2 chords in bar, how to strum?

I was wondering how the strumming goes, when there’s 2 chord’s in the bar?
Say Old Faithful DDUUD. How do you do that?
I’m currently on Grade 1module 7 ,and like the songs where I can do the strumming a bit more. But was struggling with this.

Hi Toni it all depends on the song you are playing and there is no straight answer to your question. You can either choose where the change works out the best or you can for instance in the middle of your bar play open strings to switch over to a different chord to give yourself some more time to change. An example of a song you think about would be great

Hi Adrian, for example “ the last time” from Rolling Stones. Very simple but fast , for me that is, There are switches between A en D in the bar. Maybe I just need to practice some more. I’m not really ready to switch from strumming to down strums at this pace. It’s getting messy, which can’t be good. I play with the app. But don’t want to turn the bpm to low. Cause then I don’t recognize the song anymore :wink:

Hi there,

It really depends on the song whether the change is on an upstrum or a downstrum, or if there is or is not a push.

In OF, DDUUUD is one bar. I’d suggest you to try playing one chord per bar first to get comfortable with it. Then try switching between Am and C, for example (only need to move 1 finger), on one of the downstrums. This could be an easy start in this case.

Old Faithful presents a problem in that case, because with two chords in a bar, the 2nd chord usually comes in on beat 3 and there is no strum on beat 3 for Old Faithful. One common solution is to switch to a different pattern that does have a strum on beat 3 for that bar (e.g D DU D DU). Then go back to Old Faithful for bars that have just one chord.

Hi Ton,
No idea if it will be easier for you this way, but there is a lesson from …, but you are digging in Grade 5 :wink:
Greetings ,Rogier

Well there’s a simplified version in Grade 1.
With just A,D and E chord. I know I can get ahead sometimes, but Grade 5 Wow, I wish :wink:

O, :see_no_evil:
Thanks to you I am now very busy with this song now…and I already jump in 7 rivers at once :sweat_smile:…this is going to be very difficult for a beginner I quickly started to think, just a little more patience than…have fun

Zal ik doen.
Jij ook succes :crossed_fingers:

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I downloaded the app to see how it’s played and slowed it down to think how I would tackle it and here is my thought:

Slow it down to 50% for starters. For chord E play Old Faithful strumming pattern for a full bar. Now for D and A you sort of split your bar between those two chords but rather literally splitting it I would play it this way:

D D U for D chord then
D D U to A chord and then
moving back to E chord for full bar.

Hope this makes sense but if not give me a shout and I can try to properly record it over later in the evening. I reckon properly writing it down would be like:

D / D U / U D U x D / D U x D / D U
E / E E / E E E A / A A D / D D

where x means space between each bar and / means missed strum.


I had seen the lesson but it was way beyond my level although Justin touches on the A D and E chords but the strumming does not seem to be Old Faithful as he is playing the base notes

@roger_holland @jjw1 @adi_mrok @Jozsef
Going to try the various suggestions to see what works best. Not tried a change of strumming pattern during a song. However I have been practicing Bad Moon Rising which has a change from A to G after second beat with Justin recommend pattern of DDDUDU, not got up to full bpm yet but getting there, could try that it has a D on beat 3. It doesn’t take long in your journey before things get complicated, but that’s the enjoyment of it.

I just listened to The Last Time on the app, and I don’t hear any strumming pattern at all on the D and A chords…just a downstrum on each beat.

My experience is that you have to focus on getting a solid chord change on the correct beat first, and bring that up to tempo a bit.

Then, dial back the tempo, and introduce the strumming pattern, and start bringing up the tempo again, while being absolutely certain you are still nailing each chord change at that tempo. If you can’t do that consistently, you are probably raising the tempo too quickly.

Thank you for all your effort put in to this.
I’m going to try this,and see if I can manage.
Or I go back to something easier to me.

This is the suggested strumming pattern for this song in app. Maybe not the whole song trough.

It doesn’t really matter, this song was just an example.
I guess I’m trying to do stuff I’m not capable of yet. Thanks for input :pray:


After my last comment, I actually tried to play The Last Time with the app.

Man, at 167 BPM - that’s fast!

At first, I could only keep up by just playing each chord once, while keeping my strumming hand moving. After a couple of minutes, I was able to play all the chords on the downbeats, on the correct beat.

Had to slow it down to 60% before I could do OF on the E, and all downs on the D and A.

Don’t compare yourself to me in terms of how fast you can play…I’ve finished Grade 2, so probably further along than you.

But I’m convinced the advice I gave in my previous comment is solid. Hope it works for you.!

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Maybe this has been asked before. If I use “old faithful” strumming or other pattern, and there is a chord change within the four beats, how should the strumming be performed if it is normally on four beats? Maybe the strumming just continues after the coord change?

I’m a relative beginner so others may disagree but generally in the pattern there’s DDU which covers beats 1&2, then there’s half a beat to make the chord change as the D on beat 3 is skipped and then UD with the new chord, so I look to make the chord change during the 3rd downstroke but keep the strumming pattern going regardless. (and so yes it does mean you get 3 strums of chord 1 and 2 strums of chord 2)

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Thanks, that makes sense.


Matthew @mattswain
I agree that’s how I do it

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Good suggestions above. However, sometimes when you change chords mid-bar, you really want to hit the new chord on the down beat. To emphasise that you are changing to a new chord. In that case, you can substitute a different strum pattern for the one bar, one that has a downstrum on beat 3. E.g . D DUD DU or D DUDUDU, or even D DUDU U

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