Hello @moparboy and welcome to the Community.
Is there a typo in your question?
Do you mean ‘if I suck’ or if I (get) stuck’?
Either way, counting out loud while you play a strumming pattern to a beat (metronome or drum track) is an essential to develop solid rhythm skills.
Count out loud 1, 2, 3, 4 if counting quarter notes.
Count out loud 1 & 2 & 3 & 4 & if counting eighths.
Alternate that by saying out loud
Down, Down, Down, Down
Down, Up, Down, Up, Down, Up,Down, Up
Hope that helps.
| Richard_close2u | Community Moderator, Official Guide, JustinGuitar Approved Teacher
Mick. Great piece of advice! I find that doing this also gives me a little more time before repeating the strumming pattern.
How do I get to the strumming patter cheat sheet Justin refers to?
it’s in the resources under the video
I really do struggle with beginning the strumming pattern with an up strum,is there any song that begins with an up strum? or it’s not necessary to practice that?
Too many to mention (for example a lot of reggae) …so just keep practicing…I promise you it will be fine…after a lot of practice and just before the frenzy, there the penny will drop
I wish you a lot of fun,
[ mod edit - note that reggae plays between the beats but the technique uses down strums, so the strum patterns are inverted to what you are learning here. ]
I’m 18 months into the course, and haven’t needed to start any songs on an upstrum - yet!
For me, learning a couple of songs that “push” chords (I.e. the chord change is on the upbeat) really helped my upstrums.
The intro to Don’t You (Forget About Me), by Simple Minds, was the one that gelled the concept for me.
You could try Take it Easy, which begins with an up-strum.
Thanks for including Uriah Heep’s, Lady in Black in the song catalog. For one it’s just a great song, but it’s also a great song to practice different strumming patterns. I was able to come up with several that sounded good and were fun to play as well.
Some suggestions on the strumming patterns that are commonly used so that I can practice them. I currently only play 4:4 . So i practice the old faithful, DDDUD, DDUDUD, DDUDD. Any other similar patterns which I should be practicing?
At this stage, practice only patterns that always start on the beat of 1, a Down strum.
That’s a Grade 3 song however.
And it starts with an upstrum because it starts with a push and continues using a pushed rhythm (changing chord on the and after 4) through large sections of the song.
Having four or five default strumming patterns is more than enough.
Make them solid and reliable and you are good.
That is better than learning dozens of patterns that you don’t know how to play or apply.
Also, see https://www.justinguitar.com/store/strumming-sos
A post was split to a new topic: Reggae Rhythm … Down or Up?
This might be relevant to this conversation. I am practicing with Hometown Girl (Josh Turner) in the songs app. I started by using just down strums but my timing was off based on how it is layed out.
Main pattern is:
D - Em
C - D
Using the 4 beats to the bar
D up - down Em- down up - down up
C up - down D- down up - down up
So in the first measure the Em is played on the up strum and in the second the D is played on the up strum.
If I don’t do it this way my strumming gets all mixed up with the beat. Has anybody found the same?
Attila Cape Breton
Can you please describe / write this out more clearly, you need to show (out of eight possible Down / Up strums) where some are missed and some are played.
Hi Richard, I think the way the OP has written it is that he is playing 1&2 on the the D then &3&4& on the Em then similar for the next bar.
The only time the strings are played is where you see the chord written in my first post. The rest of the time I am moving my arm so I get used to strumming the entire measure.
So in the first beat of the first measure D is strummed on the down strum and on the second beat Em is strummed on the up strum. The rest of the measure I am just moving my arm to get used to strumming. You would need to go to the song in the Songs app to get a clearer picture I think.
I would like to know if I am strumming correctly for that particular practice song. Ie Hometown Girl
Thanks for clarifying.
Based on that, using an underscore for a strumming motion where you miss the strings, it would be written as:
| D _ _ Em _ _ _ _ | C _ _ D _ _ _ _ |
It would be counted as:
| 1 _ _ & _ _ _ _ | 1 _ _ & _ _ _ _ |
Or, if all counts are written but those strummed are in bold:
| 1 & 2 & 3 & 4 & | 1 & 2 & 3 & 4 & |
What you are doing is playing a pushed rhythm in every bar, changing to a new chord not on the count of 3 but on the and after 2. If so, you’re making it tricky. It would be simpler and more accessible to make the chord changes after every two beats. I don’t know the song at all so am unsure what is going on in the actual record.
| D _ _ _ Em _ _ _ | C _ _ _ D _ _ _ |
| 1 _ _ _ 3 _ _ _ | 1 _ _ _ 3 _ _ _ |
| 1 & 2 & 3 & 4 & | 1 & 2 & 3 & 4 & |