Guitar Strumming Tips

Learn how to play ANY guitar strumming pattern with these essential strumming basics.

View the full lesson at Guitar Strumming Tips | JustinGuitar

I’ve always struggled to tap my foot on down beats and keep it in time. Justin mentioned lifting your foot in rhythm during your upstream, and for some reason I’d never connected those two. That little tip really resonated for me.

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As do I. I am new of course and keeping time is my biggest challenge. As Justin suggests it is THE big deal. More practice and maybe in time it will come to me.

More practice is key. I struggled with strumming in the beginning but the more u play, the more it becomes second nature

I’m used to changing chords before the count 1 but when I practice strumming with the first count blank (no strum on count 1) it really throws me off when it comes to changing chords.

Hello @Asant welcome to the Community.

When you write:

I presume you mean that you make a chord change so that your fingers are in position for when the count of 1 arrives.
That is fine. Most people need to lift off and change chords early in the beginner stages.
For this …

At your stage, and for some while as you develop your rhythm skills, you absolutely do not want to miss the beat of 1. That first beat is the foundation for good rhythm. You can play along with a song strumming only on beat 1. It is so fundamental. But to play without it is definitely going to cause problems. I urge you to always include your beat 1 strum.

Hope that helps.
Cheers :smiley:
| Richard_close2u | JustinGuitar Official Guide & Moderator

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I find that when I am using a pick it tends to hit the middle pickup as I pluck strings. It tends to be annoying. Any suggestions other then getting a guitar without a middle pickup?

Hi Terry and welcome.

If you are hitting the pick up you are digging in way too deep and I would say strumming too hard. Try just brushing the strings with the pick. Also adjust the angle on the pick so the tip is pointing upwards a little, this will help it glide across the strings.



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Hello @tas49 welcome to the Community.
Toby has rightly addressed the strength of strum and the angle of the pick.
My other thought is to ask how much of the tip protrudes beyond your finger grip? If too much, that could be your problem. Aim for something like this.




Also, at these early beginner stages, you can happily and successfully learn and play without using the middle pickup. Some guitarists never use their middle pickup. And that means you can use the adjuster screws to lower its height fractionally. Not flush to the body / pickup mount. But down a little.

Hope that helps.
Cheers :smiley:
| Richard_close2u | JustinGuitar Official Guide & Moderator

A fun song that has the first strumming pattern is Nirvana - the man who sold the world for the ones interested.