You learned many chords in the last lesson and a few chord progressions. In this lesson, Brad applies various strumming patterns/rhythms to these progressions. Finally, he introduces the formidable barre chords.
Taught by Brad Henecke in Rock Guitar with Brad Henecke seriesLength: 42:23Difficulty: 2.5 of 5
In this lesson we would like to go over some strumming patterns, but before we can do that you must have an understanding of what 4/4 timing is.
4/4 Timing and the First Pattern
The chart above shows a strumming pattern that uses four strums in 4/4 timing. In music we have what we call measures, the above is a sample of one measure in 4/4 timing. The thick lines on the right and left start and end the measure while what is inside those bars is what is played. In 4/4 time (or quarter notes) you get four beats per measure. The 1,2,3 and 4 in the above example are the beats. This first strumming pattern is very simple in that you simply strum down four times.
To practice this strumming pattern count out 1,2,3,4 evenly with your voice and strum the A chord down for two measures. Simply practice this to get the feel for 4/4 timing and the all down-strum pattern.Chapter 3: (01:32) Strumming Pattern #2
Now that we have explained what 4/4 timing is and showed you the basic down-strum only pattern we will move on to one that is slightly more advanced. Please look at the image below for a visual representation of Strumming Pattern #2.
The above chart is strumming pattern #2. As you can see, the first 3 beats in the measure are the same as strumming pattern #2. They are just down strums. Once you get past the 3rd beat you see that there is more then just a downs strum on the 4th beat. In between the 3rd and 4th beats and after the 4th beat there is an up strum. So you are playing an up strum in between each down strum which gives this pattern a faster, more lively feel. Think of it as saying 1, 2, 3 and 4 and, where the ands are an up strum. Down, down, down up down up.Chapter 4: (02:14) Strumming Pattern #3
The third strumming pattern in this lesson features a technique called palm muting which is widely used in all styles of electric guitar. Please view the below graphic for a visual representation of this strumming pattern.
As you can see this strumming pattern is once again and all down stroke pattern, however this time the down strums occur twice as fast and there are 8 instead of four. This part is easy, the part that sets this strumming pattern apart from the rest is that it uses a technique called palm muting.
Palm muting is when you use the palm on your right hand to muffle the strings while strumming a chord. This gives a chunky, rock and roll feel to your playing. The proper amount of tension used to mute the strings with your palm can be tricky to figure out, so experiment with different tensions until the desired sound is discoveredChapter 5: (02:22) Chord Progression with New Strumming Patterns
Now that you have interesting new strumming patterns to play we simply need a nice chord progression to play them with, and that is what this chapter is all about.
This chord progression has 8 measures. The first two measures will be C, the 3rd measure will be G, the 4th measure will be G7, the 5th measure will be Am, the 6th measure will be Am7, the 7th measure will be G and the 8th measure will be G7. For a visual representation please see "Chord Progression #1" in the supplemental content section.
First we will play the chord progression using the first strumming pattern where you play only down strums, 4 of them per measure. Simply go through the chord progression and strum the chord downwards 4 times for each measure. Repeat as many times as necessary for you to play this chord progression smoothly.Chapter 6: (01:31) Chord Progression with Strumming Pattern #2
Now use the exact same chord progression and play it with the second strumming pattern that we learned in this lesson. If you need a visual representation of either please view "Chord Progression #2" and "Strumming Pattern #2" in the supplemental content section.Chapter 7: (01:27) Chord Progression with Strumming Pattern #3
Now use the exact same chord progression and play it with the third strumming pattern that we learned in this lesson. If you need a visual representation of either please view "Chord Progression #3" and "Strumming Pattern #3" in the supplemental content section.Chapter 8: (06:25) Barre Chords and Exercise
In this lesson we are going to begin exploring the world of barre chords. However, it is quite important to understand that barre chords require a lot of finger strength. It may be extremely hard for beginners to finger these chords, so we are going to go over a few exercises which might help.
The first one is very simple and can be done anytime, anywhere. Simply open your hand all the way and then close it into a fist. Doing this repetitively will work the muscles in your wrist which are very important to playing the guitar. This exercise isn't very intense, and once you have good hand strength it may not be worth it, however for people having trouble with barre chords may find it of great use.
The second exercise is quite easy as well, but involves playing the guitar so not only is it an exercise but can also be considered a warm up. The exercise begins on the 5th fret, using all four fingers. Have your first finger play the 5th fret, second finger playing the 6th fret, third finger playing the 7th fret and 4th finger playing the 8th fret. With this simple exercise you start off by playing the 5th fret on the low E string (6th) with your first finger. Now play the 6th fret on the same string with your second finger, but unlike normal leave your first finger on the 5th fret. Leaving the fingers down after you have played them helps you stretch your hands and build strength. Repeat this with your 3rd and fourth fingers so that you have all four fingers laid down on the guitar at the same time, on the 5th, 6th, 7th and 8th frets. Do this exercise across all of the strings. Once it becomes easy on the 5th fret you can move to the 4th as your starting position which will be harder as your fingers have to stretch slightly more. After you have mastered that play the entire thing backwards, meaning start at the 8th fret and work back to the 5th from the high e to the low e string.
The third exercise is very tough on those with weaker hands. Place your 1st finger on the 5th string of the high E (1st) string. Then take your fourth finger (pinky) and do a trill (hammer on/pull off combo) repeatedly on the 8th fret. Do this repeatedly until your hand becomes tired. After you practice that you can do the trill up and down in the same fret positions over 6 strings.Chapter 9: (07:48) Intro to Barre Chords and the E Shape
Now that you have some exercises you are ready to learn barre chords!
What is a Barre Chord
Basically, a barre chord requires you to play more then one fret with the same finger. For the purposes of this lesson the barre chord will require your first finger to barre 5 or 6 strings.
Barre chords are basically the shape of the open chord, but you use your first finger to barre a fret thus effectively moving the nut of your guitar up. So for instance, for the E shape barre chord you place your first finger across all of the strings on the 3rd fret. Then make the shape of the E chord as you regularly would pretending your first finger is the nut. That means you would put your second finger on the 4th fret of the G string, your 3rd finger on the 5th fret of the A string and your 4th finger on the 5th fret of the D string. It makes the shape of the E chord, but because you have moved it up the neck and barred it with your 3rd finger it is a different note. Remember, on the guitar we make new notes by shortening the strings, so moving up the neck with a barre chord creates a new not each time. Whatever note your are barring on the 6th fret determines the name of the chord in the example of the E shape. That is why barre chords are so absolutely important, they allow you to play many different chords up and down the neck of the guitar without memorizing too many things. Look at the two pictures below to see the difference between an E shape barre chord and a regular E open chord.
The E Shape Barre Chord
We used the E shape barre chord in the example above, however we will review it quickly to make sure you understand. The chord chart on the left depicts the G major chord, which uses the E shape. The reason the chord is called a G major is because the note on the 3rd fret of the low E (6th) string is a G. That is how you determine which chord you are playing when using the E shape barre chord. If you moved it up one fret it would be a different chord using the shame shape.
Anyhow, fingering the E shape barre chord is quite easy on paper but harder in practice. Getting your finger to go across 6 strings and keep them all depressed is quite difficult. To practice I recommend taking your first finger alone and trying to press all 6 strings down and don't worry about the rest of the chord at first. Play with the positioning of your finger and how hard you have to push until you find a position that allows you to comfortably play all 6 strings. In the real world using real chords you will never actually only be playing with your first finger, so all 6 strings ringing won't be as important, but I find this really helps you get a feel for barre chords. Now, after you have done that place your 2nd finger on the 4th fret of the G (3rd string). Then place your 3rd finger on the 5th fret of the A (5th) string and your 4th finger on the 5th fret of the D (4th) string. This makes a G Major chord because of the frets, remember you can move this shape up and down the entire neck of the guitar.
If you wish to see a chart of the notes on the neck of the guitar to help figure out which fret makes which chord using the E shape, please go to the supplemental content section and select "Guitar Note Chart."Chapter 10: (05:40) The A Shape Barre Chord
The A Shape Barre Chord
The A Shape barre chord is similar in shape to the A open chord, much as the E shape is similar to the E major chord. This particular chord is considered a C major because it is barred on the 3rd fret, and if we remember correctly barre chord shapes can be used up and down the neck to create different chords.
Playing this chord can be very difficult, in fact this is most likely one of the hardest chords you will ever play. Barre the first 5 strings on the 3rd fret of the guitar, and then take your 3rd finger and lay it down over the D (4th), G (3rd) and B ) 2nd strings. This requires an enormous amount of hand strength and flexibility, so it will probably take you a good amount of time to be able to play this chord well. Don't give up however, it is hard for EVERYONE when they are just learning barre chords.
Since the A shape does not play the low E (6th) string, the chord is named after the note that is being barred on the A (5th string) So for instance, pretty down on the 3rd fret of the A string gives a C not, so this A shape barre chord is called a C Major chord.Chapter 11: (03:11) The C Shape Barre Chord
The C shape Barre Chord
The C shape barre chord once again uses the shape of the C major open chord. In this example, which is technically a D major chord because of the fret it is played on, you simply have your first finger barre all 6 strings on the 2nd fret and then use the remaining fingers to play the C major shape. To do that place your 2nd finger on the 3rd fret of the B (2nd) string, 3rd finger on the 4th fret of the D (4th) string and your fourth finger on the 5th fret of the A (5th) string.
The note that is played on the 5th string determines what a chord using the C shape barre chord is called. For instance, the 5th fret on the 5th string is a D note, which makes this a D major chord. It's important to understand the difference between a barre chord shape and the actual note that is being played.
As with all barre chords this one is difficult to play and will require practice and time to master. So whatever you do don't give up! The strength in your hand will gradually improve and before you know it you will be playing barre chords like a god!
Minor Barre Chord Using the E Shape
You can transform any E shape barre chord into a minor chord very easily! All you have to do is finger the E shape barre chord form as normal but remove your second finger from the guitar. In this particular example the second finger would be removed from the 6th fret, but as barre chords move up and down the neck it is easier to just remember lift your second finger. The chord in this example is called an A Minor chord.
It is easy to remember the "E Minor Shape" barre chord by it's relationship to the E major shape barre chord, however it is best to practice and memorize the chord by itself as you will not always be going from E Major shape to E minor shape. This chord is very simple. In this example we will start playing on the fifth fret, which means you will barre every string on the 5th fret with your first finger. Then take your 3rd finger and place it on the A (5th) string on the 7th fret and your 4th finger on the D (4th) string 7th fret. This creates an A minor barre chord using the E minor shape.
This chord may be slightly harder to finger then the E Major shape because when you lift your second finger that means barring all 6 strings becomes more important.
Major and Minor Exercuse
Now we wish to share a short exercise to help you practice the various barre chord shapes we have learned. The exercise simply moves you up the neck and forces you to change chord shapes. Start by playing the B Minor barre chord (E minor shape on the 7th fret), then move on to the 6th fret and play a C shape barre chord followed by an E shape barre chord on the 5th fret and lastly a C shape chord on the 4th fret. The point of this exercise is not to memorized the chords or anything along those lines, simply to practice playing different barre chord shapes on different positions up and down the neck. Try making up your own exercises to practice barre chords as they are very difficult and lots of practice will be required before you can play them with ease.Chapter 13: (01:50) Final Thoughts
Congratulations! You are now done with Rock Guitar Episode 3. Please make sure to practice everything in this lesson thoroughly before moving on. Having the strength and knowledge of barre chords is quite crucial to every guitar player so do not neglect practicing and learning these chords.
In this Phase 2 series Brad Henecke will school you in the art of rock guitar. You will not only learn how to play some of your favorite songs in this series, but you will also learn how to create your own.
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About Brad Henecke
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Brad Henecke was born in Cedar Rapids, Iowa on May 5th of 1963. He has been a fan of music for as long as he & his family can remember. You could always find him running around the farm wailing on his cardboard guitar, pretending to be a member of the rock band KISS. Additional inspiration came during his first concert when he got the chance to see Boston & Sammy Hagar in the early 1970's.
This opened up a whole new world of rock and roll music for him; his parents noticed his growing interest in music and enrolled him into guitar lessons when he was 13.
From there he jumped into two years of lessons at a local music store in Cedar Rapids. After discovering Eddie Van Halen, Brad knew that the guitar would always be a part of his life. He took his love throughout the city as he played as a pit musician & jammed at parties for friends.
This made him thirsty for more. He enrolled classes at Kirkwood Community College & also took lessons from the one & only Craig-Erickson (www.craig-erickson.com).
His love for music landed him a gig opening for Molly Hatchet in Cedar Rapids with a band called "Slap & Tickle". He has also played in the Greeley Stampede show for quite a few years with "True North".
Brad is currently playing in Greeley, Colorado with a rock band titled "Ragged Doll". They play a wide variety of music with an emphasis on classic rock from the 60's to present, with Brad playing electric guitar in the five piece lineup.
He currently jams on his all-time favorite guitar: a Paul Reed Smith Custom 24. Beyond guitar, he plays also plays drums & bass guitar. He has also been known to thrash a banjo from time to time. He is still actively playing & passing his 31 years of playing experience on to others (you!).
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