In this guitar lesson for beginners, we'll be going over 7 important tips for faster strumming. Increasing the speed of your strumming can be a frustrating task, but by focusing on a few key things you'll be able to strum the guitar faster so you can play your favorite songs.
The first tip for faster strumming on the guitar is to relax. When you first learn how to strum it can be easy to tense up all of the muscles in your shoulder, arm, and wrist. Relaxing will allow your strumming to smooth out and will also help you to avoid potential injuries.
This might seem obvious, but it goes hand in hand with the first tip. When you concentrate on strumming the guitar, you might find yourself holding your breath. When you relax the muscles in your strumming arm, be sure to keep your breathing steady and smooth.
The third tip is very important when it comes to strumming. Many guitarists lock their wrist when they strum. This causes all the motion to come from their elbow. You want your wrist to be relaxed and moving naturally as you move your elbow. It should feel like you're flicking something off of the ends of your fingers.
Pick grip can have a huge impact on your strumming. When you start strumming your guitar faster you'll find the pick will move around between your fingers. There are a couple of things you can do to deal with this. The first is to get used to making micro-adjustments with your fingers to keep the pick in the optimal position. The other thing you can do is use your middle finger as well as your index finger while grabbing the pick which will help it to move around less.
Upstrokes are one of the biggest challenges for newer guitar players. It can seem like your pick is constantly getting caught in the strings when you play an upstroke. Along with relaxing your wrist, you'll want to just be using the tip of the pick. This allows for less of your pick to get caught up in the strings. You can also play fewer strings on your upstrokes. Even with 6 string chords, it's common practice to only hit the 4 or 5 of the strings when you play your upstrokes.
A great way to improve your strumming is to ignore your fretting hand altogether. Mute all the strings with your fretting hand and look back at your strumming hand and arm. Work on your strumming technique without worrying about what you're doing with your other hand.
The last tip is to use a metronome. A metronome will help you to work on everything along to a steady beat. Not only will this help develop your timing immensely, but it will also be a great way to track your progress. Start as slow as is comfortable for you, and speed up as you feel ready. If you're having trouble staying on time with faster divisions, try accenting the numbers. This will help a lot especially as you start getting faster. Accenting the numbers will also help you to naturally develop dynamics in your strumming as well.