Cyberfret.com Online Guitar Lessons
     

Home > Guitar Ear Training

Free Download - 17 Essential Strum Patterns PDF


Learning Guitar Music By Ear
By Shawn Bradshaw

When choosing a song to learn by ear, start with a simple song in which the chords change slowly. The chords should be power chords, major and minor bar chords, or basic open position chords with the bass player playing the basic root (letter name) of the chord.

As a start here are some examples to figure out. Go through the following steps to learn these examples.

 

 

Example #1
play real audio
(179k)
get realplayer

(hint: power chords)

 

Example #2
play real audio
(121k)
get realplayer

(hint: basic open position chords)

Example #3
play real audio
(151k)
get realplayer

(hint: basic open position chords)

 

Example #4
play real audio
(131k)
get realplayer

(hint: barre chords)

  • Listen to the 1st chord. rule #1 - never play while listening. (You may hear what you are playing and not what's on the recording. Later after you have decided on a chord you may want to play along with the recording as another way to double check yourself.
  • Find the root note of the 1st chord. If you have no idea where to start, play the open 6th string and try out all of the notes on the 6th string up to the 11th fret. This will cover all of the possibilities. Listen to the bass player to help find which note is the root of the chord. In a simple song the bass player will mostly play root notes an octave lower than the guitar. At first listen to all of the possibilities, the right one should stand out. If not try again. Try to hear if the note you are looking for is higher or lower than the note you are playing, and move up or down accordingly.
  • Once you have found the root, find what type of chord is being played. Hopefully the first songs that you attempt will have only major, minor, or power chords in them. An over simplification of how chord qualities sound is as follows:
major chord = happy sound
minor chord = sad sound
power chords = indifferent sound

You can have major chords in sad songs and minor chords in happy songs. It is the feel of the individual chord and not the feel of the song. To help in making this decision you should play the note that is different between the major and minor chord with the recording (there is only one). The wrong answer should stick out because it will clash against the the right chord. If both sound OK then it might be a power chord.

guitar chord chart The blue note is the note in the Am (minor) chord, and the red is the note in the A (major).
  • The next step is to listen to whether the 2nd chord is higher or lower then the 1st chord. At this point you have a couple of different ways of finding the next chord. You can use the method that you used to find the 1st chord, or you could try the following. Play the root note of the 1st chord followed by a bass note in the direction of the 2nd chord (up or down in sound). In this way your ear will hear the relationship between the 2 notes. Again the right answer should stick out, but it does take some time to get quick at this so be patient. Once you have made a choice, try playing your 2 roots along with the recording to double check yourself. If they are right then find the quality of the 2nd chord (major, minor, etc.)
  • Use the same techniques to figure out the rest of the chords in the song. Try to hear if the song returns to a chord that you have already played. In a simple song there is usually between 2 to 6 chords. Songs always keep returning to the same chords, in the same order as before or mixed up.


17 Essential Strum Patterns PDF - Free Download








Guitar Courses

Rhythm Guitar Mastery
How to strum guitar like a pro, master rhythms, and build your vocabulary of essential chords

17 Essential Strum Patterns
Learn 17 Strums, 8 Bonus Songs + Chord Book

60s Rock Strumming Songs
Learn how to play 18 classic 60s rock tunes

70s Rock Strumming Songs
Learn how to play 20 classic 70s rock tunes

80s Rock Strumming Songs
Learn how to play 20 classic 80s rock tunes

90s Rock Strumming Songs
Learn how to play 20 classic 90s rock tunes

Modern Country Strumming Songs
Learn how to play 16 modern country songs

Guitar Lick Factory
A system for creating rock & blues guitar licks
   



Web Analytics