Hi there,

In this blog and video we’re going to look at how to look at adding dead notes/chords to your patterns. What this does is add another dynamic element to your rhythm playing and can sound fantastic when used properly.

Dead notes are marked with an x symbol and are played by releasing pressure on your fretting hand so it produces a muted sound. In one of our earlier blogs we looked at a classic one bar strumming pattern:

Now instead of the tie on the first half of beat 3 let’s just put a dead chord there:

As you can see this already sounds slightly different and can vary your original pattern a bit as and when you want to.
Here’s another example of a quaver pattern with 2 dead chords:

Your strumming hand is simply going Down, up throughout the bar but on the start of beat 2 and 3 you release pressure from your fretting hand.

As well as quaver strumming patterns we can do the same with semiquaver patterns. Blog 4 + 5 will show you how to strum and count these. Here’s an example of a 16th note pattern with dead notes:

You count this as 1, 2 +a, 3e+a, 4 +a   (3 and the + are dead chords)

As you can hear from the example on the video, these can sound great and really add a new, exciting element to your rhythm playing. Play around with these patterns with different chord progressions!

Many thanks for reading


James Schofield

Twitter: @jsmusicschool
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