Guitar Strumming Patterns

Strumming Patterns – Part 1

I had been receiving a lot of comments and requests for various strumming patterns to practice apart from chords. Many people find it difficult to grasp the strumming pattern just by listening to the song. For them this list will be quite useful.

I got it from my guitar teacher long time back and it helped me practice strumming a lot even though I don’t remember most of them!

While practicing, keep a few things in mind:

  • Your right hand movement should be from the elbow only in a cyclic manner and it should be identical for every strumming pattern. Whether you are playing the simple March or stylish Rock, to a viewer, your hand must move up and down in a symmetrical way in each case.
  • Tap your foot to keep count of the bars as the pattern becomes complicated.
  • Practice each strumming pattern four times.
  • You need not remember each pattern in the list given below. It is for your practice!
  • Enjoy!

How to read Strumming Pattern?

^ – Down Stroke
v – Up Stroke
Simple Duple (2/4) – 2 beats to a bar.
Simple Triple (3/4) – 3 beats to a bar.
Simple Quadraple (4/4) – 4 beats to a bar.
The comma (,) is used here to differentiate between the separate beats contained in the bar of the pattern.

      MARCH

      (2/4) | ^ , v ||


      FOX-TROT

      (2/4) | ^ , ^v ||


      TANGO

      (2/4) | ^^-v , ^^ ||


      POLKA

      (2/4) | ^-^v , ^^ ||


      WALTZ

      (3/4) | ^ , ^ , ^ || OR | ^ , v , v ||


      FANDANGO

      (3/4) | ^ , ^v , ^ ||


      SARRABANDE

      (3/4) | ^ , ^ , -v | ^ , ^ , – ||


      SOUL

      (4/4) | ^ , ^-^v , ^v , ^v ||


      BOLERO

      (4/4) | ^v , ^ , ^v , ^ ||


      RHYMBA

      (4/4) | ^^ , -^ , ^v , ^v ||


      SWING

      (4/4) | ^v , ^v , ^ , v ||


      ROCK

      (4/4) | ^–v , ^–v , ^–v , ^–v ||


If you know more strumming patterns, do let me know in the comments and I will add it here. Keep watching for the concluding part 2 of the series!

Update: Lots of Guitar Strumming Patterns for Practice – Part 2

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