how to play chords of a song

Discussion in 'Beginner's Q&A Forum' started by misec misc, May 16, 2009.

  1. misec misc

    misec misc New Member

    i can see the chords of a song.......but can anyone suggest how to play the chords means how long to keep strumming a chord and then go to next chord.............i am a beginner in guitar.........
  2. Harsh Kumar

    Harsh Kumar The Official IGT Jester

    If you can tap your feet to a song than you can change the chords as well!!
    Change it at the point where there is a bass change( usuallly) and the moment you tap change!!

    Hope it helps!
  3. santanu_c

    santanu_c New Member

  4. Harsh Kumar

    Harsh Kumar The Official IGT Jester

  5. misec misc

    misec misc New Member

    hmmmm.........okay so now i have a question related to strumming if u have to play a chord like C or Cm, then u put the fingers on frets and play all the stings together in one stroke downwards or one-by-one string downwards? i think all the strings together in one stroke..........

    one more question - if u see the chords of a song, then how to decide when to keep strumming a chord and when to go for a next chord........and how long to keep strumming a chord.............

    plz help...........
  6. soumya256

    soumya256 New Member

    hii...i had d same problem in d beginning

    here..i wud suggest u to sing while playing chords
    just lyk d oder guy said when there is a change of bass just change d chord
    u will kno it b practice

    i hope it helps...:)
  7. misec misc

    misec misc New Member

    okay...........what about my question: in strumming if u have to play a chord like C or Cm, then u put the fingers on frets and play all the stings together in one stroke downwards or one-by-one string downwards?............

    one more question: when strumming say C then we only keep strumming C downwards only or one C downward then one C upward then again one C downward? hope i am clear....

    plz help.....
  8. premdass

    premdass New Member

    hi all guitar people great site here, i want to know if im on right track. i use 3 chords C G F and pick the scale with it. practicing scale exercise and so i came to know the sound of the chords . but i need to know if im on right track to move on. i can pick the son g with chordsand you can tell which song it is. i can also use the same pattern and pick the melody with single note , please reply , it is only 3 weeks i started this
  9. misec misc

    misec misc New Member

    Hi all,

    can somebody reply to my above questions plz............
  10. cool.abhi79

    cool.abhi79 New Member

    A few explanations

    Well i see a lot of very basic questions in this thread. Let me try to answer a few if you
    dont get it ask again

    Strumming - When you play all the tones in the chord with one swipe of hand. It can be up or down the only difference is that with the up swipe you dont need to hit all the strings. The bottom 2-3 strings will do.

    Arpeggio - when you play the notes of chords one by one. For eg. if you fingerpick D chord
    say like 4th string-3rd string-2nd string-1st string.

    Now dont try to start playing chords to songs first try to get the feel of a rhythm to do
    that try this.

    Think of a piece of time say about 2 seconds. Now strum down once every two second this is the most basic strumming pattern.

    Next strum down once every second now what you did is that you divided your 2 sec time piece in two parts and you are strumming once every part.

    You can go on dividing i will jump a bit ahead and will set to a point where you have divided the 2 sec duration in say 8 parts of .25 seconds each.

    Now strum down once at the start then up at .25 seconds then down again at .5 second and so on. You will end up with this pattern every 2 seconds


    If you throw in chord changes after every 2 second cycle it will seem like music. At start you will have to count but once you get in groove your hand will continue the motion without ne help.

    Now lets make this a bit more complex

    Lets take the last example D-U-D-U-D-U-D-U (D- downstrum, U- upstrum )

    Now suppose i deliberately remove a few strums say and keep the structure

    D-M-D-U-M-U-D-M | (repeat) D-M-D-U-M-U-D-M keep repeating and once you get the hang of rhythm then change a chord every time you complete one 2 second cycle.

    M at the top meant Miss. Now you need to have a bit of explanation about what M is.

    M means when you get to that .25 second part you dont hit the string but do the required motion needed for example


    The first M is being used to replace a U (Upstrum) so what you do is move your hand as if you are doing an upstrum just that you dont let the pick or your hand touch the string.

    Now your hand has completed the motion and has come up ready for a Downstrum which is there next in the pattern. Once you get hang of this try to form your own patterns and strum to that.

    Once you get the feel of rhythm the strumming to song will come slowly.

    Hope this helps :).
  11. misec misc

    misec misc New Member

    Hi cool abhi,

    Thnks 4 this explanation............

    so there are 2 modes - strumming and Arpeggio - is it okay?

    the strumming pattern DUDUDUDU is to be played on a single open string like G string - or - it is to be played on a chord like C chord?

    when playing a song suppose it has a C chord, then how to decide which strumming pattern to use like DUDUDUDU or DMDUDMDU?
  12. cool.abhi79

    cool.abhi79 New Member

    Strumming pattern is the pattern in which your pick hits the string. it can be one string or a set of string or all 6 strings like in E chord but generally strumming pattern is used for chords and not for a single string.

    Now deciding which strumming pattern to use comes comes with time. There are ways to try

    1) listen to the song again and again and again try to focus on the guitar play. As i told you about the rhythm before if you practice with them you get the feel of when its a downstrum and when its upstrum from the sound they produce. So by listening to the song again and again you can crudely determine the pattern. it may not be perfect but will be good enough to start with.

    2) Another thing about strumming pattern is that same song can be played with unlimited number of patterns. Of course there is a pattern with which the original one is being played but if you just wanna sing along the guitar its more about the timing and the pattern. Let me try to explain it more ( and its just how i think and i may be completely wrong)

    Music is all about taking a piece of time and filling it with beats. Again take a 2 sec duration to start with. Say we put a drum beat at start then one sec and then 2 the drum beat divided the interval in a one sec duration. You can go ahead and put in some other instrument in that interval and keep adding stuff like that it will finally build a musical piece. Even just the drum beat is music :)

    Now to strum to a song even if you dont know the pattern is fig out that 2 second interval in a song after which everything repeats. This interval+(the base pattern) is created by bass guitar -drums etc. You have to fig out that instrument basically or that interval which is what subconsciously makes you tap your feet to the song. If you can tap your feet you are getting the beat of the song which is a start.

    Now mixing my two posts you have to fit in a strumming pattern in that interval ( the basic 2 sec interval and the pattern should work for the song). But its not that easy to identify these things to start with they come with time and more and more effort that is put in guitar.

    People can tell you a strumming pattern for a song but its the one that they used to play it its not the only one. So its always better to try to come up with your own because even if yours is not as good as the one you are told about, you will feel at ease with the one that you worked out and slowly you will improve on that.

    It gets a bit more complex actually as a strumming pattern fits in a the timing used for the song. You would have heard 4/4, 3/4 , 6/8 timing and so on for which there are a few good explanations on the site. They are also responsible for the strumming patter coming out correctly.

    So basically in one line its experience and practice which helps you understand the basics and hence finally help you fig. out the pattern is most cases ( unless you are a genius and u can fig out nething if hear it once - i am not like this :( )

    I am also just a beginner so i am not able to do all the things that i talked about top but they are mostly correct (if not someone will point out in due course of time till then :D)

    This is all i can tell you honestly on paper. it may be confusing for you but these things are difficult to explain unless the person is sitting in front :D

    That's enough babbling for a newbie like me. Hope it doesn't confuse you more ;)

    P.S. - for a specific song its better at the start to go to you tube find someone playing that song look at his hand and try to copy his pattern. That can also give you a start :)
  13. cool.abhi79

    cool.abhi79 New Member

    OMG didnt notice and typed too much. it seems i have nothing to do today hehehe
  14. misec misc

    misec misc New Member

    Hi cool abhi,

    thnks a lot dude for this elaborative information...........its awesome...........u rock man..

    well, i will try to do strumming as u suggested :)

    well if i face difficulty in strumming, which i think i m going to face :( , i will update this thread with my question :)
  15. cool.abhi79

    cool.abhi79 New Member

    Did u try ne rhythm

    Hey just wanted to check did you try ne rhythm or dropped the idea of guitar ? Also you were going to buy one what happened to that

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