One of the key ingredients to learning acoustic guitar with Guitar in a Nutshell is our use of drum tracks to frame the strums so that you can learn them in a solid and very clear musical context. This will help you to master strumming much faster and in a totally realistic way, exactly the same as you’ll be required to do when you play songs a little further down the road. Strums mean nothing unless you put them into context and through practicing guitar with drum tracks you’ll do exactly that.
We prefer to use real drum loops over a metronome as listening to a single click rather than a full beat can be tiresome and boring after a while. Not only that but a full drum loop will give you more rhythmical references to help you stay in time. For example in a drum loop you have the hi hats, snare and kick drum all providing you with constant reference points with which to stay in time, with a metronome it’s a little harder as you are given just a single repeating click and nothing more.
Practicing guitar with drum tracks will also help your chords enormously but you have to know how to use the tracks properly in order to extract the maximum benefit. We start by selecting a simple two chord progression and then a slow drum progression with which to cycle the chords back and forth. Once you feel comfortable and are able to change between them in time you go onto a faster drum loop and repeat the process. This practice technique forms a perfectly even ladder with which you can follow and gradually get faster and faster in your ability to change chords.
The drum tracks force you to ‘make the change’ in time and this will significantly improve the rate at which you master changing chords. Should you not do this and instead give yourself all the time in the world to change from chord to chord as you practice, you will improve at a much slower rate. The idea is to use the drum tracks intelligently to create just the right amount of pressure. The right amount of pressure is when you find the tempo challenging but not impossible.
All the loops you see and hear on the beginners level DVD are included in the Practice Module on the website in MP3 format. They will play directly off the site if you click on them however it’s more convenient to download them to your hard disk and then play them from an MP3 player as you’ll be able to access and change the tempos more quickly. We regard this use of drum tracks as absolutely crucial to learning guitar quickly and it is a centre pin of the Guitar in a Nutshell technique so be sure to use them!
On the DVD guitar lessons you’ll be shown exactly how to best utilize them and the steps you should follow in your own practice at home. By repeating the examples given and using the practice chord progression charts you’ll also find in the Practice Module you’ll have a great platform from which to practice. The drum tracks are in even tempos increments from 50 to 150 beats per minute.