot tapping, pick
 up your guitar, block out the strings with your left hand
 (assuming you are a right handed player) don't press the strings
 down to the frets, just cover the strings lightly so that you
 strum the strings with your right hand you make a percussive
 sound when you strum, we don't want to produce any chord sound at
 this stage.

 This effect is what I call a "blank guitar", because you are not
 concerned with the harmony (chords) of a piece of music you can
 concentrate 100% on the rhythm.

 For a right handed player their right hand is their "rhythm" hand
 and their left hand is their "colour" (harmonic textures) hand.

 By tapping your foot you are becoming aware of the "ground beat".


 Tip 2 -- picks

 It's important to be able to transfer your "gut energy" onto the
 strings and project yourself through the guitar. To do this avoid
 thin picks. Thin picks are a hazard to speed and accuracy.

 I recommend using medium picks -- Fender (brand), medium
 thickness picks are good for beginners.

 Ideally, as you gain more control of your strumming hand a heavy
 pick will give you the best sound quality and projection.



 Tip 3 -- down and up strums

 Although it's obvious that guitarists use down and up strumming
 patterns, the thing that is difficult to discern from watching is
 that good rhythm guitarist only play a few strings when strumming
 up.

 For example if we play an open "E minor" chord you would strum
 six strings for the down strum and only two or three for the up
 strum.

 This lets the chord breath, and invites the listener into your
 music. Usually the first two or three strings work well on most
 chords for the upbeat.


 The single most important thing for a guitarist to develop is
 their rhythm, their "beat". It does not matter how many chords
 you know, if you haven't developed your beat, your playing will
 sound lifeless and dull to the audience.



 

   

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Rave Reviews for Express Guitar:

 

As a student of Mike Hayes since 1999, I have found his teaching methods and products to be first class. Whatever style or area of music I have been interested in, he has provided me with useful information, advice and study materials. His style of teaching and teaching products enabled me to progress through his guitar course far quicker than I ever imagined. He also helps in teaching yourself to find and develop your own style of music. Mike’s teaching gives his student’s the ability to become useful musicians, not just guitarists.

Stephen J Reid
Guitarist & Musician
Australia

 


 

This course teaches us how to learn, how to retain, and how to recall information quickly. This entire program is built around "connected learning" with key phrases, picture words ( yes there is such a thing ) and the most dynamic personal motivator I have ever had the pleasure of knowing.

Ken C Simpson
Business Owner & Guitarist
Queensland, Australia

 


 

The course is varied, in-depth and well-structured, making learning and comprehension fast, thorough and enjoyable. It’s a great way of learning, as you can pace yourself and move onto the next stage when you feel competent. I find this course both innovative and inspirational. I find myself leaving Mike’s lessons with the determination to reach my new goals.

Karl J Ricker
Sales Manager
Sunshine Coast, Australia