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Strumming 101 - A Beginner Guitar Strumming Tutorial

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A Slightly More Advanced Strumming Pattern
basic guitar strumming pattern
Now, we'll take away some of the up-and-down-strums from the first pattern. When you remove strums from our initial "down-up-down-up..." pattern, your initial impulse will be to stop the strumming motion in your picking hand. This is exactly what you DON'T want to do - your picking hand should continue to move up and down, even when not actually strumming the strings. This will initially feel unnatural.

Examine the strum above, and listen to it's audio file. In order to play this strum, you'll need to ever-so-slightly lift your picking hand away from the body of the guitar, as you play the downstroke of the third beat, so the pick misses the strings. Then, on the next upstroke, bring the hand back closer to the body of the guitar, so the pick hits the strings.

To summarize, the upward/downward motion of the picking hand should not change AT ALL from the first pattern. Play along with the audio file of this second strumming pattern. Once you are comfortable, try it at a somewhat faster speed.

Things to consider:

  • It is important to be able to play this accurately. If it's not perfect, it will make learning any harder strums impossible.
  • Be sure that you can play the pattern many times in a row, without ever pausing.
  • This is a tricky concept, and it may take you some time to get used to. Soon, it will become second nature.
  • The more you practice this concept, the quicker you'll master it.
Related Video
Fretting Basics on the Guitar
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