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In this lesson we look at strumming the guitar.

In the first pattern we use straight down strokes, over a 4/4 time count. Follow the pattern below.

strumming patterns1

Down strokes are indicated symbol that looks like a upside “U”. upstrokes are indicated by a “V”

In the video I play this pattern using a simple E chord.

Make sure that the strumming arm stays relaxed and that the pick stays at a 90 degree angle to the strings.

Keep a even count as you strum down. If you have a metronome use this to aid in keeping time.

I would set the metronome at a temp of around 90 bpm.

In pattern 2 we introduce a up stroke.

strumming patterns2

To play a eight note count you ad the word and after each count so it would be

One, and Two, and, Three, and Four, and

When we do a up stroke you don’t have to strum all the strings in fact I normally only strum the top 3 or 4 strings.

Make sure your strumming action is even and the arm stays relaxed.


In Pattern 3 we will combine quarter and eight note counts

strumming patterns3

In this example we strum down on the 1 count and down and up on the 2 down on 3 and up and down on the four.

In Pattern 4 we change the order round.

strumming patterns4

Now we strum down and up on the One down on the two up and down on the 3 and down on the Four


In pattern 5 we introduce a mute on the 2 and four count

strumming patterns5

Strum down on the one then mute all the strings on the two the up on the and of Two and down on the 3 Three then mute again on the Four.

Watch the video to see how to execute the mute stroke.

Practice each strumming pattern slowly then start to increase the tempo. You can also introduce changing chords as you strum through each bar.

In Part 2 we will look as some more patterns then you will find slightly more challenging.

You can find out more by visiting the Skype Guitar Lessons Online Website