Aug 08 2015
Strumming Patterns For Guitar
Posted in: Guitar Basics
Strumming is prevalent in almost every style of guitar playing. In this lesson, we will cover some basic strumming patterns that are used in countless songs in all genres.
Strumming with a pick is most commonly used on steel-string acoustic or electric guitars. The sound will be “firmer” and will project more easily than strumming with the fingers or thumb. You can improve the quality of strumming by following these playing tips:
The figure below is an explanation on how each strumming pattern should be read. An audio example(playing a G chord) will also be provided to help aid in getting the “feel” of each strumming pattern.
Use this basic quarter note strum when you want a strong beat without getting too busy.
This is a simple down/up eighth note strumming pattern.
This pattern is probably the most frequently used four beat strum. Emphasize the first beat slightly more than the rest.
This next pattern is particularly good when the chord changes on beat three of the measure. An option would be to play a bass note on beats one and three.
This strumming pattern works best if you pick a single bass note on beat one then strum the rest of the measure
Here’s a strum that works very well when the chords change on beats four and one. Accent these beats.
This syncopated strumming pattern is used quite often in classic rock tunes.
A syncopated strum that works well when you have to change chords on beats four and one.
One of the most commonly used syncopated strumming patterns in music.
A variation of another syncopated strumming pattern.
The muted strum is indicated with an “x” instead of a note head, and with an “m” over the top. Play this sound by touching either the outer edge of your palm or the side of your thumb on the strings.
Notice that the mute comes on beats two and four just like the drummer plays the high-hat on these same beats. This muted strumming pattern works well for rock and country.
A muted syncopated strumming pattern.
A variation from the above pattern.
You can interchange any of the last three strumming patterns because they are all based on the same subdivision. When you have the feel of these patterns, try playing the first and third beats as bass notes.