I've started to turn more and more towards not using a pick on my acoustic and going finger style and am really enjoying it much more. I had a few different ways to strum that sound good but I'm really struggling to get an equal sort of sound from my down and up stuns as I use middle and ring on down and index on way up.

Is there any good videos to show how to use the thumb on the upstroke when you're using a sort of loose hand as I have tried al different angles but it just pings the bottom strings really weird and don't good at all. It sounds like when a pick gets caught up and pings strings but I have short nails especially thumb so it's not that.
I've starts to play a more sheeran style approach and use middle and ring for down index for up and thumb for bass notes and sometimes just index for down and up if it's quiet. Seems a lot more comfortable and natural than the horrid angle you need to strum up with thumb.
I use my index for down and thumb for up. I could never get comfortable using my index for up

It's yet to restrict my playing though, so as long as it remains that way I see no reason to change it.
Last edited by vayne92 at Jun 4, 2015,
I lose out of the pick sound on the upstrum coz I do g use my thumb but I can do it pretty heavy it just lacks the click sound but I think I can live with that bearing in mind if I wanted a pick sound id use a pick. The idea was to sound different. It's like a clicks down strum and a soft upstrum sounds cool.
There's a million different ways to strum fingerstyle - there is no proper method. Check out Gabriela (from Rodrigo y Gabriella) - she's the current queen of rhythm.

I prefer to strum using my index, middle and ring fingers down strokes and upstrokes - using the thumb for bass notes etc.
also check out : Tommy Emmanuel ( thumb pick), Don Ross ( Thumb pick) , Bruce Cockburn - his recent acoustic material, Andy McKee, Paco Delucia ( good luck with that) etc.
In theory, for simple strumming I do both up and down with index and middle, but in practice I don't use it on steel strings because it is too hard on my fingernails. The same it generally true for anything involving finger backstrokes. It is much less damaging on a nylon string, where I can do things like emulating country-style flatpicking ("bum titty") and flamenco rascuedos involving thumb down and fingers both up and down.

I've tried using Alaska picks:


to protect my nails on downstrokes, but I had to tape them on, and they still weren't very secure.
I really like the flamenco strumming bit I can't do the thumb up strum it's so horrible and feels wrong so I just stuck with what is comfatable to me. I don't at flamenco I'd of just lined the chance to mess around with it. Maybe one day I'll just play an be able to do thumb upstrums and then I wi learn it.
I can't even do the index and thumb pinch even though. Can play with a pick doing that without one feels wrong too and thumb just smacks the bottom strings and sounds bad.

I think I'm gonna stick with fingers down and up and think for bass notes and I don see myself using a pick very often anymore.

Can you do flamenco strums without the thumb coming up?