How can I tell what the strumming pattern is?
One of the questions I get asked most often by beginners is ‘what is the strumming pattern’. In the beginning, it’s nice and comforting to have a prescribed strumming pattern, and it’s helpful to follow a set rhythm. As you learn more about music, you’ll ditch this idea, and mix it up, adding shifts in rhythm and dynamics (louder or quieter in certain bits for emotional effect) to suit the mood of the song. That said, it’s good to learn a few basic rhythms that you can strum in the beginning, to practice your timing and co-ordination. When you’ve got a few of these strumming ‘patterns’ under your belt, you’ll have a bunch of tools in your box to work with.
To start up, it’s worth nailing some basic common time (counting in 4’s, also known as 4/4) strums.
Here are 6 basic strumming patterns you really need to know:
If you need to see/hear this in action, here’s a video to help you.
If you’re in London, you’ll learn this in our courses. If not, this is also a tutorial from our YouTube series, 30 Day Ukulele Challenge. Why not give that a go?