Question on strumming and singing

Hello all,
I’m a beginner with a goal of strumming and singing.
So far, I can strum and sing. Im at the stafe where I can only change chords when starting a new verse.

My issue right now is keeping up with the guitar rhythm/bar while singing. Right now, I just keep strumming on the same chord until a new set of verses come - I dont use a set number of beats per bar. EG, if a verse is long, I will just keep strumming on the same chord no matter how many beats. Is this a legit method?

Ive wrote lyrics to a song that will incorporate “strumming on the 1”, but im finding it hard to count the beats for the empty beats while singing (btw, im always moving my arm).

Is it easy to strum “on the one” while singing? Is there a better approach to achieve my next level of singing and playing guitar? Do i just need to keep practicing strumming on the one until I can do it without counting? Should i use a more filled out strumming pattern so i have an audio cue when ive finished a bar?

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Focus on the guitar some more.
You should be able to change chords where you have to before applying singing over it.
You need to build up more muscle memory so these things go on auto pilot.
Your rhythm should be quite solid because when singing, you won’t have a lot attention left to mind your strumming. That should go relatively fluid, steady and quite automatic.

Personally, I wouldn’t focus on singing too much before you can do a steady down strum on every count and an upstrum in between. Even with only downstrums on the 1,2,3 and 4 it will sound rather dull but that should be an absolute minimum.

It’s better to invest in real solid rhythm first. You’ll progress faster.


I fully agree with what @LievenDV said. Learn the song well enough that you are on automatic before you worry about singing along at first. Once you get the hang of it, you can learn to sing and strum new songs at the same time.

In some of the lessons Justin refers to getting the song down well enough that you could carry on a conversation with someone while playing the song / strumming pattern. While I wouldn’t recommend that socially, you hopefully get the point.

Hang in there, it does get a lot easier in time and it’s really worth it.

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I would as Lieven has suggested focus on guitar a little more. You need to be able to count bars of music so the approach to above is not really the one you want to follow. I get how it works for you at the moment but it wont work longer term. You need to count and know where you are in the song and when to change chords etc.

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@LievenDV @tony , thanks for the advice to get the strumming on autopilot before getting deep into singing.
@Rossco01, thanks for the advice and appreciating how my approach is working at the moment, but won’t work in the long term.
God bless. I’ll keep strumming and counting.