Tackling Strumming As A Beginner Guitarist. Part 2

This lesson is a continuation of 'Tackling Strumming As A Beginner Guitarist - Part 1'. If you haven't mastered the art of strumming and changing chords in time, this lesson will help get you on your way.

Ultimate Guitar
This lesson is a continuation of 'Tackling Strumming as a Beginner Guitarist - Part 1'. For part 2, we will be getting into using the same ideas from part 1, but with two chords instead of 1. We will still be using E minor:
1E |--0----||
2B |--0----||
3G |--0----||
4D |--2----|| <-- middle finger
5A |--2----|| <-- index finger
6E |--0----||
For a video demonstration of how to play this chord, CLICK HERE The new chord we will be adding in is G:
1E |--3----|| <-- ring finger  
2B |--0----||
3G |--0----||
4D |--0----||
5A |--2----|| <-- index finger
6E |--3----|| <-- middle finger
For a video demonstration of how to play this chord, CLICK HERE We're also going to be using two letters to signify whether we are going to strum down on the strings (D), or up (U) D = Strum down, from the 6th string to the first string U= Strum upwards, from the 1st string to the 6th string An important tip when changing between E minor and G is to keep you index finger in place the entire time. Your middle finger will move between the 2nd fret on the 4th (D) string, and the 3rd fret on the 6th (E) string. Your 3rd finger will come down on the 3rd fret on the 1st (E) string when playing G. Practice this change a number of times before going through the rest of this lesson. For each example in this lesson, I am going to provide a link to a video demonstration played along to a backing track on YouTube. For a copy of this backing track, please visit my website Guitar Lessons Mississauga and head to the 'Free Resources' section All these example are going to be in 4/4 time (just like part 1). If you don't understand or know what that is, to put it simply, each measure of music will have 4 beats. ----------------------------------------------------------------------------- STEP 1 The first strum we're going to start off with is just a down strum on the first beat of each measure. The chord will change every single measure, so start preparing for the chord change immediately after you strum. We are strumming 'whole notes' in this example.
     D       D       D       D     
E |--0----|--3----|--0----|--3----||
B |--0----|--0----|--0----|--0----||
G |--0----|--0----|--0----|--0----||
D |--2----|--0----|--2----|--0----||
A |--2----|--2----|--2----|--2----||
E |--0----|--3----|--0----|--3----||
----------------------------------------------------------------------------- STEP 2 For the next step, we are going to strum downwards on every two beats. This means that in a measure of music with 4 beats, we are strumming on beats 1 and 3. We will be changing chords every measure, so in each measure you strum the same chord twice. This is twice as fast as our first step, and each strum will last half of a measure. We will be strumming 'Half Notes'.
     D  D       D  D       D  D       D  D

E |--0--0----|--3--3----|--0--0----|--3--3----||
B |--0--0----|--0--0----|--0--0----|--0--0----||
G |--0--0----|--0--0----|--0--0----|--0--0----||
D |--2--2----|--0--0----|--2--2----|--0--0----||
A |--2--2----|--2--2----|--2--2----|--2--2----||
E |--0--0----|--3--3----|--0--0----|--3--3----||
     Emin       G          Emin       G
----------------------------------------------------------------------------- STEP 3 For this next example, we're going to strum downwards on every single beat. We will be strumming 'Quarter Notes' here. The chord will change after each measure, so we will strum each chord 4 times before switching to the next one.
     D  D  D  D       D  D  D  D       D  D  D  D       D  D  D  D 

E |--0--0--0--0----|--3--3--3--3----|--0--0--0--0----|--3--3--3--3----||
B |--0--0--0--0----|--0--0--0--0----|--0--0--0--0----|--0--0--0--0----||
G |--0--0--0--0----|--0--0--0--0----|--0--0--0--0----|--0--0--0--0----||
D |--2--2--2--2----|--0--0--0--0----|--2--2--2--2----|--0--0--0--0----||
A |--2--2--2--2----|--2--2--2--2----|--2--2--2--2----|--2--2--2--2----||
E |--0--0--0--0----|--3--3--3--3----|--0--0--0--0----|--3--3--3--3----||

     Emin             G                Emin             G
----------------------------------------------------------------------------- STEP 4 For the next step, we are going to add in 'upstrokes' in between each quarter note. This will sound twice as fast as the previous example, and will be a little harder to stay on time. In this example, we are strumming 'Eighth Notes'.
     D  U  D  U  D  U  D  U       D  U  D  U  D  U  D  U 
E |--0--0--0--0--0--0--0--0----|--3--3--3--3--3--3--3--3----||
B |--0--0--0--0--0--0--0--0----|--0--0--0--0--0--0--0--0----||
G |--0--0--0--0--0--0--0--0----|--0--0--0--0--0--0--0--0----||
D |--2--2--2--2--2--2--2--2----|--0--0--0--0--0--0--0--0----||
A |--2--2--2--2--2--2--2--2----|--2--2--2--2--2--2--2--2----||
E |--0--0--0--0--0--0--0--0----|--3--3--3--3--3--3--3--3----||
     Emin                         G
----------------------------------------------------------------------------- STEP 5 Now that you can play Eighth Notes along with me, we're going to go into a new rhythm where we will cut out certain strokes from STEP 4. The strums that will be cut are the upbeat of beat 1, and the upbeat of beat 3. This ends up being a repeated pattern of D-DU. The chord will still change after each measure, or one repetition of the rhythm.
     D     D  U  D     D  U       D     D  U  D     D  U  

E |--0-----0--0--0-----0--0----|--3-----3--3--3-----3--3----||
B |--0-----0--0--0-----0--0----|--0-----0--0--0-----0--0----||
G |--0-----0--0--0-----0--0----|--0-----0--0--0-----0--0----||
D |--2-----2--2--2-----2--2----|--0-----0--0--0-----0--0----||
A |--2-----2--2--2-----2--2----|--2-----2--2--2-----2--2----||
E |--0-----0--0--0-----0--0----|--3-----3--3--3-----3--3----||

     Emin                         G
----------------------------------------------------------------------------- Now that you can play rhythms with this chord change, I'll leave you to practice this as much and as often as you can. More parts of this lesson are soon to follow! ----------------------------------------------------------------------------- Jason Wilford is a professional musician and guitar teacher in Mississauga, ON (Canada) Check out the Pro Guitar Studio website for more free resources, and to sign up for a free newsletter with tips for guitarists at any level.

4 comments sorted by best / new / date

    This looks great, I hope you continue to make these. I've been focussing on my strumming alot lately after just shredding for 3 years. BTW I also have that Guitar Heroes book in the background!
    This is fabulous! I love my guitar teacher, but he kind of focuses on different things and just assumed I could strum okay. I needed the basics that you provided in these two videos. Thanks!
    this is same as part 1 except for the added G chord. well... during part 1, as exercise i had already applied the different patterns on some songs; one being Eagles - Hotel California... was fun anyways... i hope part 3 has some exciting and new strumming patterns.