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Lesson 17: More strumming patterns in 4/4 time

Please purchase the course before starting the lesson.

This lessons covers a couple basic concepts – we’ll learn a new basic 4/4 pattern and we’ll go over down strums.

Our next 4/4 pattern

1   2   3   4   ,...
D  UDUD  UDUD DU,...

This pattern is a bit more complicated than the first 4/4 pattern we learned, but it will work in a lot of songs in 4/4 time. I use this pattern all the time. You can embellish it a bit to make it bigger and more complex, and you can also back off in places to make it feel more open.

This pattern (as well as most patterns) is a whole note pattern, but we often come across chord changes that are half-note changes. I will often use a different strumming pattern for half-note changes that looks like this:

1   2   3   4   ,...
D D D DUD D D DU,...

Down Strums

Down strums are a great way to build or to bring in a different rhythmic dynamic. The basic down-strum pattern is to strum on 8th notes like this:

1   2   3   4   ,...
D D D D D D D D ,...

You can also do 16th notes, but I like to use down and up strums:

1   2   3   4   ,...
DDUDUDUDUDUDUDUDU,...

You’ll want to create a sort of groove in your strumming by emphasizing certain beats. In the video above I demonstrate what this looks and sounds like.

Putting it all together

For your homework this week, try putting all 3 of these concepts together – the basic whole note pattern, the half-note pattern, and the down strums. In the video lesson I demonstrate doing this over a chord progression. The chord progression you use doesn’t really matter – just choose chords from the same key.

Good luck, and see you in the next lesson!

Back to: Learn How To Play Guitar – Beginner Course > Rhythm and Strumming
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