4 Guitar Strumming Patterns You Can Learn In 7 Days


Learning new strumming patterns is a great way to spice up your guitar playing.

Unfortunately, strumming patterns are also known to be extremely difficult, especially for beginners.

But what if I told you that there were a few simple strumming patterns any beginner can learn in just 7 days?

In this article I’m going to share my top 4 beginner guitar strumming patterns to help you add rhythm and flavor to your playing.

Plus, I’ll also share a special strumming course you can try out for free to take your strumming even further.

How I Learned To Strum Like A Pro In Just 1 Week

I’m Reggie.

Since my college days I’ve wanted to get back into learning the guitar.

And, now that I am retired, I finally found the time to do it.

While I’m no Hendrix, I’ve gotten to a stage where I can comfortably play my favorite songs and even jam along with some of my friends, too.

Best of all, I did it all in just a few months.

So, I guess you’re wondering how I did it.

Well, it took some time.

First I got lessons with a local teacher but that didn’t last long.

Then I looked for free material online, which also didn’t get me very far.

Eventually I learned a handful of chords which allowed to play a good number of songs.

That was great.

But then I soon realized:

All the songs I played sounded the same.

Regardless if it was Bob Marley’s Natural Mystic or Johnny Cash’s Folsom Prison, all my songs had a similar vibe and feel.

The problem was my strumming.

While I had all the chords I needed in order to play a wide variety of songs, I never got around to working on my strumming technique.

So, I started looking for ways to improve it. .

There were thousands of materials online, exploring everything from classic country patterns to elaborate fiery latin rhythms involving all kinds of fancy techniques.

Here I’ve compiled my top 4 strumming patterns for beginners just like you.

Not only are they easy to practice but they’ll also add rhythm and flare to your playing.

Best of all, you can learn them all in just 7 days.

Getting Started: Strumming Basics

Before I dive in and explain individual patterns, it’s important to cover some basics

All the patterns here are in 4/4 timing (4 beats per bar) which is the standard timing for most rock, folk, country, and pop music.

I’ve broken every pattern down into either 8 or 16 beats to help close in on the different elements of the strum.

All of the strumming patterns below will be built off the classic alternate strumming pattern, which looks like this:

1 & 2 & 3 & 4 &

D U D U D U D U

If you don’t know this pattern already, make sure you take the time to do so.

Because it includes both up and down strums, this is a great strum for beginners as it helps build up both techniques simultaneous.

To make the most out of this lesson, I suggest playing all of the strums along with metronome at a nice, slow pace (roughly 60 bpm).

This will help you count out the beats in each bar and will help you get your patterns sounding smooth and coherent as well.

As you improve, feel free to bring up the speed of your metronome and begin playing the patterns faster.

Top 4 Strumming Patterns For Beginner Guitarists

The Reggae Strum

This is a classic strum every guitarist needs to know.

Not only is it super simple, but it’ll get almost anyone moving automatically.

Here’s how it goes:

1 & A 2 & A 3 & A 4 & A |

D U D U D U DU

There’s not a lot of science to this strum, but the rhythm can be tricky to get a hold of.

If you’re stuck, listen to some slow reggae jams like Natural Mystic by Bob Marley and The Wailers (or any other Bob Marley songs for that matter) and you’ll hear this strum in action.

The Classic Country Strum

If you love country music, this strum is perfect for you.

Unlike the alternate pattern we mentioned above, this strum uses a bass not picking technique to give it that classic country feel.

To strike a bass note, simply pluck the root note of the chord you’re playing.

So, if you’re playing an E major, for example, play the bass note by simply picking the low E string.

Or, if you’re playing a G major, play it by picking the 3rd fret on the 6th string (the root note of the G chord).

Here’s how it goes:

1 & A 2 & A 3 & A 4 & A |

B D U B D U B D U B D U

While it might seem a bit tricky and uncomfortable, this strum is really simple and helps add a little country flare to your playing.

While it’s a little simplified, this strum is similar to the strumming patterns you hear on classic folk/country songs like Bob Dylan’s Blowing In the Wind.

If you want to step it up a little, try alternating your bass notes.

So, if you’re playing an E chord, for example, alternate your bass notes by picking the open E string on beats 1 and 3, followed by the 2nd fret of the A string (B) on notes 2 and 4.

This will help solidify that country feel.

The Classic Pop Strum

This strum is iconic to pop music, and is arguably one of the most popular strumming patterns in the world.

You’ll hear versions of it on countless pop songs both old and new, including Hey There Delilah by The Plain White T’s, Brown Eyed Girl by Van Morrison, Wish You Were Here by Pink Floyd, and Green Day’s Good Riddance.

Here’s how it looks:

1 & 2 & 3 & 4 & |

D D U U D U

The essence of this strumming pattern really lies in the rest beats, so make sure you mark those out properly.

Again, it helps to practice this pattern along with a metronome and count the strum out aloud.

Once you’ve got it down, bring up the speed of your metronome and get ready to pump out all the best timeless pop songs.

The Hard Rock Down Strum

This last strum, as the name suggests, is a staple in rock and even harder genres like punk.

It consists of all down strums but uses strong palm muting to help add to the overall groove and feel of the pattern.

You’ll hear this pattern (or variations of it) on classic rock songs like Bryan Adams’ Summer of 69 as well as punk anthems like Bonzo Goes To Bitburg by The Ramones or Blink 182’s All The Small Things.

Here’s how it goes:

1 & 2 & 3 & 4 & |

D D D D D D D D

While it looks straight forward, the key here is to really mute the strings as you strum them.

A good way to get a solid, even muted sound is to gently lay the palm of your hand over the strings as you strum.

Alternatively, you can strum as you would regularly and slightly mute the strings with your palm on every down stroke.

This is a bit harder, however, and doesn’t quite achieve the same sound.

Finally, if you’re playing an electric, add a little bit of gain to your amp for bit of power

How To Take Your Strumming To The Next level

The strumming patterns above will work wonders to spice up your playing.

At the same time they’ll also introduce you to some of the more popular playing styles of folk, rock, and pop genres.

But let’s face it, these patterns will only bring you so far.

As I mentioned earlier, there are thousands of different strumming patterns out there, each with its own unique spice and flavour.

So where do you go once you’ve mastered these patterns?

I suggest the Strumming Mastery Course with Ian Argys at JamPlay.

Learn Strumming Technique From The Pro’s

Ian Argys is a professional guitar teacher at JamPlay, and In this 10-week intensive course, he takes you through everything you need to know about strumming the guitar.

The course will help you build up technique in both your strumming and fretting hands, and each lesson will build off the last with new exercises and twists.

The first five weeks will focus on strumming while the second half will focus on playing with your fingers.

The course is designed to challenge both beginners and experienced players, while inspiring and transforming your playing.

I bragged that I learned to strum like a pro in just 1 week, and it’s thanks to courses just like this one.

To try JamPlay for free today, click the yellow button below for a limited free trial.

Happy strumming!