What is Guitar Strumming?
Guitarists use rhythmic strokes or sweeps to strike their guitar strings, this is called guitar strumming. There is a range of strumming patterns. It affects the song’s rhythm and defines a number of music genres.
The 4-Beat Downstrokes
Strumming downward feels more natural when you start playing guitar for the first time. This happens because your initial emphasis is on finger patterns across the fretboard. Because it’s simple, it’s an ideal way to build your sense of timing and boost your self-confidence before progressing to more complex strumming techniques later.
How to play: When you play the guitar, you have to strum down on every beat, like 1, 2, 3, and so on. Don’t strum on the “and” between the beats. One can start by playing this way with a slow beat, and then increase the speed gradually.
Add Two Upstrokes
Once you get your hands on the best downstrokes, it is time to add some upstrokes to the technique. For this, during the upstroke, you are required to reposition your wrist a bit to pass over the strings fluidly.
Obviously, it’s a bit difficult to learn and play. However, when you are accompanied by the chart, you will master it too. Commonly, alternative rock bands use this pattern. Therefore, this pattern is best if you like Alt-Pop strumming.
How to play: The player should do a downstroke on the 1st and 2nd beats, just like in the 1st strumming pattern. After that, on the 3rd and 4th beats, instantly add an upstroke right after the downstroke. After you play the 4th note with a downward stroke, repeat the same method.
Add Three Upstrokes
After you become successful in adding two upstrokes to your pattern, try adding one more. This will make it a total of three upstrokes in this strumming style. Do you know the 3-upstroke strumming style is a versatile one? Further, this strumming pattern can be used to play a number of songs. You can make it sound like indie rock or pop, subject to how fast or slow you play it!
How to play: This pattern mirrors the previous one. But the only difference is that here you need to add the upstroke right after the second downstroke. To make it easy: Play down on the first beat, then up on the ‘and’ beat, and down on the second beat, and keep repeating this for the third and fourth beats.
On the first beat, play a downstroke, skip the ‘and’, strum downwards on the second beat. this should be followed by an upstroke in the ‘and’ upbeat. Keep doing this for beats three and four too.
Downstroke On Downbeat, Upstroke On Upbeat
Until now, you might have an idea that we play the guitar strings down on the 1, 2, 3, and 4 beats. Meanwhile, we strum upwards in the spaces between those beats on the “and.” After you master strumming up and down smoothly, it is easy to play this pattern.
How to play: The player will play downstroke on all downbeats, i.e. 1, 2, 3 and 4. And he will play upstrokes on every ‘and’ or upbeat, in between the 1, 2, 3 and 4 beats. It is a continuous strumming pattern which gives enjoyment to both the player and the listener. This pattern is also called Eight Note-Down Up. It’s because you only use eighth notes.
Skip One Downstroke
As we have learned, the patterns do not require you to do upstrokes one after the other. There was always a downstroke in between. But in this pattern, we are going to make simultaneous upstrokes.
How to Play: For this pattern, you must play a downstroke on all downbeat and an upstroke on all upbeat or ‘the and’. This will be continued with the exception of one skip in the middle. Hence, the player doesn’t do the downward movement on the third beat; leave it blank.
Skip An Upstroke & Downstroke
In this, we will be skipping one downstroke and one upstroke. It’s a bit difficult than the last one but once you make it, you will be able to play a wide variety of songs.
How to play: Here you need to do two things when you play the music – first, skip the downstroke on the third downbeat. Along with that, skip the upstroke on the first upbeat.