Tutorial: The Art of Strumming

Discussion in 'Beginner's Q&A Forum' started by Vishwa, Feb 18, 2006.

  1. Vishwa

    Vishwa New Member

    Dear All,

    Most of us when we learn guitar.. struggle with strumming.. and sometime we also get fed up with that.. when we suddenly realise that.. in all songs our strumming is sounding the same.. we get even more dissapointed..

    here is a try from my side.. to help newbies with that.. this tutorial is fully based on my ways of playing guitar...

    First thing.. is that strumming is all about how good ur ears can differentiate different rhythms.. the beat... lets do with some examples..

    any song can be played with DUDU pattern of strumming.. only thing is that speed will vary..the other common patterns are DDUU DUDD DDDD UUUU DDDD DDUD DUUD.. etc and all permutation combinations of D and U which will give u 16 combinations.. one approach will be to keep practising different patterns..

    Hindi Song:

    Pukarata Chala Hun Main.. DDUU..

    When u listen to song.. Increase the bass.. if u r listening in winamp or music system.. you can easily feel the beat... Then use ur feet to maintain the rhythm pattern of the song.. and slowly transform that beat into ur hands.. and with guitar... This song is easy.. u can get the beat easily....

    some differnt strumming patterns will be for Duur by strings.. Toota Toota ( by kailash Kher) this needs Muting effects...

    One advice: Always preffer Barre Chords to open chords while strumming..

    English Song..

    Summer of 69: Thats really easy.. all down stokes DDDD in beginning and then DDUD once beat starts....

    Let me know if i can help u more with that.. any specific song u r facing any problem..

    Keep loving.. keep rocking IGT..

  2. flyingbird

    flyingbird New Member

    hi viswa
    i m a new learner
    i learned guitar from 1 of my friend. and now he is not here.
    so i can play tabs of any song but facing difficulties with chords.
    can u say me what is barre chord and open chord...?
  3. Vishwa

    Vishwa New Member

    ya sure..

    any chord can be played open or barred.. both the way they sound the same.. but when we use barred ones we have more options to add effects to them.. like we can have the muting effects.. in barred chords.. u need to stretch your index finger to the full width of fret board.. and remaining fingers hold the chord.. one more advantage of barred chords is that playing chords and especially shifting chords becomes easy.. since one finger that is ur index finger is common in all chords positions.. lets take an exapmle..

    C chord open:


    C Chord Barred:


    1- Index finger
    2- Middle
    3- Ring
    4- little

    as u can see in 2nd diagram whole index finger is stretched.. it is really painful in the beginning and needs lot of practise..

    PM me if u still want to know something more..
    .:SpY_GaMe:. likes this.
  4. notty_lad

    notty_lad sudo undress

    somethin useful ..

    ^^^Mistake .. In ur Barred C chord e.g.. 2nd finger should be on 4th string n 4th finger on 2nd string .. Edit it ..

    Also make a habit n practise to hold Major chords wid a root on fifth strings like Bb,B,C,C#,D..etc only wid index n ring finger .. Because it makes manoeuvring on fretboard Much easier.. infact I feel barre MUST be held this way e.g.

    Barred C chord..


    Here is are 2 pics to demonstrate how ..

    PS- Make sure da ring finger doesn't touch da first string !!!!!

    Its hard in da beginnin .. but practise practise ..

    Attached Files:

  5. vini

    vini Repeat Offender

    ^^ leaving the barred aside...is it ok to use 3 seperate fingers for those 3 notes..like 2,3 and pinky..i can only barre wid my index finger yet :p:
  6. notty_lad

    notty_lad sudo undress

    yeah .. its ok .. infact wen ur not barrin .. u'l have to use 3 fingers to hold 3 notes because .. holdin those 3 notes wid only ring finger is comfy only wen ur pressin da index finger on da fretboard .. imagine holdin those three notes wid jz ring finger without touchin ur index finger on da board .. :p: ..

    *prays to God to teach vini barre very very soon so dat v could here more lovely songs from her E>*
  7. ojhaneeraj

    ojhaneeraj New Member

    hey vishwa
    it was rather a crucial area where u hit.if i got u right, its the beat of a song,along with tempo,upon which we sud base our right hand movement while stummin....it wud b better if u cud elaborate ur ideas in this area a bit more......thnx. wish u too a happy rockin.
  8. .:SpY_GaMe:.

    .:SpY_GaMe:. New Member

    hmmm i always used to play it like 1st finger on fret as barre-

    middle finger i dont use

    n i use the third n 4th finger for that

    with third i press on 2 strings n with the 4th the string which is lowest here is the pic

    hmmm coz when i tried ur way of playing(sth i tried much before that post of urs) not all strings were stressed upon by my finger so i moved to that diff position

    hmmm will try to work more on the one u suggested;)

    Attached Files:

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  9. notty_lad

    notty_lad sudo undress

    @spy Jab wohi Chord, Wohi sound kam unliyo mein mile to koi bhala 2 kyo use kare .. 1 na kare ?? :p: ..

    Remember dat Nirma Super washing power Ad ???
  10. vishwa_reborn

    vishwa_reborn New Member

    sorry for the late reply..

    ya notty... u r correct i also play barred chords like that.. but for beginners its really painful to play them with just 2 fingers.. but it doesn't make any difference.. u ppl can choose any way u like..
  11. just_beginner

    just_beginner New Member

    hi there,
    i m just a beginner , but now i can play basic chords and can switch from one to another..and can play few songs like neele neeele ambar..
    can u help me with what to do next.. i need few easy songs to play..
    and also i can understand chords but how to read scale i dont know...
    one more thing i play chords by my thumb not with pluck so strumming downwards is ok but upwards it does not sound good... how to go about that..

    too many things to ask??
  12. zing

    zing Machine Head

    hi ppl - have put together sum common types of strummin based on the kind of music - have also posted short sound clips- hope it helps sum of y'all

    this is just intended to b a startin point - ther r literally thousands of variations possible depending on ur imagination

    here u play mostly open chords - the basic pattern is all downstrokes [DDDD] but u can jazz it up with upstrokes too - the key thing to note is tht in the first downstroke u hit the bass strings & the second downstroke u hit the high strings & let it ring [chords in the sound clip are E A D]

    strumming pattern is again all downstrokes - things to note - use of 7th chords & left hand muting to get the 'chop' sound
    [chords in the sound clip are E7 A7 B7]

    rock n roll
    played with all downstrokes - chords are A, D, E
    here u can play the open A chord with th index finger & use ur 3rd & 4th finger to get the in-between notes as shown below

    then just slide th whole pattern up 5 frets to get the D chord
    & slide up 7 frets to get the E chord

    slow rock
    chords are Em A B - strumming pattern is alternating up/down strokes - chords can b played either as up/downstrokes

    hard rock
    all downstrokes here - but u can also play th chords as upstrokes - chords are all barre - Em G A B C D Em [need to play on electric]

    heavy metal
    all downstrokes with heavy right hand palm-muting of strings (no points 4 guessin the song :)) [need to play on electric wih heavy distortion]

    strummin pattern is down/up/down/up and then down/up/up/down/up - chords r Gm Dm Cm - u hit the base strings on the downstroke & the high strings on upstroke - muting is done with left hand to get the 'chop'

    here u basically do this
    1 - hit the bass strings with ur thumb
    2 - roll ur hand into a fist & quickly open it out one finger at a time so if u do it fast u hit the strings with 4 downstrokes - one with each finger
    3 - hit all th strings with ur thumb in alternate up/down strokes

    in between steps 2 & 3 u can later add one more step where u hit the strings with ur 4 fingers in an upstroke as well

    try it out n njoy!

    PS. other sound clips in next message

    Attached Files:

  13. zing

    zing Machine Head

    soundclips of rocknroll & slow rock strummin

    Attached Files:

  14. zing

    zing Machine Head

    hardrock & heavymetal strummin examples

    Attached Files:

  15. zing

    zing Machine Head

    reggae & flamenco strummin patterns

    Attached Files:

    .:SpY_GaMe:. likes this.
  16. ambush

    ambush _RASTA_man_

    Can you post which chords you are playing in the rocknroll file
  17. zing

    zing Machine Head

    pls check my earlier message in same thread

    notty_lad likes this.
  18. UjSen

    UjSen *#!EVIL*!!

    i never had a problem wid strumming.


    that is DAMM DIFFICULT TO DO!!!!!!!!!!!
    i couldn't get u.
    fat_kax likes this.
  19. fat_kax

    fat_kax Kickin Ass Since 1989 !


    i dunno - i get the strummin bit naturally
    just hear the song carefully....even semiconciously :rock:
  20. khuram82

    khuram82 ......:mad:........

    regarding the chords such as C major, B major etc.........playing them barred using 2 fingers as suggested by notty and the rest is a good way.............n even i used that way to play these chords..............but i would never say that its a good practice..........the best practice is the conventional style i.e index finger to barre all the strings and middle,ring and pinky one for holding those three strings ...........because the sound itself for the strummin only is not important.........i can bet most of u who play these chords with 2 fingers will notice that ur ring finger tend to rest on the 'e' string..........no matter how well u try.......unless ur ring finger has some real flexibility (which is not common) it will tend to rest on 'e' string.................so the best way is to use the conventional style...........it takes time to get fluent with it..........but it does pay off big time!

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