Thursday, June 26, 2014

Lesson 5 - Strumming Exercise 1 + 2 - Nothing's Gonna Change My Love For You by George Benson

The first strumming pattern you will learn is actually by itself not a conventional pattern used, but more of a fundamental pattern to let you progressively build up on more complicated ones. Recall back in Lesson 3: Chords & Rhythm Playing, Chord Progression Exercise 1 to 3, we learn to strum chords on a basic pattern of all Down Strokes. The idea behind this pattern is that it follows the main drum beats of popular ballad , pop or slow rock songs. Now, we will build up from this pattern.

Lets call this strumming pattern: Pattern A. Lets try the song Nothing’s GonnaChange My Love For You by George Benson.


In this exercise, note that:
1) It is base on the simple Down Stroke pattern in all the exercises of Lesson 3, however, I have added a fast DU at 2.5 Beat and 4.5 Beat instance of every bar. This will make the pattern more lively and less monotone.

2) Because it is not easy to show Strumming on Tabs, for every chord stroke, I have put the tab numbering for every single note of the chord. But it doesn’t mean you strum every single string of the chord strictly. This will make the strumming dead and weird.
Instead, relax your Right Hand when you strum. Strum on majority of the string notes, and for the DU stroke, strum on the higher treble notes because the event for a DU happens very fast.



The above strumming exercise is using the below general pattern:

This strumming method does great at the EARLY part of a song, but you will need to add more strokes and variety later on to make the song sound more lively and heavier as it progress to a different phase. You can try using this method to test out songs like 安静 by 周杰伦, 晴天 by 周杰伦, 海阔天空 by Beyond, Sometimes When We Touch by Rod Stewart, 纯真 by Mayday, 爱如潮水 by 张信哲 and many, many more of such genre!



The next strumming pattern is not a new strumming pattern by itself, but modification to Pattern A1. Because playing Pattern A1 throughout the song will be boring, so you can modify it slightly at later parts of the song to make the song more lively. We shall use the Pre-Chorus and Chorus of  the song Nothing’s Gonna Change My Love For You by George Benson to demo the idea.


In this exercise, note that:
1) For completion purpose, the new pattern starts at the 3rd line of Pre-Chorus. The 1st two lines still use Pattern A1.

2) The new pattern is base on the Pattern A1, however, I have replaced 3rd Beat with a fast DU, 4th Beat with a fast UDU and 4.5 Beat with a fast DU of every bar. This will make the strumming heavier, making the chorus more emphasized.


First, let us look at one new chord:

The above strumming exercise is using the below general pattern:

This strumming method does great at the LATER part of a song. Similarly, they can be applied to the songs stated for Pattern A1 like 安静 by 周杰伦, 晴天 by 周杰伦, 海阔天空 by Beyond, Sometimes When We Touch by Rod Stewart, 纯真 by Mayday, 爱如潮水 by 张信哲 and many, many more of such genre!


If you are interested in the full chords of this song as transcribed by me, you can try it out below at your own time:


Strumming Exercise 1 + 2 Combined:

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