I've been around music and specifically guitar my whole life. I've just started plying seriously and I'm so frustrated with strumming. I know that it's all about practice, but how long will it take me? I practice evreyday for at least an hour. A couple of months? A year? I just want to strum well.
There is no correct answer for that...Strumming is about the feeling of the song. If you have a good sense of rhythm and can find the groove easily, it shouldn't take you too long to become a decent strummer.
Believe me, strumming's the easy part.

Anyway, I guess you just have to toughen it out man. Everyone goes through this. I didn't really time myself on how long before I started to strum right, it just comes. Don't worry though, once you get it, it's harder to forget about it.


There is no set formula for how long it will take you to master strumming. The best thing you can do is, listen to your favorite song and try to pick out the strumming. Try to get a feel for how it's being played.

Is it a rock song with a driving beat? Chances are, it's all down strokes. Is it a gentle ballad? Probably some strumming pattern involving up and down strokes.

I can remember having a hard time with this, too. My instructor would have me play and I can remember not knowing what to do, because I didn't know the strum pattern and what I played sounded totally unlike the song I was copying.

I'd strongly urge you to find a website with some strumming exercises. Use them. Practice them. Make them a part of your practice routine. The same website should suggest some songs to practice on. Use the practice songs and you'll soon be "feeling" the strum pattern and instinctively know what to play. It just takes time... and practice.
I certainly remember the frustration of starting guitar and having difficulty strumming. In my experience there were a few tips which seemed to help improve my strumming ability (and overall rhythm) at the same time.

First, what makes strumming hard is that you need to be good at two challenging skills simultaneously- the mechanical strumming motion as well as keeping good musical rhythm. To practice good strumming try to first only strum in one direction, downward strum patters. While doing this remember to tap your foot to help stay in rhythm with the beat. Also keep your shoulder stationary and try to pivot your elbow downward in a controlled way. Try to apply even strumming to all of the strings.

Over time you need to mix up the strumming patterns in order to increase your skills. Try a down, up, down, up pattern next. There are many books dedicated to just strumming patterns.

Another thing that really helped me was just learning to play along with music that I like. First figure out the chords to a song and try to play along to the recording. Make sure to start out playing slower material. Don't forget to tap your foot along with the music!

I hope this helps!
Thank you all so much. My dad's been playing for so long it's like he forgot how hard it was to learn to strum. I feel better that I'm not alone!!!
Quote by rick@ninebuzz
Don't forget to tap your foot along with the music!

I hope this helps!

What!?!?! You gotta tap your foot, too? lol

I can remember that being another problem area. Trying to tap your foot to the beat, strum AND change chords was just too much.

And then my wife would say "You need to sing!" I tried it and quickly found that I couldn't. It took a lot of practice before I could sing and play at the same time. Now, singing, tapping, strumming and changing aren't a problem at all.

Keep at it and you'll get there.
Is there a web site I can go to and get some strum patterns for country music .Iam just learning the guitar .Iam 54 years old and have always wanted to play but for one reason or another I just never took that first step.Well I bought my first acoustic guitar in July. I have self taught myself the four main chords .G C D E can someone give me some advice
Don't dedicate an hour or more just to strumming. You can do that in warm up for about 10 - 15 minutes everyday. In some time strumming will become clear. Just do it day by day. Maybe it will take you to learn in month or in 6. Who knows