6 Ukulele Strum Patterns that Beginners Need To Know

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:

1 2 3 4

If you need to see/hear this in action, here’s a video to help you.

Do you have a copy of our free chord chart? You can get that, here.

If you’re in London, UK, you’ll learn this in our courses. Book your course to join us in London.

If you’re not, please support us on Patreon so you can get access to all our upcoming online tutorials and challenges.


London Summer School – Ukulele Taster Class…

I was asked to do a ukulele taster class for Eventbrite, in London in July. Tom Maya took some photos. Here they are!


If you would like to join us at a future taster class or 4 week ukulele course, please see here.

Kurt Cobain started on the Ukulele?

Did you know that Kurt Cobain started his career on the Ukulele?

I’ll be honest. I didn’t either, and I love the ukulele and was a massive Nirvana fan.

Watching the new Kurt Cobain film, Montage of Heck I spotted a very familiar four stringed friend hanging out with a less familiar, young Kurt Cobain. Apparently, Jimi Hendrix also started out on the ukulele, but I’ve yet to find a photo of that, and I’ve been looking since 2007. If anyone out there can help with that, I’d be eternally grateful!

Pics or it didn’t happen?

Well, thanks to Brett Morgen for including the clip, I was able to screen grab it.

So, here you go:

Kurt Cobain playing ukulele as a Child

Kurt Cobain playing ukulele as a Child


One day, I’ll tidy up the Famous Ukulele Players page and add him in there. One day, when I’m up to date with all the emails waiting for a reply…

Guess where I’ve been?

Yes, the YouTube space, in London!