How to Strum Without a Guitar Pick (Beginner Lesson)

by IanM on October 7, 2011

In this video I talk about how to strum without a guitar pick. If you are beginner make sure you watch this video! Sometimes when you’re out and about, you don’t always have your pick with you so knowing how to strum without one is an important thing to know ~ word!

{ 7 comments… read them below or add one }

tom December 8, 2011 at 2:09 pm

are you a malaysian? cause you really sound like one


tee March 17, 2012 at 12:56 am

hi Ian
as an absolute beginner, is it better to use nylon or metal srings.

Also I am left-handed. Should I play as a right handed does or should I turn the guitar upside down? What do you advise me to do?


IanM March 17, 2012 at 12:37 pm

Hi there =), well for your first question, if you haven’t bought a guitar yet, I recommend you start with a classical guitar with nylon strings. It will be less painful for your fingers when you start learning to press chords. Classical guitars tend to have a wider neck, which means your fingers may have to stretch more.

That said, metal string guitars which are normally just called acoustic guitars have thinner necks, but the strings are harder to press, which can be a cause of some grief for beginners. Acoustic guitars tend to have either copper or steel strings. Copper strings from my experience tend to be thicker and stiffer than steel strings, so if you insist on starting on metal strings, or if you already have an acoustic guitar, then get lower gauge steel strings to start practicing on. They won’t sound as good as if u were strumming on heavier gauge copper strings, but they will be easier to press a you are starting out and learning the basics. Lower gauge basically means thinner, and I recommend you talk to the guitar guy at the store for advice about getting strings or a guitar which will hurt your fingers the least.

Ok, and for your second question, if you can learn to play as a right handed does, it would be advantageous to you in the long run because most guitars you come across will be stringed for right handed people. If you play a left handed guitar, the guitar is flipped around, and so are the strings. This might be easier for you as a left handed person, but it will be difficult for you to go anywhere and just pick up someone else’s guitar and start playing.

Hope that clarifies your questions, if not feel free to contact me again :).


carl March 26, 2013 at 1:32 pm

hello it really help me sometime i do difficulties like you like in the strumming without a pick the i will use the tips you gave thank you so much i learn a lot in you lesson thanks..:)


Misha October 9, 2014 at 11:51 am

I just want to thank you from the bottom of my heart for your lessons. I can’t afford guitar lessons and you are helping me so much. I have always struggled with strumming and this lesson was a break through. I will hopefully get the hang of going upwards to.


Vinay December 25, 2014 at 8:03 am

Hey! You’re videos are reall helping me :) I have a song request You belong to me by Jason Wade


Rob December 23, 2015 at 7:43 am

Your site and videos are a real eye opener for me.
So helpfull, thanks a lot.


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