Originally Posted by: harlandcoxBut when I add a beat or strum chords it sounds like a bunch of cats on a railway.[/quote]
I think you've just discovered that recording yourself is the best way to objectively assess your current skills. :)
Playing smoothly in time with other musicians or a steady beat is a skill like any other that has to be learned through repetition & refinement.
[QUOTE=harlandcox]... any tips on making my strumming sound better.
First start with a metronome. Record yourself playing against a simple metronome click or a simple drum beat. Try to stay in simple rhythmic patterns. Quarter notes, eighth notes. Listen to the results & assess where you are having troubles.
Problems starting exactly on time? Does your strumming jump ahead of the beat? Lag behind the beat so you can't get to the next measure or chord change on time?
Work explicitly, intentionally on correcting the errors you are making.
If necessary, slow down the beat. Simplify the rhythms until you are playing smoothly in time. Only after you've accomplished that do you gradually add complexity to your rhythmic playing.
Older players (like me :p ) learned to play in time by playing along with other musicians for hours & hours on end. So, there's that option also. But again, until we recorded ourselves & heard the results, some times we thought we are awesome! :) Only after hearing the tape playback did we realize we still had work to do. :eek:
So, practice! Simplify & build slowly. Repeat & refine!
Hope this helps!
Guitar Tricks InstructorChristopher Schlegel Lesson Directory