Getting Started with Strumming Patterns


This mini guitar lesson will introduce you to an easy and unique method of understanding simple strumming rhythms on the guitar.

Down & Up Strokes

First, here is the notation for down and up strokes:

Notation for down and up strokes

Start Simple

Start with a simple strumming pattern for you. It could just be 4 down-strokes per bar to start with:

Simple rhythm using down strokes

Add in the Up Strokes

Be sure to keep each strum consistently the same length. Then add the up-strokes in between your down-strokes to produce 8 strums per bar. You should now be strumming twice as fast as before.

Simple rhythm using down and up strokes

...Miss Out Some Strums

The next step is to purposefully miss out some of the strums from each bar. For example, from your 8 strums per bar, try missing out the 2nd and 6th strums (both up-strokes) and you will produce a common rhythm that could be described (strumming-wise) as:


Slightly more complex rhythm using down and up strokes

Try experimenting with this idea to create your own rhythms.


If you're in Leeds, I can help you to quickly and easily overcome the challenges of strumming on the guitar. My private one-one lessons will go into much more detail than this, and are completely tailored to suit you.

Contact me to book a lesson, or take a look at some of the other topics we'll cover.

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