Strumming the guitar
please let me know if you find a dead link Updated Sept 21st All working !
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Strumming is the most important part of playing the guitar!
You can read about it and talk about it all you like,
but it wont make any difference,
you need to "Feel" and "Hear" it
"Put enough monkeys in a room and they will, eventually,
play the chords to Stairway to Heaven"
However, it won't sound to good as they wont be able to strum properly as they have no sense of timing
Does this sound like you !?
So, listening to the strumming patterns is the secret, probably the most important one!
You can scroll down and listen to some of the MP3 demos and requests further down the page, that should be all you need.
However if you like reading then carry on !
With 3 chords and a good variety of strumming patterns you can play thousands of songs!
Strum with the edge of your thumb or with a Light Plectrum
or whatever you are comfortable with.
The up and down strokes lightly brush against the strings
and the up strum only really plays the first two/three strings.
I write strumming patterns in the easiest format I can think of,
D = Down U = Up
So DDUUD = down down up up down
sometimes I put in a " / "(slash)
or a " - "(hyphen) to indicate a slight pause
as in D/DUUD or DUD-DUD-DUDU
If "English" is not your first language the DDUUD may work better for you
if you translate them into your own language
(as long as they are words of 1 syllable)
For example in German DDUUD(down down up up down) could be
Ab Ab Auf Auf Ab ( I Hope ! :-) )
( I Hope ! :-) )
Musically we write "Timing" as in Beats to the bar as in
4/4 that is 4 beats to the bar
or 3/4 8/4 that is; 3 or 8 beats to the bar
As Guitarists often we get confused by all that "Proper Music stuff"
so it may be better for you to just think of it as a strumming pattern
As strumming is so difficult to convey in writing,
I have recorded myself strumming various patterns.
These are available for you to listen to as MP3 files
This is probably the most important thing you can do
especially if you are a total beginner
The idea is not to stop the strumming pattern
when you change the chord, (whatever it sounds like!)
I always tell my students
just "Plonk" your fingers on the chord and keep going,
there will be a point where it will click
and you will be able change smoothly.
"So be a Plonker!"
If "English" is not your first language you may not recognise
"Plonk" and "Plonker" which are not real words but mean (in my context)
to just put your fingers on the strings in the approximate position (Plonk)
and the person that does it! (Plonker)
The secret is to keep the strumming going as you change the chord
regardless of the mess you might make of your fingers
(this makes you a "Plonker" !)
This may happen straight away, (you be able change smoothly)
or in a few minutes, but can take longer.
The easiest chord change,
while keeping the strumming going is Gadd5 - Cadd9;
watch this video
Gadd5 to Cadd9 and vice versa.
This is because you only move the index and the second finger,
which you use for lots of other things, so your brain is already aware of how to move them!
Once you start to get control of your fingers
you can then move on to other chords
It is not necessary (or advisable) to learn lots of chords when you start
as you can play lots of songs with the same 3 or 4 chords
in different orders and with different strumming patterns
Hard refresh (Ctrl +F5 together) if you have been here before
These videos need to be downloaded right click and save target as
How to strum using Thumb and or fingers or plectrum/pick
Using Gadd5 Cadd9 Dsus4 (what are these chords?)
Strumming DUDU a count of 2
Strumming D/DUDU a count of 3
Strumming DDUUD a count of 4
strumming DD/UDU Up tempo/Lively!
strumming split between 2 different chords
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I have set up a Donate Button through Paypal, Thank you it does help to off-set my hosting costs and any donation is very welcome and acknowledged .
Below are some links I have done for other people over the years to help their strumming techniques, download a few to see if they help you but there is no point downloading them all as you need to know the song well to make proper use of them.
If you keep downloading them all it upsets my host and creates bandwidth issues so please only take what is relevant to your needs or email me using the free lesson info request form
Follow these links to hear some strumming patterns
Some have been converted from older files and the audio quality is not so good
others are the newer recorded MP3 files
Strumming Pattern DDUUD good starting point (MP3new) This works over anything with a count of 4 !
Strumming Pattern DDUUD as in "Sweet Child O' Mine" (count of 4)
Strumming Pattern DDU/UD as in "Knocking on Heaven's Door" (count of 4)
Strumming Pattern DD/UDUDD & DUDU as in Cannonball Damien Rice (count of 4 then 2 )
Strumming Pattern DD/UUD as in Rollercoaster or Breakdown (using Am G)(count of 4)
Strumming Pattern D/DUDU as in Iris Goo Goo Dolls (count of 3) (also Sugarland Already Gone)
Strumming Pattern D/D/UDUDD as in Stop Crying your heart out (count of 4)
Strumming Pattern DDD/UDUDD as in Wise men James Blunt(count of 4) & Faster for Oasis Slide Away!
also for the verse of Avrils' My Happy Ending(all on one chord)and perhaps for Blue October's Hate Me (twice)
Strumming Pattern D/DUUD as in Wonderful Tonight (count of 4)
Strumming Pattern DD/DUDU/UUUUDU as in "Back to you" (count of 8 ie 8/4)
Strumming Pattern DDD/UDD/UD as in "The Masterplan" and "Champagne Supernova" (count of 4)
Strumming Pattern DDD/UDD/UD as in "Hang" (count of 4)
Strumming Pattern D/DUDU as in "Dont look back in anger" "Every Rose has it's thorn"( some bits!)also, slowly for "Hey Jude" (count of 2 ie 2/4)
Strumming Pattern D/UD/D/UD/DUD as in Breakfast at Tiffany's (count of 4)
Strumming Pattern D/DUDU as in "Easy" (count of 2)
Strumming Pattern DD/UDU as in "Good Riddance (Time of your Life)(count of 2)
Strumming Pattern DDU/UD as in "Good Riddance (Time of your Life)" (count of 4)
Strumming Pattern DD/DUDU/UD as in "Every Rose has it's Thorn" (count of 4)
Strumming Pattern D/DUDU as in "Runaway" (count of 3 ie 3/4)
Strumming Pattern D/DUDU as in Nothing else matters (count of 3 ie 3/4) or "Knights in white
Strumming Pattern DDD/UDD/UD as in Talk Tonight (count of 4)
Strumming Pattern DUDUD/D/UUDUD as in "Torn" (count of 4)
Latest Requested Strumming Patterns
Updated September 22nd 2013 (update/checked/all working)
Strumming Pattern DDD/UDUDD as in "Lady stardust" by Lisa Miskovsky
Strumming Pattern D/UD/UDUDUD as in The Only Living Boy in New York ( S & G)
Strumming Pattern D/D/UDUD (or DDD/UDUDD)as in somebody's me Enrique
Strumming Pattern DD/UDU "Up tempo" strumming use for Folsom Prison Blues
Strumming Pattern UD UD UD UD 2:4 strumming as in Cecilia - Simon & Garfunkel
Strumming Pattern DDD/UDU/UD as in The Truth Jason Aldean DD/UDU
Strumming Pattern D/UD/D/UDD as in The Listening, Lights (acoustic version)
Strumming Pattern DD/UDD/UD as in White Rabbit Jefferson Airplane
Strumming Pattern UDUclick very muted strumming as in Jason Mraz I'm Yours
Strumming Pattern "Stabs" (muted strumming/Old rock'n'Roll style) as in Peppermint Twist by Joey Dee
Strumming Pattern Love you till the end The Pogues DUD/UUD/UUD/UUDU count 123 223 323 423 and.........
Strumming Pattern "In The Aeroplane Over The Sea" Neutral Milk Hotel D/DUDU count 123 223
Strumming Pattern "Devils Playground" Gram Rabbit D/D/DUDU or DD/UDU or Root/D/UDU
Strumming Pattern "Empty" Ray La Montagne DUD/UUD/UUD/UUD (also try "Ruby" Strumming)
Strumming Pattern Room on the 3rd floor McFly DDD/UDUDD
Strumming Pattern Blue Jeans & a Rosary Kid Rock D/D/UU/UDUDU
Strumming Pattern Outside Taylor Swift DDD/UDUDD (also Sugarland All i wanna do!)
Strumming Pattern Drifter December radio D/D/UUDD
Strumming Pattern My heroes are all cowboys DDD Waltz 3/4 Country strumming
Strumming Pattern DUD-DUD-DUDU play it slower for One Sweet Love & Saint's and Angels
Strumming Pattern Jumper Third Eye Blind DD/UDUDD
Strumming Pattern Stop & Stare One Republic DDD/UDUDD/U and "BOB "
Strumming Pattern Breakdown Jack Johnson DUDU/UDU
Strumming Pattern Ruby Baby Dion Duclickuduclick! or faster/different chords for Jason Mraz I'm Yours
Strumming Pattern Flowering spade Sean Hayes DD/UDU
Strumming Pattern Gloria Van Morrison DUDU
Strumming Pattern Skyline Yui D/UD/D/UD/DUDU
Strumming Pattern Good Bye Days Yui DD/UDUDD
Strumming Pattern Feel My Soul Yui DDDU
Strumming Pattern I Remember You Yui DDD/UDUDD
Strumming Pattern Boondocks Little Big Town DUDDUDDUD
Strumming Pattern Magic carpet ride Steppenwolf DDUUDDD
Strumming Pattern Dream lover Bobby Darin DDU/UDU
Strumming Pattern Heal The Pain George Michael D/UD/DUD
Strumming Pattern Waiting for the day George Michael DDD/UUD/DUDU
Strumming Pattern Freefalling (Tom Petty) D/UD/D/UD/DUD/D/D/D/UD/DUD
Strumming Pattern Teardrops on my guitar Taylor Swift DUD/UUDU
Strumming Pattern Cupid Jack Johnson DUclickUUclick !
Strumming Pattern Take away my pain Dream Theatre D/UD/D/UD/DUD
Strumming PatternRadios in heaven Plain White Ts D/DUDU
Strumming Pattern Root note and pick up as Crazy Girls by Bethany Joy Lenz
Strumming Pattern DDD/UDD/UD & DDD/UDUDD as in Roobaroo
Strumming Pattern D/DUDU D/DUDU 6/8 as in Cinnamon The Long Winters