What Are Some Common Guitar Strumming Patterns?


Quick Answer

Common guitar strumming patterns include a down strum only on each quarter note or a down strum on the first eighth note with an up strum on the second eighth note. Down strums typically happen on the beat, while up strums occur off the beat.

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What Are Some Common Guitar Strumming Patterns?
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Full Answer

In music containing quarter, half and whole notes, each note receives a down strum. The instrumentalist does not strum upward.

When the music adds eighth notes to longer notes, each quarter, half or whole note gets a down strum. The eighth note strumming alternates down and up. In a score with these notes, quarter, quarter, eighth, eighth, eighth, eighth, the strum pattern is down, down, down, up, down, up.

In a score that includes sixteenth notes, the down strums take place on the eighth, quarter, half and whole notes. The first sixteenth note also gets a down strum, while the second sixteenth note gets an up strum. In a half-bar written eighth, eighth, eighth, sixteenth, sixteenth, the strum pattern is down, down, down, down, up.

When notes are tied together, the second tied note does not receive a strum.

These strumming patterns work with music in 4/4 time, such as rock and pop, and in 3/4 time for waltzes and ballads.

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