Strumming Patterns

author: naguenyong vinx date: 12/27/2013 category: guitar techniques
rating: 8.7
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Strumming Patterns
This lesson is all about strumming. Enjoy! Strumming is way of playing a stringed instrument such as a guitar. A strumming pattern or strum is a preset pattern used by a rhythm guitar. Compare with pattern picking, strumming patterns may be indicated through notation, tablature, up and down arrows, or slashes. 4/4 Songs ("D" represents a downstroke, "U" represents an upstroke)
            1 2 3 4       
Pattern 1 : D,D,D,D,DU    
            1 2     3 4   
Pattern 2 : D,D,DU  D,D,DU
            1 2  3   4    
Pattern 3 : D,D,UDU,DD,DU 
            1  2  3   4   
Pattern 4 : D,UDUD,UDUD,DU
            1 2 3 4       
Pattern 5 : D,DU,UDU      
3/4 Songs
            1 2 3   
Pattern 1 : D,D,D,DU
6/8 Songs
            12 3 45 6 
Pattern 1 : D,UDUD,UDU
If you notice, I have 5 different patterns for 4/4 songs, and only 1 pattern each for 3/4 and 6/8 songs. The good news is, most songs that you hear on the radio are in 4/4. Here are few things to keep in mind as you play the above pattern: 1. If you are playing an acoustic guitar, make sure to strum directly over the sound hole. 2. On electric guitar, strum over the body (different locations will give you different sounds), not over the neck. 3. Make sure all strings are ringing clearly. 4. Make sure the volume of your downstrums and upstrums are equal. 5. Be careful not to strum too hard, as this often causes strings to rattle, and produces an undesirable sound. 6. Be careful not to strum too softly, as this will produce a "wimpy" sound. 7. Your pick should be striking the strings with a relatively firm, even stroke. 8. Think of your elbow as being the top of a pendulum; your arm should swing up and down from it in a steady motion, never pausing at any time. 9. Having said that, the bulk of the picking motion should come from a rotation of the wrist, rather than from the forearm. Be sure not to keep your wrist stiff when playing. Once you become comfortable with these rhythms, try applying them to this chord structure: G-Em-C-D I hope you enjoy my lesson and don't forget to rate this lesson. :)
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