By taking away the last strum of the bar, we've once again created a new pattern. Practice saying out loud "down, down up, up down" (or "1, 2 and, and 4") as you're playing the pattern. Listen to, and play along with, the strumming pattern, to understand how this new pattern should sound. Once you are comfortable with this, try it at a somewhat faster speed. This strum may actually, in the long run, be easier to use than the others, because the lack of a strum at the end of the bar gives you a bit more time to switch to the next chord in your song. This strum is used all the time, by novice and professional guitarists alike.
Once you've learned and internalized the strumming patterns in this lesson, try listening for them in music you hear. When you listen to your favorite music, try and listen to the guitarist, and see if you can identify which sort of strum they're using. Chances are good it's one of the four discussed in this week's feature. Or, perhaps the guitarist has made a small change to one of the patterns. You'll be surprised to find out how often many of the greatest songs have the most basic strumming patterns.
I hope this week's feature has been helpful and informative to you. In upcoming features, we'll examine more complex strumming patterns and concepts, including the use of "muted" strums, 16th note strums, and more.