Strumming to Practice Song Lesson

Im new to the site, Beginner Grade1, module 5, my question, when playing along with the song practice lesson, each line has 2 chords. Does that 2 cord line represent 1 bar, 2 bars? I am trying to follow along with the old faithful strum, DDUUD, but don’t know if I should get 1, 2 or more strumming patterns in each line…please Help…anyone! My strumming/rhythm needs serious help!


Lee @TenorLee
If I am understanding you correctly the bar has two chords.
The general view on this is that DDU goes with the first chord and UD goes with the second chord. Sounds easy doesn’t it, but I found it difficult to do and if I am honest still do to an extent.
By the way welcome to the community :+1:

Hi Lee, I was pointed to the Strumming Machine in Justinguitar website. It’s brilliant for practicing different strumming patterns. There’s a metronome too that will help you with counting the beats. Hope this helps, have fun.

Hello Lee. Welcome to JustinGuitar and the Community.

I have just checked some songs on the Module 5 Practice Assistant video.
I am fairly certain they are visuals taken from the old version of the Songs App. I have just viewed Eleanor Rigby in the latest version of the App and it looks different now.

Here is a screen shot of that song.

The row on screen with C and Em is one bar.
The row on screen with two Em showing is also one bar.
By logic then all rows on screen span one bar of music and the chord dots are indicating beats 1 and 3.

I am trying to follow along with the old faithful strum, DDUUD

When there are two chords in a bar do not try to use Old Faithful, it causes more problems than it is worth. Use 2 or 4 Down strums instead - all on the beats.


Ok, understand that the practice may be one bar, and just strum on beat 1 and 3 should work. So, its one bar. I just received my Begginer Songbook in the mail, Im going back to basics, starting on song one, 3 Little Birds. The intro has 4 bar lines, the following chorus and verse has none, so I assume that is one bar. I watched Justin’s video again, and he is playing 8 down strokes on most lines, so then I assume its 2 bars, though on one I swear its only 7 down strokes. The intro of the book says there should be 4 beats to the bar, and 4 to the chord, so is the book lines 2 bars? Some of the other songs have bar lines…im new, and its confusing. The book is assumed to be 2 bars, and the online practice 1 bar?

Hi, for the most part, chords between lines are 4 beats to the bar (unless it’s 6:8 time, but there are few of those in the book). In 3 Little Birds, there are 4 strums per bar for the intro, there are 4 bars so 16 strums total. When I learned this, I use all down strums, 1 per each beat.

In the choruses and verses, there are no bar lines shown but 2 chords per line, Justin sort of touches on why there are no vertical lines in the Introduction of the first songbook. Each of those chords on each line is its own bar, so there are 2 bars for each line, or 8 total downstrums.

How I played this, was 4 downstrums for the first chord and as I switched to the next chord, another 4 downstrums for it, and so on.

So, for the first line you’d sing the first word, then on “worry” start strumming the A chord for 4 downstrums, “thing” starts the next 4 downstrums on chord A again, till you get to “very” on line 2 where you start 4 downstums on D, and so on. Write in the vertical lines yourself to make it clearer.

I don’t recommend using Old Faithful for this, not all songs sound good with it. I never could get the offbeat Reggae strumming figured out, so don’t worry about it. This song sounds just fine with 4 downstrums per bar.

I hope I haven’t confused you more.

Here is a link to how I played it.

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Hi @TenorLee , welcome to the forum, I think you have some good advice here but just wanted to say hello :+1: