Now Playing: Using Dynamics in Your Guitar Strumming - Guitar Lessons from Taylor Guitars




Date: 1332353876

Duration: 00:04:15

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Have you ever been learning a new song or writing one of your own and thought to yourself "man... something is just missing from my playing"? Well, in this little article we are going to talk about dynamics and how using them in your playing can really bring some extra life and feeling to your strumming patterns and songs.

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[acoustic guitar playing] 0:00 – 0:09

Hey guys, I’m Nate Savage from and we are going to continue our journey learning about strumming with this video and we are going to talk about “Dynamics” in this video.

Now, have you ever just been learning a new song or writing a new song or just playing around with a song and thought to yourself, “Man, something is just missing from my playing, my strumming just is not what it could be. It’s a little bit still.” Well, what might be missing is some dynamics in your playing. I know a lot of us as guitar players can kind of just throw that out the window sometimes and it is really important to use dynamics in your playing.

My old music teacher in college used to say that music has its own natural spirit. It has its own natural evident flow and we have to follow and tap in to that to give our music shape. A lot of times, horn players will really shape their lines and we as guitars can really learn from those guys.

So, “how do you start using dynamics in your playing? How do you start thinking about it?” Well, the first thing is to just be aware that they are a tool for you to use to kick your creativity in your expression up a notch. So just be aware the dynamics is at your disposal.

The second way you can start using dynamics in your playing or start thinking about that, is to do this little exercise that I’m going to show you right now and it’s very, very simple exercise but it’s really, really effective.

All I’m going to do is, I’m going to take any chord I want. I’m going to use E chord. I’m going to start out just at a regular medium strumming volume. I’m going to come all the way down to as absolutely quiet of the strum as I can get, cruise there for a while, bring it back up to the medium strum and then kick in and just get as loud as I can until the guitar starts breaking apart you know and then come back down to a medium volume and what this is going to do is going to give you a good idea of the dynamic range of not only your personal guitar but also your strumming too. So here is what that exercise sounds like.

[Nate playing guitar] 2:00 – 2:26

So I encourage you to do this with your guitar, find out how loud and how soft it can get and what it’s going to do is, it’s not only going to let you know what the limitations of your instrument are but it will keep dynamics at the front of your mind when you go to play as a tool for being more creative and stuff like that.

Now the Expression System on Taylor Guitars is probably the most dynamic loud to soft pickup system that I’ve ever used and that’s really awesome, that’s really amazing. You should check that out. But what I‘m going to do is just play a chord progression, a simple chord progression putting no dynamics in it, no shaping at all and then I’m going to do the exact same thing, only, I’m going to put in some shapes, some [indistinct] flow and you can check out what those dynamics sound like, it’s a lot more expressive.

Here you go.

[Nate playing guitar] 3:09 – 3:50

So for the next few weeks or months, just be aware that dynamics is just a tool for you to use in your playing to make it more expressive and just better in general.

Now in the next lesson, we’re going to move away from these general ideas and we’re going to teach you some technique things that are pretty cool. We’re going to look at some fast 30 second note triplet strumming.

See you there guys.

[acoustic guitar playing]

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