16th Note Strumming Is Driving Me Crazy

If there’s one thing on guitar that I really struggle with, it’s 16th note strumming.  It’s been my nemesis for a long time now but I’ll keep on plugging away. In theory it’s not tough at all – it’s essentially the same as playing 2 bars of 8th note strumming, albeit twice as fast.

There are quite a few things that happen when I attempt 16th note strumming, firstly the way I play it sounds incredibly tight and ordered, it doesn’t have that loose, free sound that I hear when other people do it. I think this is largely because I overthink it – I’m focusing so hard on which notes/strums to miss that I end up with something very rigid sounding. The other thing that tends to happen is that my pick goes all over the shop. I don’t drop it but it ends up in all kinds of weird positions – this is something I thought I would have gotten past by now but it still plagues me.

The song that I’m using to practice is Lucky Man by The Verve – it’s a really simple chord progression – G, D Asus4 for the bulk of the song which makes it a good song to practice with, there’s no thinking about the chords at all. I should point out that I can play this song with 16th note strumming but I play the same pattern throughout. What I’m striving for is the ability to mix it up with my 16th note strumming. I think half the problem is that I’m practising when the kids are in bed and it’s difficult to play at full volume, I need to get myself another feedback buster but as I recall from the last one that I lost – they don’t actually kill that much volume.

Finally, I’m kind of tempted to set up an account with SoundCloud to record my progress as I try and improve my playing, that said, I’m not sure that people want to hear me getting things wrong – for now maybe I’ll just stick with using my iPhone’s Voice Memo app.

Here’s the brilliant Justin Sandercoe’s Lucky Man guitar lesson…

One thought on “16th Note Strumming Is Driving Me Crazy”

  1. Stumbled across this trying to find the strumming pattern ie DDDU DDDUU etc. Not had lessons or picked up guitar in about a year, and before that had lessons on and off for a year. Never ever managed to nail the strumming pattern.

    Its coming back to me that its 16 note so needs to be faster, its a great song and one day I will manage to play it. Its kind of stopping me learning anything else really, that and B and F chords :-)

    Will take up lessons again once toughened up skin on finger tips again. Hope you got it sorted and any advice would be very much appreciated.

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