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Hey, Rhythm Strummers. Here is an easy way to play this great song. I’m going to perform a little bit for you and just so you can see what it sounds like and then I will show you how to play it afterwards.
So what I want to show you today is the strum pattern for that song. The original version is cool but it’s really hard, it goes like this.
That’s going to be out of reach for a lot of beginning and then intermediate guitarist and at RhythmStrummer.com we really try to help you to play your favorite songs and make it accessible to those of you who aren’t expert guitarist. So I’ve come out with the strum pattern that’s a lot easier. That’s what I want to show you today.
First, let’s check out the strum diagram. This is a way that rhythm strummer writes out strum patterns and you’ll notice that there are series of down and up arrows. And those show the motion of your strumming hand. What you want to do is keep your hand in constant up down motion as you’re strumming. And this is true of pretty much any strum pattern you play on the guitar.
The black arrows mean your actually hitting the strings and then the white arrows are what are called ghost strokes and those mean that you’re moving your hand but you’re not hitting the string. So the ghost strokes just kind of remind you to keep going with that constant up down motion. I like to think of this as the engine on the chef chugging along and even if the captain falls asleep at behind the engine is still plugging along. That’s your goal for playing rhythm guitar. You want to keep that momentum of the song going.
So as you learn this strum pattern, I really hope you’ll internalize it until you can just put it on auto-pilot. That way you can pay attention to your chord changes and getting a great vocal performance and things like that.
So, let us check out the strum pattern. What I want to do first is just play the first half of the pattern and you can practice that a little bit. And then once you got that down, we’ll add on the second part. And if learning this pattern is difficult for you, I encourage you to just listen to the pattern that I say and try to memorize it, say it along with me. Once you can say it, you’ll have a better chance to being able to play it.
This is what it’s going to sound like, it’s going to go.
Base down-up-down-rest-rest-rest, so we’re just playing the first half, the second half is going to be rest and those rests remind you to keep your hand moving even though you’re not strumming the strings.
So let’s do that on an A minor chord. One other thing in the strum pattern there, you see that B on the first arrow, that means that you’re hitting a bass note. You can either hit the fifth string which is the bass note of the A minor chord or if that’s too hard you can just hit the general basic area, maybe the sixth, fifth, and fourth strings, whatever is easiest for you, here we go.
One, two, three, four, five, six bass down-up-down-rest-rest-rest, base down-up-down-rest-rest-rest, base down-up-down-rest-rest-rest, bass down-up-down-rest-rest-rest, bass down-up-down-rest-rest-rest, bass down-up-down-rest-rest-rest, bass down-up-down-rest-rest-rest.
Alright, so if you’ve got that, let’s go onto the next part. If not rewind and keep listening and trying to play along until you’ve got that first half. Now, let’s add on the second half. This is how the whole pattern goes.
Bass down-up-down-down-down-up-down-up so that’s the whole pattern. And I want to point out something before we try it. On the fourth beat you’re going to be emphasizing your strumming. You’re going to strum a little bit harder, listen to it again. Bass down-up-down-down-down-up-down-up here’s how you emphasized that fourth beat, so let’s try that together. Again you may just want to listen for a while before you jump in with me.
One, two, three, four, five, six bass down-up-down-down-down-up-down-up, bass down-up-down-down-down-up-down-up, bass down-up-down-down-down-up-down how are you doing try to relax, you got the arm flowing.
Okay, so that’s the strum pattern and if you want to learn the chord progression you can go to RhythmStrummer.com and find all the chords for this song there as well as complete free lesson on how to play this song.
This is how it sounds in the song. I’m going to do another verse.
Alright, I hope to see you at RhythmStrummer.com and I hope you enjoy this lesson, see you.