The quality of the strumming for a good guitarist really defines him from a crowd. The strumming can make or break the song. But, if you're like me it can also be quite difficult to get really good at. But it is definitely worth investing time to learn the strumming patterns for the guitar. Once you know how to strum well - you're half way there.
You can read how to strum and talk about it as much as you like but until you actually get practicing nothing will change. The best thing to do is to listen to a song and try to work out the beat with your hand and count as you go along. Strum with the end of your fingers or with a pick, whichever feels more comfortable for you.
Let's take a look at two simple strumming patterns:
FIRST EXAMPLE Play Down and Up and Down and Up and Down and Up and Down with your strumming hand in a relaxed position, moving freely. It doesn't matter which chord. You can also count 1 and 2 and 1 and 2 and 1 and 2. Make sure the motion is coming from your wrist and strum over the hole of your guitar for maximum quality of sound.
SECOND EXAMPLE that we are going to learn today is a little more complicated but don't panic! It is one that is used in Country Music, Rock and Pop. So you can use it for many of the new songs you're learning. It actually involves taking a part of the strum away not adding.
What you need to do is remove the strum on the count of 3 but still keep moving your wrist. Just don't touch the strings on the count of 3. Keep practicing this until you get faster and faster and the sound comes across naturally. It may take some time but it is definitely worth the investment.
There are many more strumming patterns that can be learned easily if you put your mind to it. One tip I would give you is to tap away with your feet or hand when you hear a particular song on the radio and try to count the beat and work out which strum you would use if you were playing it on your guitar.
There are lots of great websites which teach you strumming patterns for guitar and you can also find videos which will help you learn faster as you'll get a very graphical view as well as audio so it is easier to learn.
Whatever you do remember to HAVE FUN and enjoy your playing :)
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