Learn Strumming Patterns on Your Guitar
There are two aspects to playing the guitar. The first is your finger positioning on your fretboard. The second is strumming the guitar strings. That means one hand will be forming the chords, while the other handles the strumming. It can be a lot to handle when starting out.
In this article, will cover the strumming part of playing the guitar. We will look at the proper posture, how to keep time, and some common strumming patterns for you to learn and master. Soon, you will be strumming like a pro!
Perfect Your Form
A common mistake beginners make is that they have a very stiff wrist when strumming. Often they will use their upper arm to perform the strumming motion. However, the motion actually comes from rotating the lower arm. You will want to keep your wrist loose when strumming, to make it easier to play.
When you are first learning to strum, it is a good idea to use a guitar pick, though some musicians prefer to just use their fingers. As a beginner, you should use a thin pick that is very bendy. Avoid gripping your pick too hard. You’ll want to have a light grip as you strum.
Find Your Rhythm
Once you have mastered your form, you can start getting into strumming patterns. The first thing you will need to know is how to keep time. Perhaps you already do this when listening to music even if you don’t realize it. Tapping your foot or bobbing your head along with the music is how you recognize and understand a song’s rhythm.
For beginner guitar players, it is a good idea to practice tapping your foot along to the music. This will help you strum to the rhythm of the song. Once you start to get more comfortable with strumming, you’ll also start noticing when you’re off rhythm. It will be easier to correct the more you practice.
Common Strumming Patterns
Before we dive into common strumming patterns, let’s go over some basic terms. A downstroke refers to strumming the strings of your guitar from top to bottom. An upstroke is the opposite, where you strum your strings from bottom to top. Pretty self explanatory.
One common strumming pattern you can try out is an eight count of all downstrokes. On every note you will strum downwards. Alternatively, you could try an eight count of all upstrokes. Or an eight count of every other. Starting with the basics will help you build a strong base.
In order to maintain your sense of rhythm, it is good practice to listen to your rhythm before strumming. That way you already have a sense of it in your head and won’t get too tied up in the hand movements. It can also help beginners to say the rhythm outloud, counting the beats or even saying “down” or “up” depending on the strumming pattern. Once you feel more confident in your strumming, try it on a chord. That will help you practice using both hands and will set you up for greater success when it’s time to practice that strumming rhythm on a song!
Conclusion – Easy Guitar Strumming Patterns
Learning the guitar is a rewarding experience for many. But it takes a lot of practice. Strumming is a major part of playing the guitar and in order to work yourself up to intermediate playing levels, you will need to connect with your sense of rhythm. Practice common strumming patterns and you’ll work your way up to strumming along to your favorite song in no time