Guitar Strumming 101

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Guitar Strumming 101


[lollum_dropcap]C[/lollum_dropcap]lear and consistent guitar strumming is an important skill to master for any beginning player. You can have all the chops in the world, but if you can’t hold a rhythm together nobody will want to play with you.

Keep your wrist loose as you strum up and down from the elbow. It’s almost as if you have something stuck on your hand and you’re trying to flick it off with a snap of the wrist at the bottom of your strum.

For a lighter sound grip your pick loosely, and for a heavier sound grip it firmer. This increases or decreases the pick’s resistance causing the strings to vibrate more or less. 

Always maintain an up and down strum motion and simply skip the up or down strokes that aren’t needed for the pattern you’re playing. This will help you to maintain a steady tempo.

The 9 Most Common Strums

Below are song examples that feature the nine most common strum patterns from table at the bottom of this page.


Here are nine of the most common guitar strum patterns. Pick one of your favorite chords and refer to the guide above for examples of songs that feature each strum.