Lesson 5: Doing the Percussive Slap...without a pick

Discussion in 'Strumming And Rhythm Mastery Questions And Comment' started by WolfMule, Dec 27, 2018.

  1. WolfMule

    WolfMule Blues Newbie

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    So I have been working on Lesson 5 of SARM for the last few weeks. I rarely play with a pick though and am having some difficulty making the percussive sound loud enough.

    When I normally strum, I have my thumb and pointer finger at a 90 degree angle from each other (basically like I am hold an invisible pick). I down-strum with the end of my pointer finger. I up-strum with the fingernail side of the thumb.

    I have tried two methods of making this sound correct:
    1) Palm muting with the meaty part of my palm in conjunction with raking the top of my pointer finger across the strings.
    2) Same palm muting style, but using all 4 of my non-thumb fingers to slap the top of the strings to get the snare drum feel.

    Option 1 allows me to stay in time better it feels like, but option 2 is louder and clearer.

    I am very much a beginner guitar player, so I appreciate any recommendations on a better way to do this (without using a pick of course)?

    ~Wolfie
     
  2. matonanjin

    matonanjin Chubby, old guy trying to play some blues.

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    Wolfie,
    I'm really disappointed to see that no one responded or helped you on this. My experience here has been this forum is usually a helpful bunch. What did you figure out on this?

    Just a bump to see what you figured out or if some one will help.
     
  3. Rick23

    Rick23 Blues Newbie

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    Don't know how much help I can be, but I've been working this course on and off for about a year now, and the percussive slap is one of the hardest things to learn that I have come across. I work on lesson 5 til I get frustrated, then go on to the next few lessons for a while, then come back to 5 again. I play with a pick, but I think the palm mute and rake works best, and it does start to sound better with practice. At first, the slap and the strums sounded like all slaps, then everything sounded like strumming, but when you stay in time, it does get better. Probably sounds like a broken record around here, but slow it way down and count it out. I took the tab and wrote the count over the top of the notation, and put an x under the slap beats. Play it as slow as you can, in time, then speed up when you are able. Progress came slow but steady for me, I hope some day it will actually get comfortable. Good luck!
     
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  4. Rick23

    Rick23 Blues Newbie

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    And just to add a little, when I rake with the pick, I drag it, leading with the nail on my index finger, so its kind of similar to what you describe without a pick.
     
  5. matonanjin

    matonanjin Chubby, old guy trying to play some blues.

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    You have no idea how you just made my day. :Beer: I didn't think that it should be that hard. I have stalled out at 5-3 slow. I'm about ready to go to the fast version. But I've been here a few weeks.
    Thanks for posting.
     
  6. MikeS

    MikeS Allen, TX
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    I just took a look at ti and I just followed Griff's instructions.
    Strum on 1 & then make your picking hand palm hit the strings before the pick on 2
    Strum on 3 & then make your picking hand palm hit the strings before the pick on 4

    I didn't look further than the first example, but I think you just have to keep at it. I also found that it was easier for me if I used a pick. Probably because I almost always use a pick.
     
  7. Rick23

    Rick23 Blues Newbie

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    One other thing that I find that helps me with Lesson 5 is memorize and learn to play the progression with standard strumming first. Once I have that down so I can play it in time, then I start to incorporate the percussive elements. Seems to help me to break it into compartments. If I am learning the whole thing at once, I get all messed up.
     
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  8. matonanjin

    matonanjin Chubby, old guy trying to play some blues.

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    ^^^^ This seems like a very logical plan. Thanks!
     
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  9. WolfMule

    WolfMule Blues Newbie

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    Thanks for the replies on this post. I got stuck a few months ago on Lesson 5 and am just now coming back and trying again. I am going to do a few weeks of review of the earlier lessons and get back on 5. I never did get this completely down, but I got better at it over the course of about a month last time. Hopefully 2nd time is the charm.
     
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  10. LeftyJohn

    LeftyJohn West Wiltshire/Exeter, UK

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    Hi Guys just got to this section too - how are you all getting on a few months down the line?

    Regards, John
     
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  11. matonanjin

    matonanjin Chubby, old guy trying to play some blues.

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    John, thanks for resuscitating the thread. I'm curious as well how others are doing here. I should have updated. I finished up 5 some weeks ago and am now on 6. I'm on 6.1 and there is a chord change, D - Bm (barre), that is killing me:mad:. But that is a whole new thread!:rolleyes:
     
  12. LeftyJohn

    LeftyJohn West Wiltshire/Exeter, UK

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    Ah yes that Bm is a challenge to change to isn't it! I've just started 6.1 today too - I thought I'd do 6 in parallel to 5 given 5 looks quite long and challenging!

    I've found it useful to follow Justin Sandercoe's 'One Minute Changes' exercise several times per day in order to get such changes under my fingers in the past. I'll be doing it several times per day now for the pairs D/Bm and G/Bm :)
     
  13. Walt H

    Walt H cloudbase - Aint got time for gravity

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    Bumping up this thread cuz - well...this course is Awesome.

    I am getting quite deep into it. Putting on the finishing touches on lesson 13.

    Had a friend roll by a few days ago. We have never played together. He has been playing for around 7 years with quite a bit of private instruction. I have been playing for significantly less. I was doing the percussive move from lesson 5 on a few different strum patterns - and he was blown away. I kind of laughed and shook it off. But we kept on circling back to it. The point is this one simple move is worth the price of admission imo. Thats the good news. The great news is this course is loaded with equally awesome nuggets that really round out your guitar playing as a whole.

    It takes a while to get the percussive move and it is simply a function of repetitions (not unlike barre chords). But once u got it, you forget about the pain and suffering it took to get there.
     
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  14. WolfMule

    WolfMule Blues Newbie

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    I will try to record a video of how I am now doing this. I am not great, but have gotten better. I am basically hitting the strings with the top of my fingernails on index, middle, & ring fingers in a downward motion. Basically all 3 fingers come in downward at an angle and are all three over the top of the strings before I hit them at an angle.
     
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  15. WolfMule

    WolfMule Blues Newbie

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    Here is my attempt at Example 5-4.
     
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  16. matonanjin

    matonanjin Chubby, old guy trying to play some blues.

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    As is always my Modus operandi, I got distracted. I was working this daily then Squirrel! decided to try a certain licks course. Then I decided to concentrate more on the songs Squirrel! for my weekly jam with a couple guys. Then I........well you know. And I haven't looked at this for weeks now. I'm currently working on a blues version of Jingle Bells for fun and the holidays. And I just bought a holiday songs package from TrueFire. I think I'll just admit temporary defeat and plan to go back at this with a vengeance after the holidays.
     
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  17. MikeS

    MikeS Allen, TX
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    Nicely done.