Strumming Patterns For Different Time Signatures

Strumming patterns for 2/4, 3/4, 4/4 time signatures and tips for some other time signatures.

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Hi everyone! Because my English is not perfect I won't talk too much. Fell free to use any chord or chord progression for the patterns. Count out the beats loud ( one and (1 beat), two and (2 beat) etc.) and start slowly. I add the strumming directions for the notes. I suggest to use the Am-C or Am-E chord progression because these are easy. Legend: H - half note Q - quarter note Q.- quarter dotted note E - eight note D - downstroke U - upstroke + - and for a beat (like one and = 1+) Let's start whit the 2/4 time signature:
strumming pattern 1.
|D DU|
|Q EE| 
|1+2+| 
 
strumming pattern 2.
|DU U|
|EQ E|
|1+2+|
 
strumming pattern 3.
|DUD |
|EEQ |
|1+2+|
 
strumming pattern 4.
|DUDU|
|EEEE|
|1+2+|
Patterns for 3/4 time signatures
strumming pattern 1. (e.g. Tenacious D - Dude, I totally miss you)
|D  UDU|
|Q. EEE|
|1+2+3+|
 
strumming pattern 2.
|D D DU|
|Q Q EE|
|1+2+3+|
 
strumming pattern 3.
|D DUDU|
|Q EEEE|
|1+2+3+|
 
strumming pattern 4.
|DUDUDU|
|EEEEEE|
|1+2+3+|
Patterns for 4/4 time signatures For this time signature you can play every pattern from 2/4 only you have to play it twice.
strumming pattern 1.  (2/4 1st pattern two times)
|D DUD DU|
|Q EEQ EE|
|1+2+3+4+|

strumming pattern 2.
|D DU UDU|
|Q EQ EEE|
|1+2+3+4+|

strumming pattern 3. (e.g. Linkin Park - The Messenger)
|D   D DU|
|H   Q EE|
|1+2+3+4+|

strumming pattern 4.
(2/4 2nd pattern two times, e.g. Avenged Sevenfold - Scream solo rhythm)
|DU UDU U|
|EQ EEQ E|
|1+2+3+4+|

strumming pattern 5. (note: this takes 2 bar of 4/4 not one)
|D   D DU|| UD DUDU|
|H   Q EQ|| EQ EEEE|
|1+2+3+4+||1+2+3+4+|

strumming pattern 6.
|DUDUDUDU|
|EEEEEEEE|
|1+2+3+4+|
For 5/4 time signature just put a 3/4 and a 2/4 pattern together or a 4/4 pattern plus one quarter note.
e.g.
|D D DUD DU|
|Q Q EEQ EE|
|1+2+3+4+5+|
For 6/4, 7/4 and so on just keep mixing the patterns from above, and feel free to experience. Remember to practice these slowly and count out loud. I hope this helped. Mezmerus

7 comments sorted by best / new / date

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    altinertia
    great tutorial, really helped my strumming i just take the chords from songs i like and strum them in the variations here. agreed with the comment about not hitting all the strings sometimes and putting emphasis on certain strokes. thanks for takin the time to help out us noobs
    Fragmatyc
    And the most important of all, don't always strum all strings. Vary with you feeling, be gentle of rude! Nice lesson though, I remember searching for a lesson like this when the only strumming patern I knew was D-DU-UDU!!!
    Mezmerus
    SilverDolphin wrote: Thanks for this lesson! Helped me a lot
    You're welcomed
    Mezmerus
    prosong12345 wrote: Helped very much! However, please keep in mind that there are endless variations as to strumming in different time signatures. These techniques can be seen as an introductory lesson. Keep teaching! I'd like to hear more from you!
    Thank you! And yes, you're right. there are endless variations. And about the teaching, I'm not sure if i can teach anything new here.
    prosong12345
    Helped very much! However, please keep in mind that there are endless variations as to strumming in different time signatures. These techniques can be seen as an introductory lesson. Keep teaching! I'd like to hear more from you!