Strumming with songs

Im struggling with suggested strumming patterns for songs. Ive read the advice but find it not to be useful. It says when two chord bubbles are pressent on a bar (usually 1st beat and 3rd) then a strum pattern is at play. It also says when just one bubble is present then this is just a down strum on that beat. Im currently on module 6 and so far every song ive played just has one chord bubble, but also a suggested strumming pattern? For example 505 by Arctic Monkeys. This has one chord bubble per row, which suggests one down strum on beat one. However it has a suggested strum pattern in the strum tab. Maybe ive misread the instructions. Any help would be appreciated. Im using the app through an android phone. Thanks

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Hi Ryan

The dots above the lyric lines are supposed to help count the beats. The bigger dots are the beats and the smaller ones are the ands. Where you see the chord bubble that indicates the chord change.

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As James said, the chord “bubble” only indicates a chord change, not individual strums. So if there is only one on the “row”, it means you play the strumming pattern for the song using that chord for the entire bar. When there is more than one chord bubble on a line, it means you change chord on that beat of the bar, while still using the stated strumming pattern.

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Thanks for the help, much appreciated.

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This is confusing to me because in the FAQ section for the song app it says “if there’s only one chord bubble on a row, you should just play a single down strum on beat one.” Which to me, doesn’t always sound correct for most songs.

Another thing that also confuses me is (I’ll use “Come to my window.”by Melissa Etheridge as example) the strumming pattern shows 1 2+ +4 but the chord change bubbles shown are on beat 1 and 3 throughout most the song. I find this same thing on a lot of songs on the app. As a beginner, this is not only frustrating, but like I said, confusing! Other songs show the chord bubbles on the exact beat it should be changed on, which makes way more sense.
Sometimes it appears as if the app is most concerned with pushing out more songs than making sure it’s written correctly.

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Yes, thats a bit confusing. It would apply for grade 1 module 1 where you only strum on beat 1. Previous guidance from Musopia in the FAQ was that the chord bubble just indicated where there was a chord change and not strumming pattern. One for @MusopiaApps to clarify.

All that is saying is that the chord changes on beats 1 and 3. The strumming pattern says you don’t play on beat 3. So you change chord on beat 3 in preparation for playing the chord on the & after beat 3.

If you’re not playing on beat 3 and playing on the & after beat 3 then it’s best to change chord on beat 3.


If thats actually the case, consistency throughout the song app would be appreciated. Plenty of beginner songs show chord changes on the exact beat it’s played. Not sure they are doing beginners any favors by not writing them all the same. It seems they care most about pushing more songs out than the quality control.