Hi alanmac872 and welcome to chordie!
Playing in a waltz style is tricky at first, but you will get it with some happy feet effort. Waltz time is dancing music. Try this approach:
At first, just strum the downbeat; Dum 2 3 Dum 2 3 and so on. Get this going in your head and arms and hips and feet - I find it helpful to be standing and swaying gracefully (although some would call it lurching about).
Once you have that triple feel going, try this:
Do a quick strum on the upbeat of 3; daDum 2 3daDum 2 3daDum and so on.
Another idea is to try a 6/8 waltz time. This is a pair of triplets and the rhythm sounds like:
"Apricots Oranges Apricots Oranges Apricot Oranges . . . . . ."
The 'A' of Apricots gets a most emphasis and the 'O' of oranges gets a lighter feel.
A good practice tune is 'Amazing Grace'. It is actually in 3/4 time (although many performers seem to make it a march in 4/4).
Here is a songbook I put together of waltz tunes:
In 3 Waltz Gems
http://www.chordie.com/publicbooks.php? … songid=816
I love waltz songs - keep at it, relax, and let the feel flow.
4/4 tends to be heavy & tromping - 3/4 is more graceful and tippytoe-ish.
Hope this helps,
"That darn Pythagorean Comma thing keeps messing me up!"http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pythagorean_comma