so i tend to strum with the left side of my thumb (up and down strokes) i was watching a coupe of videos about pickless strumming and i found one that seems to work which is resting your thumb on the first knuckle of your index but my thumb seems to always snag on the string going up.Is this normal? or is there a better way to strum without a pick? thanks

im doing this on an accoustic guitar btw
I've always used the flamenco technique of strumming down with the nails on my fingers, and back up with the nail of my thumb. That way you're always getting nail sound.
Quote by Fat Lard
post of the year, thank you
I only ever pinch my fingers together on a fast strum, usually would only ever do that to rumble the chord I'm ending on. I don't find it has a very good strong clean tone. The best tone comes from your nails, for strumming, so I pinch my thumb and index together, in order to have nail on up and down stroke, but it still doesn't sound amazing.

What I usually do when I strum every other time, is fully open handed. I use finger nails on the down stroke, and thumb on the upstroke. You'll want some nails for that too. Mine aren't too crazy, but not cut short, either. I think in my mind it's sort of more my middle and ring finger that strums, but in reality all my fingers do, even my pinky. I don't think about it, it just happens. I notice the marks on my nails on all fingers.

I also drag up with fingers if the aim is percussive, like a muted upstroke with a pick. I do a lot of things at different times though also. Sometimes I pick with just my thumb even. But open hand is definitely a good way to strum, imo. I'm not a big fan of that fingers together business, but like I said, on the fast sort of tremolo stuff, I feel basically stuck with it.
Last edited by fingrpikingood at Apr 8, 2016,
I'm with JimJam on the technique of thumb up, fingers down strumming. You can get a nice fast pace and its real easy to open up your palm and just stop everything from ringing with a slapping motion.
When strumming finger style you should learn how to do a downstroke with your index, middle and ring fingers. Upstrokes can be with the thumb or your fingers, depending on the approach. Check out Rodrigo y Gabriela, Gabriela is redefining fingerstyle strumming with her crazy approach. Also check out Bruce Cockburn's recent acoustic solo material ( not the 80's cheese) - he's a tremendous fingerstyle rhythm player.

Only using your thumb as a "pick" is very limiting -but strumming with the thumb can still produce good results and a softer tone when that's called for.