Topic: Strumming Patterns

I am a newbie (older newbie). I can play several chords and can make the changes fairly well especially playing A D E, D G A, E A B7. G C D.Now I want to work on strumming patterns but I don't have a clue as to what to do. I want to play old Rock,(Beatles),Country (1980-1990's music), and some Blues (Delbert McClinton type). How does one pick a strumming pattern? Any help would be greatly appreciated as this is causing frustration in my attempt to play a recognizable song.

Re: Strumming Patterns

A couple of suggestions from someone in the same boat as you.  A newbie at guitar (though I've been playing bass for some while) and someone with more than a few gray hairs in my beard (but not on my head 'cause those all fell out).  I like the same styles of music, too.

First, recognize that you are trying to reproduce an entire band with one instrument.  When you listen to the songs you like, pick up on the rhythm that strikes you.  I know that I'm always blending together some bass, some drum, some hot chick with a tambourine, and some rhythm guitar in the single rhythm that I try to reproduce on my guitar.  Second, recognize that you are playing it how YOU hear it and like it and can make your fingers work. 

Then, once listening to the song and picking up a rhythm or rhythms you care to produce, use an electronic guitar trainer or a metronome to slow the beat way, way down.  Play while emphasizing getting the rhythm just right.  Then once you get the rhythm just right, begin to increase the tempo.  Take a few steps from very, very slow to correct speed or even just a little fast.  Play so that it's challenging but possible to keep the rhythm and don't increase speed until it becomes simple.  At first, it will seem like forever, but over time you will be learning new song's rhythms in a single evening. 

Just a suggestion.  I'm self-taught with guitar, so my methods are methods that work for me.  I can't promise they'll work for anyone else.

- Zurf

Granted B chord amnesty by King of the Mutants (Long live the king).
If it comes from the heart and you add a few beers... it'll be awesome! - Mekidsmom
When in doubt ... hats. - B.G. Dude

Re: Strumming Patterns

Basically most strumming patterns are from the D-U-D-U-D-U-D-U-D-U. What most rhythm players do is then choose to leave out some of the strokes while still ending the pattern at the correct time. (1 and 2 and 3 and 4 and). A popular pattern is D-X-D-U-X-U-D-U while not strumming where there are X's. Just remember to keep your hand moving constantly. When picking a pattern for particular songs, I normally just get rid of all distractions then listen to the song and try to figure out which strums they leave out. But the DDUUDU pattern tends to work for a lot of songs, such as Brown Eyed Girl by Van Morrison

You have to forget about what other people say; when you're supposed to die, when you're supposed to be lovin'. You have to forget about all these things. You have to go on and be crazy. Craziness is like heaven.
                                                        -James Marshall Hendrix

Re: Strumming Patterns

Some helpful info and mp3's I found.

Re: Strumming Patterns

Thanks Xkooda.  I was following this thread to look for some strumming help.  Your info was helpful.

Re: Strumming Patterns

try this thread

Re: Strumming Patterns

Hi people  and thanks Xkooda for promoting my site

Strumming, as you have found, is not always blindingly obvious!
If you thimk about it , and you are obviously doing too much of that,..
you would realise that there are only 2 options Down (D)  or Up(U) strums.
The way that you actually "strum" is the character of your playing or you could think of it as your "accent"  i.e. how you speak (musically)
Put a load of monkeys in a room and they will come up with the chords for "Stairway to heaven"  but it wouldn't sound right as they have no sense of timing (have you ever seen a monkey dancing ?!) 
It is this (in built)"sense of timing† that we use to develop our strumming.
If you have no sense of timing "u would sound like a ro-bot when u talk pro-noun-cing ev-e-ry syl-a-ble the same "
so assuming you are not the robot from "lost in space" (yes i know , b4 ur time!" 
then you can strum!
Reading strumming is like describing colours  to a blind man, how would you describe "green?" You need to “hear† strumming not “read† strumming so that you can realise how it is supposed to sound.

When I started playing( just after we finished the ark!) I used “D† for down and “U† for up strums ,
which made perfect sense to me but of course only if “English† is your first language
and when I started teaching professionally it made perfect sense to me to continue with this,
after about 20 years the internet also started becoming a resource and suddenly there were lots of formats developing and becoming more mainstream, such as up & down arrows to denote strumming (not a bad thing but I hate them and can’t find them on my keyboard!) also tab and of course the armchair expert!

The Forum/chat room is the whole embodiment of the internet , empowered people helping each other (and for free)and great it is to!
However I get frustrated at some of the myths masquerading as fact that I read on the internet (only occasionally as I don’t bother to look most of the time)
This is usually posted by well-meaning people who only have their own experiences to draw on (what worked for them!)

An experienced Guitar teacher with a “track record† will advise you as to what works for most people
and will also be able to help if that doesn’t work for you (unlikely, but it happens)
and what to do if that is the case.

Please also understand that I am not criticising “Chordie† as I haven’t looked at the info available  but only followed a link to my own site and ended up here in their forum!
If you want some advice (and it’s not compulsory!) think of the Internet as “The bloke down the pub†  sometimes he is “full of useful info,† and sometimes he is just “full of it!† ï Š

I wish you all well in your playing and thanks  again to Xkooda for promoting my site and if you want some more strumming information have a good look around this site and the info available but if  you get stuck go here  and I might be able to help you out
all the best and keep "Plonking"

Mark (The Real Hotdog!)

it's a long way to top if you wanna rock'n'roll

Re: Strumming Patterns

Hey Mark (The Real Hotdog!)

Thanks you for your great free video and mp3 lessons and the free private lessons, your guides have been a great help for me and i am glad to promote your site.

I just hope you didnt mind me posting the url?

Re: Strumming Patterns

HI Xkooda
thanks for your kind comments and no problem with posting the url
I am pleased that the info has been of use to you.
I am often approached by amateurs and professionals alike to "do the site properly"  more professionally etc but i don't want so many hits/visits/requests that i can't respond personally which is what i like doing ! I am going as fast as I can now ! :-)

it's a long way to top if you wanna rock'n'roll

Re: Strumming Patterns

Hi Mark,

I have been playing guitar for about 3 months now and was having problems with strumming patterns. Having been on your website I can now pick most of them out and have just finished learning Oasis Live forever with the correct strumming. It makes a change to find a website that shows you how to play and is easy to follow.

Keep up the good work it is a very good website !!!!

Re: Strumming Patterns

Hey, "The Real Hotdog" one of the best sites on the net for strumming patterns, chord charts, tuning etc. This is a must see site for all beginners. Thanks for all the useful info.
Now if I could only make a bar chord ring.........:D

" Its much to late to do anything about rock and roll now" Jerry Garcia-Grateful Dead