THE Strumming Pattern

Im getting to be fairly good at strumming the DDUUD pattern with my arm/hand, but my foot gets bonkers when i miss the 3rd down…it doesn’t know when to drop.

Playing along to a metronome click or drum beat might help. Don’t be afraid to go slow at first, like 40 - 60 BPM.

Or write out the strumming pattern over the count - large text on a full sheet of paper seems to help - and play very slowly to a click until it starts to flow.

For me, trying to tap my foot seems to get in the way when learning something new. I focus on getting a good solid rhythm in my strumming hand, and then the foot tapping just seems to emerge naturally.

I would just recording yourself doing the strum pattern and then play it back and try to tap your foot to it. Slow it down, if necessary.

Wow, at first I thought this isn’t too hard, I didn’t realize how much quicker I played through that dropped 3rd beat and how it affected the timing until I turned on the metronome. I guess the brain just wants to get back to making noise! :laughing:


Jason @Jay_R
First of all welcome to the community :+1:
I think your early experiences with OF mirrors mine in that the time between the two up strums was far too quick it was almost as if it was meant to be the down strum. Fortunately with practice I think I have overcome it, like at lot of things on the guitar practice is the key.

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Well, I’ve been at it for over a week now, and I’ll admit I almost stalled right here too! I feel like I’m starting to get it, but my mechanics are still wrong, and like @MAT1953 said, that means my timing has to be wrong, too. Instead of maintaining a smooth strumming motion, right now I’m just holding my arm down near the low E-string, waiting briefly before I pick the up-strum. I’m thinking in my head 1, 2 and… and 4! But I’m sure if I work up the courage to try it with a metronome again, it’s going to sound bad. But at least I have a better idea of what it’s supposed to sound like! Somebody on another forum suggested I go back and try to maintain a basic 1-2-3-4 strumming pattern at a lower tempo, 60-70bpm, so I think that’s what I’m going to do at the start of every practice session for a while.

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Ian @istewart
If I am reading you correctly you are not moving you strumming hand up and down all the time, which I think is a bad habit to get into. You will in turn learn not strum on the down of 3.
If you have been doing OF for only a week it is early days, it will come with practice. I did find I was better at more than 60 to 70 bpm but that might be a personal thing.

This strumming pattern is genuinely kicking my butt!

Strumming sounds like a pretty easy concept, move your arm to help glide the plectrum over strings to create sound, but the rhythm and especially doing it while changing chords is super difficult.

I do think there are aspects of strumming that I have rushed, so I’ll have to go back and revisit it from the first strumming video. I don’t want strumming to be something I dread. Fingers crossed it won’t be as tricky as I think it will be!

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