Alternating Strum Patterns

Now that we have developed proper down- and upstroke technique, we can begin combining them into strum patterns.  We write these strum patterns over the same grid as we did in the previous lesson:

1  +  2  +  3  +  4  +

In the previous lesson on reading strum patterns, we observed how downstrokes can be placed “on the beat”, meaning they will be written over the numbers in a strum pattern like so:

D     D      D      D

1  +  2  +  3  +  4  +

We can now place upstrokes in-between the beats, on what we call the “ands” of the beat.

D  U D  U D U  D U

1  +  2  +  3  +  4  +

Combining down- and upstrokes greatly increases possible strum patterns.  We’ll now look at all the possible strum patterns we can make.  Once we can play and hear these strum patterns well, we will add them to the songs we learned in Set One.

4 Strums Per Measure

D     D      D      D

1  +  2  +  3  +  4  +

5 Strums Per Measure

D  U D     D      D

1  +  2  +  3  +  4  +

D     D  U D      D

1  +  2  +  3  +  4  +

D     D      D  U D

1  +  2  +  3  +  4  +

D     D      D      D U

1  +  2  +  3  +  4  +

6 Strums Per Measure

D  U D U  D     D

1  +  2  +  3  +  4  +

D  U D     D  U D

1  +  2  +  3  +  4  +

D U  D     D      D U

1  +  2  +  3  +  4  +

D     D  U D  U D

1  +  2  +  3  +  4  +

D      D     D  U D U

1  +  2  +  3  +  4  +

D      D U D      D U

1  +  2  +  3  +  4  +

7 Strums Per Measure

D  U D  U D U  D

1  +  2  +  3  +  4  +

D  U D  U D     D  U

1  +  2  +  3  +  4  +

D  U D     D U  D  U

1  +  2  +  3  +  4  +

D     D  U D U  D  U

1  +  2  +  3  +  4  +

8 Strums Per Measure

D  U D U  D U  D U

1  +  2  +  3  +  4  +