Explore 3/4 Time
Many traditional classics (â€śGreensleevesâ€ť), pop songs (James Taylorâ€™s â€śSweet Baby Jamesâ€ť), and standards share the time signature of 3/4, which is characterized by one strong beat followed by two weaker beats. Having a collection of strums and picking patterns ready to play in 3/4 is an essential skill for guitarists of all stripes.
John Mayer plays something similar to Example 4 in his song â€śDaughters.â€ť To stress the meter, create an accent on the first beat by lightening your attack on the chords that fall after it. Example 5 shows a different pattern that could fit as an alternative to the strummy pattern in Example 4.
When youâ€™re comfortable strumming simple patterns, bring them to life by adding some movement in the bass. Example 6 captures a nice â€śMr. Bojanglesâ€ť groove with a bass line that descends on the first beats of measures 1â€“3 and ascends in measure 4. Example 7 shows a jazzier version of this technique with different chords.
Excerpted from Acoustic Guitar U
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