Strumming the Guitar seems like it should be pretty easy but there are some essential elements that must be understood. You can strum with a pick or your fingers.

There are a couple of ways to use your fingers. The 1st method I like to have people learn is to strum down across the strings using your 2nd and 3rd fingers, then up using your 1st finger.

This keeps your thumb available to hit bass notes in some patterns. The down stroke is done with a combination of movements consisting of turning your wrist away from you, leading with your 4th finger, and opening your fingers out of your palm.The up stroke is more of a brush done by dragging your 1st finger across the strings.

Another way to strum with your fingers is to put your thumb and 1st finger together as if you are holding a pick. This method allows you to strike the strings with your nails, producing a little louder, brighter sound.

Whichever style you’re comfortable with, the most important thing about strumming is that your hand keeps a constant rhythm of down and up strokes. The down strokes all happen on the beats (1, 2, 3, 4 in 4/4 time) and should cover all the strings in the chord. The up strokes happen between the beats (the “ands” if you will), and are smaller and softer than the downs. The ups will usually only hit the higher strings (1st, 2nd, and possibly 3rd).

Learn Guitar Chords