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#1 2007-08-10 19:28:54

johncross21
Senior Member
From: Orpington London
Registered: 2006-10-22
Posts: 390
Website

Strumming Patterns - bass strum

Sometime ago I noticed that there were regular requests for strum patterns on this forum

Here is a "bass" strum pattern. It is often used in country music but can be applied to  ballads in any style.

Try it with this chord progression, A D E


.......1.... 2....3....1...2...3....1...2...3....... 
 
E............0.....0........2...2.........0...0.......
B............2.....2........3...3.........0...0.....
G............2.....2........2...2.........1...1....
D.....0..................................................
A.........................0..............................
E.......................................0................


The key to this pattern is to play the "root" note of the chord followed by the top three notes of the chord. The chords in these examples are all open chords   

In the example, above, the pattern is in waltz time which means that there are 3 beats in every bar.  This is quite common with bass strum. Think of Amazing Grace or Tennessee Waltz

To get the hang of those root notes try this chord progression E C G.  You will notice that the root note of the C chord is on the 3rd fret. That should be easy to do if you are holding the open C chord

.1.... 2....3....4...1...2...3....4...1...2...3...4... 
 

------0----0---0------0---0---0------3---3---3
------0----0---0------1---1---1------0---0---0
------1----1---1------0---0---0------0---0---0
----------------------------------------------------
------ -------------3------------------------------
-0---------------------------------3----------------


Its also common to vary the bass notes which are played with each chord. Try playing the root note and the next time play the 5th string

This is a two bar progression of E and D

.1.... &....2....&....3...&...4...&...1....&...2...&...3...&...4...&... 


 
-----------2----2-----------2---2----------0---0----------0---0
-----------3----3-----------3---3----------0---0----------0---0
-----------2----2-----------2---2----------1---1----------1---1
-0------------------------------------------------------------------
-------- ------------0--------------------------------0----------------
-------------------------------------0-----------------------------------

Popular songs which use bass strum patterns include

"Me and Booby Mcgee". Janis Joplin or Kris Kristopherson did this - but see waylon jennings on an electric guitar

http://uk.youtube.com/watch?v=wE8JKMjpuAw

"I walk the line" - John Cash at San Quentin - great video

http://uk.youtube.com/watch?v=bCftkirSpHE 

get strumming - and post your tips and song suggestions here.

Last edited by johncross21 (2007-10-25 21:50:52)

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#2 2007-10-25 21:46:07

johncross21
Senior Member
From: Orpington London
Registered: 2006-10-22
Posts: 390
Website

Re: Strumming Patterns - bass strum

Back to playing fingerstyle and the bass strum pattern

its quite common to vary the bass note in each bar. so the first time the thumb plays the 6th string and the second time the thumb plays the 5th string

this is one bar pattern based on the G chord


....1... &...2...&...3...&...4... &.. 
 
E-------3--------------3---3-----
B-------0--------------0---0----
G-------0--------------0---0----
D-------0--------------0---0----
A-------2 ---------2---2---2----
E---0---3--------------3---3----


there are different ways to play the chord which follows the thumb strike. sometimes its easier after playing the the bass note on the 6th string to play the next chord with a downstroke starting on the 5th string



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



i would be interested to hear from other guitarist here whether they always play the full chord after a bass note or whether the miss the bottom strings 

i am also interested whether people regularly play these patterns using a pick

Last edited by johncross21 (2007-10-25 21:51:54)

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