Hey guys
would it be a fair assumption that when working out strum patterns the downstrums are always on the beat and the up strums on the offbeats?

for example

1 and 2 and 3 and 4 and

Down strums would only be on the 1,2,3,4 /
Up strums on the ands

and if not?

are there any hard and fast rules which can help figuring out the strum patterns

For basic strum patterns, that's what people tend to do, yes. I would suggest practicing like that before trying to do anything different.
well, that's a good basis, but a lot of the time it won't be that way. That's more of a feel thing to me, it just depends on the song. If you're playing a cover you should be able to tell by listening to it. the down stroke will generally sound like its on the beat even if its not.

honestly I just feel it out. it is something you get better with with practice, it's just kinda difficult to lay down laws for it.

edit: yea, like he said it would be a good idea to stick to that until you get it down
Last edited by The4thHorsemen at Sep 20, 2009,
for simple patterns, if you throw syncopation and more complex rhythms in there then it becomes more something you just need to feel out and not try to stick to some formula
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In reggae, where the strum is frequently on the upbeat, it's often played with a downstroke.
you are correct. it comes from your strumming hand not ever stopping moving.
if your hand is going in a steady motion, you should generally keep it either on the up or down beat. this you can choose dpending on what kind of sound you want.

yes, it will be one or the other. In most styles of music hand should not stop moving in the some coninuous way. instead use your fretting hand to push or mute the strings, or just use your struming arm to pull your strumming hand away from the strings.