6. Simple 4/4 Strumming Patterns with Downstrokes (BC-103)

Topic Progress:

By now, we’re starting to get used to the idea of playing in a 4/4 time signature using downstrokes and upstrokes, but you’ve probably also realised that it can become pretty boring playing like this. To make our chords sound a bit more interesting, we’re going to introduce some variety into our playing by using different strumming patterns.

The first strumming pattern we learned involved playing only downstrokes on each count, i.e., playing in quarter notes:

options width=700 stave-distance=30 tabstave notation=true tablature=false time=4/4/ notes :qS Bd/4 Bd/4 Bd/4 Bd/4 | Bd/4 Bd/4 Bd/4 Bd/4 text :h,.1,G,++,.13,.font=Times-8-,:q,1,2,3,4,|,1,2,3,4

= Downstroke

 

Simple Downstroke Strumming Pattern #1

We’ll start with a very simple strumming pattern to get used to this idea. This pattern uses quarter notes (i.e. downstrokes) and skips the fourth beat of every measure. To begin with, we’re going to mute the strings by resting the fingers of our fretting hand lightly across all six strings and simply strum all six strings on each downbeat using our strumming hand. Count to four (“1…2…3…4”) for each measure, strumming on the 1, 2 and 3 count, and skip the strum on the count of four (shown in brackets as (4), below the staff). When we skip the fourth strum, continue to move your strumming hand in a downward motion across the strings as if you were strumming it, making sure you don’t make contact with the strings. We call this a ghost strum, and we use this to help us to keep time while we play our strumming patterns:

options width=700 stave-distance=30 tabstave notation=true tablature=false time=4/4/ notes =|: :qS Bd/4 Bd/4 :hS Bd/4 | :qS Bd/4 Bd/4 :hS Bd/4 =:| text :h,.1, ,++,.13,.font=Times-8-,:q,|,1,2,3,(4),|,1,2,3,(4)

= Downstroke

Tip: Notation Symbols.

Remember, when the measures are enclosed in repeat signs, to repeat the passage:

repeat music between these signs

Now try playing this same strumming pattern using the chords we have learned:

G:1[G Major]
D:1[D Major]
Am:1[A Minor]
C:1[C Major]

options width=700 stave-distance=30 tabstave notation=true tablature=false time=4/4/ notes =|: :qS Bd/4 Bd/4 :hS Bd/4 | :qS Bd/4 Bd/4 :hS Bd/4 =:| text :h,.1,|,G,++,.13,.font=Times-8-,:q,|,1,2,3,(4),|,1,2,3,(4)

= Downstroke

 

options width=700 stave-distance=30 tabstave notation=true tablature=false time=4/4/ notes =|: :qS Bd/4 Bd/4 :hS Bd/4 | :qS Bd/4 Bd/4 :hS Bd/4 =:| text :h,.1,|,D,++,.13,.font=Times-8-,:q,|,1,2,3,(4),|,1,2,3,(4)

= Downstroke

 

options width=700 stave-distance=30 tabstave notation=true tablature=false time=4/4/ notes =|: :qS Bd/4 Bd/4 :hS Bd/4 | :qS Bd/4 Bd/4 :hS Bd/4 =:| text :h,.1,|,Am,++,.13,.font=Times-8-,:q,|,1,2,3,(4),|,1,2,3,(4)

= Downstroke

 

options width=700 stave-distance=30 tabstave notation=true tablature=false time=4/4/ notes =|: :qS Bd/4 Bd/4 :hS Bd/4 | :qS Bd/4 Bd/4 :hS Bd/4 =:| text :h,.1,|,C,++,.13,.font=Times-8-,:q,|,1,2,3,(4),|,1,2,3,(4)

= Downstroke

 

Simple Downstroke Strumming Pattern #2

Now we’re going to do the same thing as before, but we’re going to skip the strum on the second and the fourth beat (shown in brackets as (2) and (4), below the staff). First, we’ll try it by strumming only the muted strings, then we’ll try it with our chords. Remember to count to four each time and to use your ghost strum on the beats we are skipping.

options width=700 stave-distance=30 tabstave notation=true tablature=false time=4/4/ notes =|: :hS Bd/4 :hS Bd/4 | :hS Bd/4 :hS Bd/4 =:| text :h,.1, ,++,.13,.font=Times-8-,:q,|,1,(2),3,(4),|,1,(2),3,(4)

G:1[G Major]
D:1[D Major]
Am:1[A Minor]
C:1[C Major]

options width=700 stave-distance=30 tabstave notation=true tablature=false time=4/4/ notes =|: :hS Bd/4 :hS Bd/4 | :hS Bd/4 :hS Bd/4 =:| text :h,.1,|,G,++,.13,.font=Times-8-,:q,|,1,(2),3,(4),|,1,(2),3,(4)

= Downstroke

 

options width=700 stave-distance=30 tabstave notation=true tablature=false time=4/4/ notes =|: :hS Bd/4 :hS Bd/4 | :hS Bd/4 :hS Bd/4 =:| text :h,.1,|,D,++,.13,.font=Times-8-,:q,|,1,(2),3,(4),|,1,(2),3,(4)

= Downstroke

 

options width=700 stave-distance=30 tabstave notation=true tablature=false time=4/4/ notes =|: :hS Bd/4 :hS Bd/4 | :hS Bd/4 :hS Bd/4 =:| text :h,.1,|,Am,++,.13,.font=Times-8-,:q,|,1,(2),3,(4),|,1,(2),3,(4)

= Downstroke

 

options width=700 stave-distance=30 tabstave notation=true tablature=false time=4/4/ notes =|: :hS Bd/4 :hS Bd/4 | :hS Bd/4 :hS Bd/4 =:| text :h,.1,|,C,++,.13,.font=Times-8-,:q,|,1,(2),3,(4),|,1,(2),3,(4)

= Downstroke

 

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