Practice tip: Strumming

Here are a few things to try while working on your strumming technique.
  • Hold the pick between the thumb and index finger with the tip of the pick coming out of the side of your thumb.
  • Listen to the tone of your strum.  Is it loud or brash?  Maybe you’re gripping the pick too tight.  Loosen your grip a little and try skimming the pick a little easier over the strings.
  • Practice strumming in all dynamic ranges from barely audible to very loud.  It’s very difficult to play softly if you are gripping the pick too hard.
  • Listen to the balance of your strum.  Do you hear mostly bass notes?  Then your pick is not making it all the way through your chord or you are missing the higher strings on the up strum.
  • Are you missing notes or hearing a lot of buzzing.  That could also be a fret hand problem.  Play each note of your chord and make sure it sounds.
Here is the biggest tip of all – LISTEN.  So often we reduce our music down to mere mechanics.  We all need to be better at listening.  Remember, we are in control of the sounds that come out of our instruments.  

Let your ear be your guide!


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