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8th Notes & Upstrokes

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Now it's time to introduce a new right hand move that you'll be using for the rest of your guitar playing adventure.

In the previous lesson we played the 8th notes with all downstrokes. Now it's time to try playing the quarter notes (the 1 2 3 4's) with our usual downstrokes and the 8th notes (the 'ands') with upstrokes.

The first time you try this it's quite possible, that this ends up sounding poorly. Remember how we slanted the pick to get it to glide across the strings more easily? That's what we have to reverse now, so our pick slants the opposite way when we go towards the ceiling.

The good news is that this tends to happen very naturally if you keep your wrist loose, like you're shaking water off your hand. That's kind of the motion we're after! That way you get less of the motion coming from the elbow, and more of it coming from rotating your forearm as if you're turning a key in a lock. And then with your wrist dangling there at the end!

Let's try this with our E minor chord. And this is one of the rare times, where it can sometimes be easier to do it a little faster.

Ideally the upstroke should feel as comfortable as the downstroke, but it may take some time to figure out how to loosen up your wrist and stop strumming from the elbow.

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8th Notes & Upstrokes