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This Fun Picking Pattern Combines Picking & Strumming

A lot of guitar players treat strumming and picking as separate skills, and rarely allow the two to meet… which is a shame, because they ARE separate skills, but once combined, they allow access to so much more than either skill could access individually.

In today’s guitar lesson, we’re going to look at one of the examples out of my Dynamic Rhythm Guitar course from the section on Picking, and it is one that begins to mix strumming and picking together into a single pattern.

The “strumming” that we’re doing here is only on two strings – the first and second strings – and that alone is a good place to start practicing for a lot of you strummers: precision strumming! Can you selectively strum any two or three strings that you want? If not, start practicing, because you’ll need that ability when you start merging your strumming with your picking.

The main thing to note about the notation used here is that the R represents the Root string number. So in the case of a normal open G major chord, you’d play the 6th string where the root note for the G major chord is found (3rd fret). In the case of an open D major, you’d play the 4th string in that R position. The rest of the numbers on that same line indicate the string numbers to play. Below that you’ll see the Count written out, if you want to learn how to count the example out, rhythmically.


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  1. Great lesson! Has a bit of an Indigo Girls feel to it… Your instructional videos are always helpful. I have purchased a few in the past, and refer back to them from time to time – my aging brain doesn’t always retain what it should… ; )

  2. Your lessons are great. Really great and this is a good another good one.
    I do find them quite quiet though, even with the volume up loud. This may just be my ageing ears or ageing computer.
    Thanks Jonathan. Now, to practice.

  3. had to retire a couple years ago decided to try to learn to play on fixed income no money for lessons , I enjoy and look forward to lessons like this like this THX

  4. I BOUGHT A GUITAR FROM MY NEPHEW A COUPLE OF WEEKS AGO BECAUSE IVE ALWAYS WANTED TO PLAY. IM 50 YEARS OLD AND WAS INJURED ON THE JOB IN 04 BEEN REALLY MESSED UP SINCE. I HAVE PLENTY OF TIME TO INVEST MY NEPHEWS AND YOUNGEST SON TRY BUT THEY ONLY MANAGE TO COMPLETLY CONFUSE ME. I AM A TRUE BEGINNER I NEED TO LEARN IT ALL FROM THE BEGGINING. THANK YOU!!! WAYNE

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