Basic Strumming Pattern #1

One of the best ways to make chords and songs sound better is to add in different strumming patterns. The strumming pattern is the rhythm of the chords you are playing, and there are many different strumming patterns that are commonly played.



The strumming pattern I will show you today is probably the most commonly used strumming pattern in guitar music, so it is a good idea to master it!


Two beginner songs that feature this exact strum exactly are:

Green Day’s “Good Riddance” and Van Morrison’s “Brown Eyed Girl”


Strumming 8th Notes

This strumming pattern uses some basic rules of strumming. When you strum, strike the strings both down and up (going towards the floor, and then away from the floor). The basic rhythm of this strum is called 8th notes. When we play 8th notes, we count them like this:


1 and 2 and 3 and 4 and 1 and 2 and 3 and 4 and 1 and 2 and…


Notice how after I got to the number 4, I restarted at the number 1.


This is how you count when you strum Down and up (every down strum will be on a number, and every up will be during the word “and”).


Adding in the “Miss”

To make our strumming pattern sound more interesting, we will introduce the idea of “missing” the strings on purpose. When you miss the strings on purpose, still keep your arm moving in the direction (either down or up). Don’t pause your arm for any reason!


The Strum Pattern 

To play this strum pattern, we use this combination of strums and misses:

Down/(miss)- Down/up- (miss)/up- Down(miss)

1           and         2        and   3         and   4         and


Say this out loud when you try to play the pattern. Here is a video of me demonstrating this:

Strumming Pattern


Good luck on this strumming pattern! It will be very useful to playing your favorite songs, I promise!

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