How To Strum An Acoustic Guitar
If you want to start impressing your friends with your mad guitar skills, but you have no idea what you are doing, then you need to start form the beginning and learn how to strum an acoustic guitar. Strumming is the motion of your hand over the strings of the acoustic guitar, making them vibrate and produce sound waves that you hear as music. It is one of two major ways to play the guitar, the other is called picking, and the one most often used when playing acoustic guitar. To competently strum the guitar, you need to not only know how to correctly hit the strings, but you need to be able to keep up the rhythm of the song in your arm. These instructions will focus on strumming with a pick, but they can also work for strumming with your hand, just hit the strings with the tips of your fingers instead of the pick.
Things You Will Need
- Acoustic guitar
- Hold your strumming hand flat and place the pick on the end of your thumb with the point of the pick facing down. Now curl your fingers to grip the pick. You can extend out the point of the pick, or push it back, according to what feels right for you. Don't hold the pick too tightly. To strum the acoustic guitar you need some give on your pick. Hold it just tightly enough so that it doesn't fly out of your hands while you play.
- Relax your wrist. Your wrist needs to be a little limp while you play.
- Bring your hand down and glide the pick across the strings. Don't dig in and try to pluck the strings as you move down, just glide the pick over the strings to head the sound that you want. Most players will move their pick at an angle across the strings, but you can play straight up and down if you like, the sound is fairly similar.
Move your hand up and glide the pick across the strings again. It's the same six strings, but the sound is a little different. When you strum down, it's called a downstroke, and when you strum up is called an upstroke.
- Mix in downstrokes, upstrokes and breaks to develop the rhythm of the song. As you practice this will be natural. As an acoustic guitar beginner, try to play just downstrokes on the beat of the rhythm, and progress up to mixing in upstrokes and pauses.