Help - 2 chords in a bar & strumming Old Faithful alone or with the Songs App (moderator combined topic)

I am using the four chords app to learn the song Arctic Monkeys - 505.
The song uses the strumming pattern “old faithful”
On a bar of music the chords appear like this on screen


The second DM appears to be on beat 3. But for the old faithful strumming pattern you do not strum on beat 3. Strum is on 1 2& 4&
I am very confused, am I misunderstanding something?
I have uploaded a screenshot to help explain as well.
Any help would be appreciated.

Welcome to the community Adam.
Listen to the original recording. Strumming pattern are not the
answer to everthing. Either the chord changes on the third beat
but isn’t played right away or the strumming pattern changes
to fit the chord change in.
The important thing is to stay in time.

@stitch thanks for the help. As long as I get beat 1 correct is it not worth worrying about the second chord which shows up?

As I am so new to the guitar I find it hard to know if I am on time or not. Are there any lessons that teach timing and how to understand and know if you are in time with a song?

Hi Adam, welcome to the community. I’m fairly new as well. I find it very useful, once I have the chord progression and strumming pattern down, to work on the song using a metronome. Then I look up on YouTube a live version of the song I’ve been learning and play along tapping my foot in synch.

Hi Adam, although you do not strum on beat 3 that’s when you make the chord change, so the Dm is in place ready for the up strum. Hope that helps. :sunglasses:

Hi @TheMadman_tobyjenner.

I have read what you have written 4-5 times but not sure I am understanding correctly.

To clarify when the vertical timing line hits the second DM (beat 3) I should be doing a down strum which misses? Bit confused why the app shows a strum being done on the threat board on that second DM.

Thank you for your help.

It has been a long day so apologies if I am not understanding the obvious :joy:

Thanks for everyone’s warm welcome and help :slightly_smiling_face:


I do not use the app but fully understand old faithful DDU_UD

So if you are strumming as instructed your hand is constantly moving, regardless whether you touch the strings. So you start the bar on Em and change to Dm yes ?
So on Em you strum DDU then change to Dm on beat 3 and strum UD

Think of it another way and add a down strum on the 3ed beat the pattern becomes DDUDUD
So the bold D is beat three and is the Dm. Try doing that a few times and then miss the strings on the D you’re then back to DDUUD. Changing the chord as if its being played on the 3rd beat gives you time to have it down before the up strum which is the 3+ (!+2+3+4+).


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@AdamWilko have you watched the lesson on Justin’s website?

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I haven’t, had no idea that existed will take a look


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.