Tech Tip:Having Trouble Strumming

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This Q & A comes from the "Ask the Teacher" section of It’s loaded with great advice for developing guitarists. From the fundamentals of playing to sophisticated solos and modal techniques, there are priceless tips to take your skills to a higher plane. Read our entire library of Rock House articles.



Scott Targent, Bethany CT


Q: I am having trouble getting a nice flowing sound when I strum. I have your “Beginner Learn Rock Guitar" series and I think it is awesome. I’ve learned a ton but I just can’t seem to get my strumming to flow. Do you have any advice that can help?


A: There are several techniques that can help you sound like a rhythm master. First and foremost, you must keep your strumming hand, arm, and shoulder loose and relaxed. When concentrating on a new song progression, most people have a tendency to stiffen up and this makes the sound very choppy.


Make sure to have your guitar neck tilted up at a 30-degree angle; this will allow your hand to change from chord to chord easily. I also recommend that you practice standing using a strap as this usually positions your guitar in a more natural fashion.


Lastly, make sure you practice your chord changes. I tell my students to isolate any chord change that gives them a little trouble and go back and forth between those two chords until they can change fluidly. Then, when you put them into the entire progression, there are no stumbles.