Hi all. I been playing guitar for a few months now. I can find and play the chords no problem but im trying to learn strumming and having a bit of struggle.

For exampe, if i play 4 basic chords with a DD UU DU strum, sometimes, depending on what im playing, i have problems going back to the first chord from the last, as it does not seem fit the strum pattern.

Some songs are fine, but some i notice it seems like its missing as the last chord played going back to the first seems to need more strumming or some sort of different pattern to suit as the last chords needs to be played longer than the first 3 basic DD UU DU.

Sorry, i know explaining strumming is hard.

Any advice would be appreciated.

Last edited by kiwi_guy at Mar 17, 2014,
I assume you are playing 4/4 ?

I am guessing you may be playing D DU U DU ? are u counting aloud in ur head or using a metronome? remember 1(d) and (u(not played)) 2(d) and (u) 3 (d(not played)) and (u) 4 (d) and (u) , rinse repeat , u might be playing it right , but the way you wrote it looks like your trying to do some funky timing
You may need to practice some chord changes to, just try swapping back and forth between the 2 chords that are giving you difficulty. Then practice the strumming slowly enough that you get it cleanly. Gradually build up the speed until you can play it at the desired speed.

Greg's break down of the pattern is good to follow too. Get that right arm moving steadily like a pendulum. If you are forcing the up strokes (many people find them more awkward to start with), again slow it down, work on just one chord until they sound even with the down strokes. Your strumming hand needs to be almost autonomous with the up down motion.

Much of this will come with good practice. For a few months in, you sound on track. So don't worry too much about not getting it right away. Everyone learns at their own speed.
I agree with Sephiroth976.

Practicing the rhythm slowly at first then moving up the pace eventually will help. When I was starting out, I got caught up too much on the rhythm of the song and never paid attention to my own rhythm. Trying too hard to catch up sometimes messes up your own sound. So, starting from slower to faster makes your strumming and fretting hand more familiar with each other's movement.

One more thing, it's not bad to improvise with the strumming pattern as long as you are in the same melody as the song you are playing. Having fun while playing is what makes it more fulfilling.
For 'Ultimate Guitar' Members: I wrote an ebook called "The Ultimate Guide To Playing The Guitar".

If you'd like a FREE copy of it, you can do so by Clicking Here