Picking Vs. Strumming (Guitar Lesson)


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Mark Lincoln

Picking Vs. Strumming

Mark discusses how alternating between arpeggios and strummed chords can add contrast and flair to your music.

Taught by Mark Lincoln in Guitar Performance seriesLength: 15:02Difficulty: 2.0 of 5
Chapter 1: (03:23) Introduction
Review
1. Warm up the body.
2. Single note hum.
3. Three note hum.
4. Hum "me-me-me-me" to "mah-mah-mah-mah" to "me-ma-me-ma-me." Wake up the breath with "sah-sah-sah" etc. long and sustained then five times staccato.
5. "Sah" in five note descending scales, then five note ascending scales.
6. Work these scales faster and faster, then louder and louder.
Practice singing along with rhythms that we’ve been working on in the last few lessons. Practice singing single note hums first. Then, as you get more warmed up, sing a melody line that you think might work well with the chords.
Chapter 2: (05:10) Performance Oscillation
Revolving between picking chords on the guitar and strumming them can be an effective way of providing both contrast and beauty in any song. Picking (with a pick, or the fingers) can add a lighter and more delicate sound, while strumming can be more poignant and powerful. The combination of the two techniques can weave a very rich tapestry of both classic and harder rock sounds. Add in the subtleties of wailing vocals and you have a classic. Today, we’ll take a closer look at the fundamentals involved in a such an endeavor, and break them down into manageable pieces.

Today, we’ll use the following chords:

Am
E_0_
B_1_
G_2_
D_2_
A_0_
E_X_

G major
E_3_
B_0_
G_0_
D_0_
A_2_
E_3_

D major
E_2_
B_3_
G_2_
D_0_
A_X_
E_X_

C major
E_0_
B_1_
G_0_
D_2_
A_3_
E_X_

E minor
E_0_
B_0_
G_0_
D_2_
A_2_
E_0_

The Introduction of this song uses the Am, G and D chords and strums them lightly using only downstrokes. Refer to the tabs in the "Supplemental Content" for more on this.
Chapter 3: (01:34) Combining Vocals with Guitar Combining Vocals with Guitar Parts
Once you have the basic fundamentals of the song into place, the positioning of the arpeggios and the placement of rhythms in combination with strum patterns, you can begin to think of singing along with what you have wrought. In this case, the first lyrics are in sync with the Am chord and the addition of a D note. Subsequently, the D is added on the guitar and the vocal as well. This is an excellent technique to bring the guitar and vocal together. Watch me closely in the video for more on this.

Building
The song also has the elements of increasing tension and evolving emotion to its credit. It begins softly and progresses gradually to a more passionate and exclamatory feel. There is a definite change in the dynamic of the song that can effect the listener and evoke emotion.

Synthesis
This particular song also uses other techniques that make it both unique and beautiful. It combines strumming and picking within the rhythm of the song rather than just interchanging between introductions and verses as many songs do.
Chapter 4: (04:56) Manifestation and Interpretation Manifestation
Taking the emotion, interpreting the writers thoughts and feelings and setting them into vocal-motion can be the very heart of performing a particular piece of music. How can one feel what another has experienced? Isn’t the very heart and soul of performance based on the ability to empathize with the writer, the singer, the broken and the abandoned? Forgive me if I wax poetic but truly, the only way to synthesize elements of song, to mate vocal melody with heart-felt agony is to feel (or attempt to do so). One needs to get in touch with the feelings that are welling up inside of them and express them as eloquently and honestly as possible.

Interpretation
Of course, there is always the element of interpretation when it comes to singing another’s song. Your experiences will dictate the manner that you interpret another’s words, actions, and being. We all see through a lens that has been created by a lifetime of experiences - some painful, some joyful, others torturous. That lens will dictate how you feel when you experience a song and dictate how you express what you have interpreted.

Video Subtitles / Captions


Member Comments about this Lesson

Discussions with our instructors are just one of the many benefits of becoming a member of JamPlay.


gto3198gto3198 replied on December 15th, 2009

hi good lesson but there is some thing wrong with scene 4 it only loads up to 2.07 minutes then stops

mountmount replied on February 17th, 2009

nice job on the lesson, thanks Mark

Guitar Performance

Found in our Beginner Lesson Sets

Performing live or in a studio situation is a goal of many aspiring guitarists. Vocal training and the ability to sing and play at the same time are skills that will help in this endeavor.



Lesson 1

Introduction to Singing

Mark introduces you to the wonderful world of singing.

Length: 15:12 Difficulty: 0.5 Members Only
Lesson 2

Vocal Exercises

Mark Lincoln guides you through stretches and vocal exercises to warm up the voice.

Length: 23:12 Difficulty: 1.0 Members Only
Lesson 3

Vocal Vibrato

Mark continues to discuss vocal warm-ups and exercises. Then, he moves on to explain vibrato.

Length: 23:42 Difficulty: 1.5 Members Only
Lesson 4

Warming the Breath

Mark covers some singing terms and teaches an exercise that is used to "warm the breath."

Length: 19:10 Difficulty: 1.5 Members Only
Lesson 5

Singing and Guitar

Mark Lincoln talks more about vocal exercise and warm-up. Then, he moves on to discuss singing and playing at the same time.

Length: 26:12 Difficulty: 1.5 Members Only
Lesson 6

Singing Exercises

Mark Lincoln provides more singing exercises to practice while playing your guitar.

Length: 26:15 Difficulty: 2.0 Members Only
Lesson 7

Singing and Playing Revisited

Mark returns to singing and playing. Mark teaches proper form while singing and playing, cognitive exercises, and chord progression basics.

Length: 17:54 Difficulty: 2.0 Members Only
Lesson 8

Anatomy and Dynamics

Mark Lincoln discusses song dynamics and the anatomy of songs. He also explains more about singing and playing.

Length: 23:19 Difficulty: 2.0 Members Only
Lesson 9

Rhythm in Music

Mark Lincoln explains how rhythm is used in music.

Length: 15:16 Difficulty: 2.0 Members Only
Lesson 10

Technique Applied

Mark Lincoln applies singing and playing techniques to the Doors song "Riders on the Storm."

Length: 17:19 Difficulty: 2.0 Members Only
Lesson 11

Palm Muting and Separation

In lesson 11 of his performance series, Mark discusses the palm muting technique and how to separate your singing from your playing.

Length: 23:30 Difficulty: 2.5 Members Only
Lesson 12

Picking Vs. Strumming

Mark discusses how alternating between arpeggios and strummed chords can add contrast and flair to your music.

Length: 15:02 Difficulty: 2.0 Members Only
Lesson 13

Silence Is Golden

Mark discusses silence in music and how it can transform a piece. Additionally, he explains how to use silence effectively in your playing.

Length: 16:40 Difficulty: 1.5 Members Only
Lesson 14

Warm-up and Practice

In this lesson, Mark Lincoln talks more about warming up your voice and walks you through a few exercises that will aid this process.

Length: 16:14 Difficulty: 2.0 Members Only
Lesson 15

Preparations for Playing Live

Mark provides a lecture on items you should do and think about to become a proficient live player.

Length: 20:57 Difficulty: 1.0 Members Only
Lesson 16

Voice and Guitar

In this lesson, Mark delves into the concept of combining both your voice and guitar into one neat little package you can deliver to your listener.

Length: 21:47 Difficulty: 2.0 Members Only
Lesson 17

A Day in the Life

Mark Brings us Lesson 17 today to explain the preparation that goes into a performance. Mark tracks back up to 36 hours in advance, and shows us some routines to prepare for a great show.

Length: 19:09 Difficulty: 2.0 Members Only
Lesson 18

The Dynamics of a Song

In this lesson, Mark teaches all of the diverse parts to a song with regards to dynamics.

Length: 20:17 Difficulty: 2.0 Members Only
Lesson 19

Proper Breathing Routines

In this episode, Mark talks about proper breathing techniques and routines. He gives us eight points to work off of when singing and playing together.

Length: 23:34 Difficulty: 2.5 Members Only
Lesson 20

Play Along with Mark Lincoln

Mark Lincoln brings us a great play along opportunity. Mark provides lyrics as well as the chord progression for this play along. He also breaks down key elements such as palm muting, hammer-ons, bending,...

Length: 24:06 Difficulty: 3.0 Members Only
Lesson 21

Palm Muting Technique

Lesson 21 is a repeat of lesson 20's content only with a whole new set of chords and techniques. The"chords de jour" will be a little simpler than lesson 20's and will also include a much more in depth...

Length: 20:05 Difficulty: 2.0 Members Only

About Mark Lincoln View Full Biography Mark Lincoln was born in S. California but was raised near Portland Oregon in a town called Beaverton. When he was twelve years old, he began his journey into the realm of the creative by composing poetry and was later published in a journal called "In Dappled Sunlight." He wrote for four years until his older sister blessed him with his first guitar, an old beat-up nylon stringed classical guitar. Mark played that guitar for five years, continuing to compose his own lyrics and starting the process of matching his own words with chords that he was learning on the guitar. He learned to play chords from his friends and from music books that he both bought and borrowed. Mark cited his four biggest influences, at that point at least, as The Who, Led Zeppelin, Jethro Tull, The Rolling Stones.

Mark cites his most current influences as Radiohead, U2, older music by REM, and Peter Gabriel amongst others. He performs with two acoustic guitars, one being a six-string M-36 Martin with a three-pieced back for increased bass response, and a Guild Twelve-string which is his most recent acquisition. Mark is fond of saying that the twelve-string guitar is better because you get two guitars for the price of one, but he still plays his Martin equally as much and with the same passion.

Mark ended up in Fort Collins Colorado where he currently lives, works as a Marriage and Family Therapist, and continues to write, teach and perform music. He currently performs with a group called "Black Nelson" as well as with a number of other seasoned professional musicians including his cousin David, a virtuoso lead-guitar player. Mark has performed in many of the smaller venues in Denver and Boulder, as well as some of the larger ones including the Fox Theatre, The Boulder Theatre, Herman's Hideaway, and also at The Soiled Dove where he opened for Jefferson Starship as a soloist. Some of Mark's originals are also available for your listening pleasure on MySpace.

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