Strumming Live with a Virtual Guitar

By November 16, 2018 Audio, Music, Software


Are you looking for a virtual guitar that you can play live? Working in this way may sound like a simple request, but in our world of midi events and fixed timing, many plugins offer you little more than preset strumming patterns.

Don’t get me wrong. These are incredibly handy when building up a song, and you lack a decent rhythm guitarist. Sometimes though, it’s nice to be able to play live. A fixed sequence gives you no flexibility. Performing live is often about ‘jamming’ and playing what feels right at the time. Changing the style and sounds as you move along and work with other musicians. Nothing can beat the feeling when you get that right!

Martin D-41 Acoustic Guitar


Today I’m with the Amplesound Martin D-41 virtual guitar VST plugin. I’m working on strumming the chords for ‘Faith of the Heart’ which is an old Rod Stewart song that was re-created by Russell Watson (in a similarly gritty style) for Star Trek Enterprise. Why did they cancel it just when it had found its feet! Anyway, that’s a subject for another video or post.

  1. How the main strumming features work (not including the sequencer)
  2. How strumming features are laid out on the keyboard.
  3. What to focus on and tips for making chord changes easier.
  4. A demonstration of the song and how easy it is to change up the style on the fly
  5. How to help your playing sound like a real guitar rather than a virtual guitar plugin.
Strumming Live with Virtual Guitar


The guitar? Absolutely. It’s a professional level recording of the real thing. The performance? No. If you’re an excellent guitarist, your performance will hopefully be better and more natural. It’s bloody close though and, with practice, this type of virtual playing can be incredibly realistic. Although my rendition here is far from perfect (I was filming at the same time, so I have an excuse, right?), I hope it gives you an idea as to the potential.


Simple. You have a multi-thousand-pound guitar, recorded beautifully. There are no microphone setup issues and inconsistencies. You can play on any midi device (though a full-size keyboard helps) but more importantly, you can play on the same midi device that you were using for drums, synth, piano, trumpet or strings only minutes earlier.


I bought this plugin and Amplesound have not asked or paid me to make this video. All opinions are my own. If I am sent a product or software, I will make this clear at the start of a video.

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