How To Strum A Guitar: A Beginner’s Guitar Strumming Technique

How To Strum A Guitar: A Beginner’s Guitar Strumming Technique
By Jimmy Dylan

Learning how to strum a guitar can be daunting when starting to learn the guitar, but here’s a guitar strumming technique you can try out to make it easier.

Strumming is a series of down and up strokes. There are a variety of strum patterns that can be made with the down and up stroke. What makes the difference in each strum pattern for the guitar are the accents. An accent is when you emphasize a stroke by playing harder than the rest of the strokes. Placing accents in the right strokes will make up about 80% of your guitar strumming technique.

Before working on accents, you want the down and up strokes to be nice and even. The evenness of the strokes will ensure a really nice strum sound with the added accents. When practicing this, keep the strings from playing notes by lightly placing your non-strumming hand on the strings over the fingerboard. This will keep you from being distracted by the concoction of noise from the strings.

If your repetition of down and up strokes is even, move onto adding accents.

Here’s a very basic example of a strumming pattern with an accent.

D – down stroke

U – up stroke

D U D U D U D U

In this example, the bold faced D is accented. Emphasize the first down stroke, followed by a normal up down up stroke, then repeat the pattern. If this is difficult, start really slow. It might not sound great at first, but when you start speeding the strumming pattern, it’ll start to sound like you’re playing a real song.

Another example is:

D U D U D U D U

Here’s a more complicated guitar strumming pattern.

D U D U D U D U D U D U D U D U

Remember that if you start slow and build up to playing it quicker, the sounds you make will start to sound like a real guitar part.

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