Starting to learn the strumming for Wonderwall

Been trying to play Wonderwall with 8th note strumming as prelude to trying the proper strumming pattern. ( Eventually )
All module 8…

Edited to post link to soundcloud recording as I got that working recently and made a new copy, still using Kindle Fire through it’s microphone…

Getting there with the chords. One strum per beat sounding OK till I get a bit ahead of the song app…

So as I did grade 1 without the app and had some issues with metronome I must use song app a lot to get better at keeping time,…


You are doing fine Geoff.

Yeah, work on the chords first, don’t worry about strumming patterns until they are clean and you can get the changes in time.

Once you’re ready for the strumming, use the muted technique whereby you mute all the strings with the fretting hand and just work on the pattern. It’s a tough one (just ask Justin :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye: )

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Coming along nicely Geoff. You’ve identified the timing issue yourself. Keep listening to the backing track/metronome and don’t get so lost in the strumming that you drift away from the timing.
Well done.

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Here’s a written chart I created for students learning this:


@Richard_close2u, I really, really like this chart.

My ear is not good enough to figure out 16th note rhythms yet, and I usually have to resort to slow down software (like Anytune), and creating my own charts, which is a very slow and tedious process.

I also find counting 16ths difficult. Usually, a strum pattern (d d d u d u) is much easier to follow for me. It certainly was is this case.

I’m wondering if you see this with your students as well.

And also if you can suggest exercises to help with figuring out 16th rhythms. (I looked at Justin’s funk course, which is helping some, but I have no interest in playing funk music).

I’m confused. You mention 8th note strumming, but say you are doing one strum per beat, which would be 4th note strumming.

When I listen to your recording, I think I hear 4th note strumming, but don’t totally trust my ear in this case.

Can someone with better ears than mine confirm what is actually happening?

@Tbushell -Double strumming with appalling time keeping… Started with the intention of emphasising 2 and 4, didn’t work and I already edited the post enough…

I get excited and start to speed up and get ahead of the beat…

I wouldn’t say it’s appalling…sounds like you are mostly on the beat.

Yes, emphasizing the 2 and the 4 is very important for this song.

I gave up on it quickly when I first tried it a few months ago…couldn’t get it to sound right. But tried it again just a few days ago, and did a much better job of the rhythm right out of the gate. You might just have to gain more experience, like I did.

I find it takes a few bars to get with the beat on some songs, this was one I can start on the beat, I am trying a few songs with different tempos. Luca takes a couple of bars to get in sync. Also Brown Eyed Girl which I am using as revision as it has the C chord, I am using open chords rather than the stuck 3/4.

Hey Tom,

Not sure if its been mentioned, but Justins course - Strumming Techniques 1 & 2 - is brilliant. Completely transformed my strumming and rhythm over a few months. Complete with comprehensive downloadable video and worksheets. Highly recommended by many.



I used to struggle with synching to the beat as well.

Getting my strumming hand moving first and counting in before starting to play helped a lot. All the App songs have a count in. Though 4 beats are not very many to synch with.

You might want to experiment with slowing down the tempo in the App. I find with some songs there’s a “sweet spot” at slower tempos, where I can quickly and consistently get on the beat. Once I can do this, I can then gradually raise the tempo back to the original recording.

Don’t be afraid to slow the tempo a lot. For me there’s a kind of “a-ha!” feeling where it seems I just lock on to the beat. But this took a while to develop.

Metronome can be very helpful too.

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I start at about 60% for some songs, maybe I try to go to 100% before I should.

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I was waiting for somebody more expert than me to answer this, but no takers so far, so here’s my thought:

I think 1 strum per beat is 8th note strumming. It’s an 8th note strumming pattern in which all the up strums are omitted. The strumming hand is moving up and down with the same motion as for other 8th note patterns, such as Old Faithful. 16th note strumming is twice as fast: you have 8 down strums per bar, on the beat and on the “and” between beats. I actually don’t think I’ve ever heard anybody talk about 1/4 note strumming.

This is my take, but I’m happy to be corrected by somebody more knowledgable.


8th note strumming has 8 possible strums in the bar.

16th note strumming has 16 possible strums in a bar.

In the old beginners course Justin referred to the first strumming pattern where you learned to strum only on the beats, four down strums, as four-to-the-bar strumming.

Technically speaking yes, this is correct.
Though, for ease mostly, if there are no upstrums whatever it is more conventional to describe this is 1/4 notes / beats.
Once even just a single Up comes into the strum pattern does the need to subdivide to 1/8ths become apparent.
For ease, when learning 16ths, it can be easier to view one bar of 16ths as two bars of 1/8ths.

The lesson I was thinking of (Grade 2, Module 8), is “All down 8th note strumming”.

My takeaway is that the tempo (beats per minute) can be subdivided into 1/4 notes, 1/8 notes, etc, by different strumming patterns.

In future, I’m going to try to be more precise with with my terminology, and distinguish the strumming (“all downs”) from the beat subdivisions (“1/8 notes”).

Think I was confused because it was an audio recording, not a video.

I posted after watching that, the difference seemed only that i was missing the emphasis on the back beat.
Good discussion regarding that… :smiley:

Maybe I should revise the grade 1 lesson on 6:8 strumming…

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One of my keyboard teachers showed me a trick similar to what you describe, but I don’t remember the exact details.

I think he divided each bar down the middle, and then doubled the value of each note. 1/16ths became 1/8ths, 8ths became 1/4ths, etc.

@Richard_close2u , can you confirm? I remember it made things much easier to follow, but I’ve had trouble doing it myself.

I think what makes this riff cool is the way the chord changes “push” around the solid backbeat hits on 2 and 4. Very tricky to do, though, when you are starting out.

If you want an easier introduction to chord pushes, take a look at Don’t You (Forget About Me). The D to Em change is pushed in the intro. The Em change comes on an upstrum, assuming you are doing 4 downs to the bar strumming.

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Yes, that is how you think about it, scaling up or down by doubling / halving.
See these two versions of the Wonderwall pattern, one written in 1/16ths and the other in 1/8ths.

2 bars of 1/16ths

4 bars of 1/8ths

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