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

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

  1. Wolfie

    Wolfie Guitar is like chess...I am not very good at chess

    Joined:
    Sep 15, 2018
    Messages:
    2
    Likes Received:
    1
    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.

    Joined:
    May 27, 2015
    Messages:
    443
    Likes Received:
    361
    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

    Joined:
    Oct 31, 2013
    Messages:
    60
    Likes Received:
    62
    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!
     
    Wolfie likes this.
  4. Rick23

    Rick23 Blues Newbie

    Joined:
    Oct 31, 2013
    Messages:
    60
    Likes Received:
    62
    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.

    Joined:
    May 27, 2015
    Messages:
    443
    Likes Received:
    361
    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 Moderator... Another Man In Black.
    Staff Member

    Joined:
    Apr 29, 2009
    Messages:
    3,471
    Likes Received:
    2,433
    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

    Joined:
    Oct 31, 2013
    Messages:
    60
    Likes Received:
    62
    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.
     
    Wolfie and Jalapeno like this.
  8. matonanjin

    matonanjin Chubby, old guy trying to play some blues.

    Joined:
    May 27, 2015
    Messages:
    443
    Likes Received:
    361
    ^^^^ This seems like a very logical plan. Thanks!
     
    Jalapeno likes this.
  9. Wolfie

    Wolfie Guitar is like chess...I am not very good at chess

    Joined:
    Sep 15, 2018
    Messages:
    2
    Likes Received:
    1
    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.
     
    steve o likes this.
  10. LeftyJohn

    LeftyJohn West Wiltshire/Exeter, UK

    Joined:
    Mar 27, 2019
    Messages:
    104
    Likes Received:
    68
    Hi Guys just got to this section too - how are you all getting on a few months down the line?

    Regards, John
     
    matonanjin likes this.
  11. matonanjin

    matonanjin Chubby, old guy trying to play some blues.

    Joined:
    May 27, 2015
    Messages:
    443
    Likes Received:
    361
    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

    Joined:
    Mar 27, 2019
    Messages:
    104
    Likes Received:
    68
    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 :)