Basic strumming patterns

Right hand technique

  • Keep your right hand loose
  • Use a lighter, more flexible pick

Use an “E” chord

Focus on your right hand and the patterns. Just play an “E” chord. If you are having trouble with forming the chord, rememeber with strumming that it’s your strumming hand that is important. Just focus on that hand and don’t worry about the chord so much. If you want to learn how play an E chord, go to lesson 2 and watch the video about playing an E chord!

Keeping the beat

Start out strumming down on each beat. Just get that groove going with your right hand (or left hand if you are playing Jimi style!(or right foot if you are playing with your feet!!!) Pretend you are the drummer and everyone is dancing to your beat! The beat is the first fundamental part of music but sometimes guitarist overlook that fact of life!

Adding the “and” to each beat

Now strum up on the “and” of each beat. This gets you playing the fundamental up/down strum which folky-type guitar is pretty much based on!

Taking away parts of the strum

Once you have the up/down strum sorted out, (remember that groove!) you can skip playing some of the beats. There’s all sorts of stuff you can do with this. This is what most people are doing. You can create all sorts of different feels with this. Here’s a few:

Creedence Clearwater strum

Generic folk strum

Syncopated folk strum

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