Basic strumming patterns

These are two very common basic strumming patterns for guitar. Just use one chord when beginning to practice them. After a while when you feel like you've got the pattern, you can try playing a chord progression using it.

I will give you a couple of examples of songs that use these basic strumming patterns. If you haven't read the first strumming lesson you should do so before learning these patterns.

Here is the first one:



Remember to keep the arm moving down up down up, even on the beats that are left out. Notice how the downstrokes always come on the beats and the upstrokes on the &s.

A couple of songs using this pattern are:

  • About a girl - Nirvana
  • Good Riddance (Time of your life) - Green Day


The other pattern in this lesson looks like this:

The X means that you should strum all the strings, but they should be completely muted. Mute the strings with your hand, just before you strum and you will get this scratching sound. No notes should be heard.

This is a strumming pattern frequently used in Creedence songs, for example:

  • Have you ever seen the rain
  • Proud Mary

Now try playing these songs and soon these patterns will be automatic.

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