Strumming patterns create different motor rhythms through hitting and missing. We have included a handful of common patterns below. These may not even be necessary for you to play a pattern that you hear in a song. Read more about our thoughts on strumming patterns here [Talk tab].
The basic principle with strumming is that the strumming hand never stops moving. Even though it might miss, the hand keeps moving. For these patterns, use any chord, open strings (the open chord), or a mute (lightly touch to create a clunk).
Strum this a few times and immediately move to strumming 8ths. Notice that this pattern is a hit-miss. When you miss, the hand passes across the strings without hitting (or awkardly whipping the hand).
Once you master this (make it automatic), then learn to miss without altering your strumming motion (like changing speed on a miss, or whipping your hand awkardly to miss).
Missing on the & of 1 and the & of 3.
Missing on the & of 1 and the & of 4.
This is the world's most used strumming pattern. We miss on the & of 1 and the downbeat of 3 [an 8th rest indicates the miss on beat 3 - we can let the chord ring or hush it with a mute - typically, we just let it ring].
Here is a pattern in 3/4 time. We can also miss on the & of 3.
And here is a pattern, hitting down on all the beats. This example is in 6/8 time. We put the accents typically on beats 1 and 4 and play these as triplets.