13. Strumming Symmetry

 A tie is a music symbol that indicates 2 notes played together, with only the first one sounded. In other words, the first note is played and held for the duration of itself and the note it is tied to.



The half note is tied to the eighth note, so the total length is the half note plus the eighth note, but the eighth note is not played. When strumming the guitar, the right hand up and down strokes are affected to maintain symmetry. In the measure below, the 4th eighth note (&) is tied to the 5th one (3), so when counting the measure, we say “one and two and (pause) and four and”, not saying “three”, but pausing to fill the time created by the tie. This “silence” is, of course, is the first note of the tie being held through the count of “three”.  In the same way we do not say “three”, also DO NOT PLAY the corresponding downstroke,  instead simply “whiff”, that is, execute the stroke but do not contact the strings.

Here it is played, with em chord:


 Here is another. The “four” is not said, and the corresponding downstroke is not played.

Played, with am chord:


 Play these and the others on the practice page, until you can mix them easily from measure to measure.


©2012  Jim Greenfield