Till now you have learned a few open chords and barre chords along with some other guitar fundamentals. Its time to give a little attention to the right hand side and bring out that rhythm. So you will be learning how to strum a guitar in this lesson.
Learning how to strum a guitar is an essential step in learning the guitar. Otherwise there will be no rhythm to your music which will make it dull. So lets start learning how to strum a guitar.
You may either use a pick or your fingers.
Strumming pattern #1
As you can see, you strum down four times each with equal timings. Count it as ‘one’, ‘two’, ‘three’, ‘four’. Try it. It is the most basic and a very simple strumming pattern. But you will see later that this forms the base of other strumming patterns.
Strumming pattern #2
In the strumming pattern #1, when you were only strumming down, you might have not realized but you move your wrists up without touching any strings after each down stroke. Try it and check.
So what we are doing in this strumming pattern #2 is that we are adding an upstroke strum after the third downstroke strum.
All the downstrokes are the same as strumming pattern #2. The timings are also equal for all of the four downstrokes. We are only adding an upstroke between the 3rd and fourth downstroke.
Count it as ‘one’, ‘two’, ‘three’, ‘and’, ‘four’. The ‘and’ being the extra strum between two main downstrokes.
You can try adding an upstroke between ‘one’ and ‘two’, or between ‘two’ and ‘three’ or after ‘four’. Or you can try adding an upstroke between every downstrokes.
Practice these two basic strum patterns for now and get comfortable with them. We will try more patterns in the coming lessons.
Tips on how to strum a guitar
- When strumming, some people keep their wrists stiff and move from their elbows. Don’t do that. Instead strum mostly with your wrists like as if you are trying to flick away water from your hands.
- keep your wrists moving up and down alternatively even when you don’t strum the strings while moving up or down. This will help to keep the rhythm.
You might also want to check out how to avoid buzzing sound when playing guitar.