Guitar Strumming from Start to Finish

One of the greatest mysteries in playing the guitar is strumming patterns. I have had student after student ask me how to strum the guitar like ___ (insert your favorite acoustic guitar player here). The problem I have in answering that question has to do with rhythmic complexity. It would be more confusing for me to write out the strumming pattern than for the student to listen closely and learn it by ear. One thing that aids in the learning of complex strumming patterns is a solid foundation in three basic strumming patterns.

In this video I explain a bit about how to strum the guitar and demonstrate the three strumming patterns. Once you have the basics down all you need to do to sound impressive is play the patterns twice as fast, eighth notes and sixteenth notes instead of quarter notes and eighth notes. Use the diagrams below as you watch the video. Having your guitar in hand helps as well. I am using only one chord for this example, G major.

The three basic patterns are:
Strumming Pattern I




Strumming Pattern II



Strumming Pattern III



What are some ways you create interesting strumming patterns?



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