Strumming the guitar

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Update August 8th 2016


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Looking for Strumming patterns? you've come to the right place.

 Download them from the links below!

Strumming is the most important part of playing the guitar!

You can read about it and talk about it all you like,

 but it wont make any difference,

you need to "Feel" and "Hear" it  


 People have been asking to Donate which is nice.

I have set up a Donate Button through Paypal, Thank you it does help to off-set my hosting costs and any donation is very welcome and acknowledged .

New !  Donate Via Paypal (your choice of amount)


"Put enough monkeys in a room and they will, eventually,

play the chords to Stairway to Heaven"


However, it won't sound to good,

 as they wont be able to strum properly as they have no sense of timing

Does this sound like you !?

So, listening to the strumming patterns is the secret, probably the most important one!


You can  scroll down and listen to some of the MP3 demos and requests further down the page, that should be all you need.

However if you like reading then carry on !

With 3 chords and a good variety of strumming patterns you can play thousands of songs!

Strum with the edge of your thumb or with a Light Plectrum

or whatever you are comfortable with.

The up and down strokes lightly brush against the strings

and the up strum only really plays the first two/three strings.

I write strumming patterns in the easiest format I can think of,

D = Down U = Up

So DDUUD = down down up up down

sometimes I put in a " / "(slash) 

or a " - "(hyphen) to indicate a slight pause


If "English" is not your first language the DDUUD  may work better for you

if you translate  them into your own language

(as long as they are words of 1 syllable)

For example in German  DDUUD(down down up up down) could be

Ab Ab Auf Auf Ab  ( I Hope ! :-) )

Musically we write "Timing" as in Beats to the bar as in

4/4 that is 4 beats to the bar

or 3/4 8/4 that is; 3 or 8 beats to the bar

As Guitarists often we get confused by all that "Proper Music stuff"

so it may be better for you to just think of it as a strumming pattern

As strumming is so difficult to convey in writing,

I have recorded myself strumming various patterns.

These are available for you to listen to as MP3 files

This is probably the most important thing you can do

 especially if you are a total beginner

The idea is not to stop the strumming pattern

 when you change the chord,(whatever it sounds like!)

I always tell my students

just "Plonk" your fingers on the chord and keep going,

there will be a point where it will click

and you will be able change smoothly.

"So be a Plonker!"

If "English" is not your first language you may not recognise

 "Plonk" and "Plonker" which are not real words but mean (in my context)

to just put your fingers on the strings in the approximate position (Plonk)

 and the person that does it! (Plonker)

The secret is to keep the strumming going as you change the chord

regardless of the mess you might make of your fingers

(this makes you a "Plonker" !)

This may happen straight away, (you be able change smoothly)

or in a few minutes, but can take longer.

The easiest chord change,

 while keeping the strumming going is Gadd5 - Cadd9;

watch this video

It's a video !Gadd5 to Cadd9 and vice versa.

This is because you only move the index and the second finger,

which you use for lots of other things, so your brain is already aware of how to move them!

Once you start to get control of your fingers

you can then move on to other chords

It is not necessary (or advisable) to learn lots of chords  when you start as you can play lots of songs with the same 3 or 4 chords in a different order and with different strumming patterns

Hard refresh (Ctrl +F5 together) if you have been here before

These videos will just play

but can be downloaded on the page that opens  

It's a video !How to strum using Thumb and or fingers or plectrum/pick

It's a video !Using Gadd5 Cadd9 Dsus4 (what are these chords?)

It's a video !Strumming DUDU a count of 2

 It's a video !Strumming D/DUDU a count of 3

 It's a video !Strumming DDUUD a count of 4

It's a video ! strumming DD/UDU Up tempo/Lively!

It's a video ! strumming split between 2 different chords


 People have been asking to Donate which is nice.

I have set up a Donate Button through Paypal, Thank you it does help to off-set my hosting costs and any donation is very welcome and acknowledged .

New !  Donate Via Paypal (your choice of amount)

Below are some links I have done for other people over the years to help their strumming techniques, download a few to see if they help you but there is no point  downloading them all as you need to know the song well to make proper use of them.

If you keep downloading them all it upsets my host and creates  bandwidth issues so please only take what is relevant to your needs or email me using the free lesson info request form

  Follow these links to hear some strumming patterns

Some have been converted from older files and the audio quality is not so good

others are the newer recorded MP3 files

Strumming Pattern DDUUD  This works over anything with a count of 4 !

Strumming Pattern DDUUD as in "Sweet Child O' Mine" (count of 4)

Strumming Pattern DDU/UD as in "Knocking on Heaven's Door" (count of 4)

Strumming Pattern DD/UDUDD & DUDU as in Cannonball Damien Rice (count of 4 then 2 )

Strumming Pattern DD/UUD as in Rollercoaster or Breakdown (using Am G)(count of 4)

Strumming Pattern D/DUDU as in Iris Goo Goo Dolls (count of 3) (also Sugarland Already Gone)

Strumming Pattern D/D/UDUDD as in Stop Crying your heart out (count of 4)

Strumming Pattern DDD/UDUDD as in Wise men James Blunt(count of 4) & Faster for Oasis Slide Away!  also for the verse of Avrils' My Happy Ending(all on one chord)and perhaps for Blue October's Hate Me (twice)

The Following Strumming patterns

are now only available to those that make a donation

using the Donate button below (your choice of amount)

( you will receive access to all files on this page by return )

trumming Pattern D/DUUD as in Wonderful Tonight (count of 4)

Strumming Pattern DD/DUDU/UUUUDU as in "Back to you" (count of 8 ie 8/4)

Strumming Pattern DDD/UDD/UD as in "The Masterplan" and "Champagne Supernova" (count of 4)

Strumming Pattern DDD/UDD/UD as in "Hang" (count of 4)

Strumming Pattern D/DUDU as in "Dont look back in anger" "Every Rose has it's thorn"( some bits!)also, slowly for "Hey Jude" (count of 2 ie 2/4)

Strumming Pattern D/UD/D/UD/DUD as in Breakfast at Tiffany's (count of 4)

Strumming Pattern D/DUDU as in "Easy" (count of 2)

Strumming Pattern DD/UDU  as in "Good Riddance (Time of your Life)(count of 2)

Strumming Pattern DDU/UD as in "Good Riddance (Time of your Life)" (count of 4)

Strumming Pattern DD/DUDU/UD as in "Every Rose has it's Thorn" (count of 4)

Strumming Pattern D/DUDU as in "Runaway" (count of 3 ie 3/4)

Strumming Pattern D/DUDU as in Nothing else matters (count of 3 ie 3/4) or "Knights in white

 Satin" (Em-D)!

Strumming Pattern DDD/UDD/UD as in Talk Tonight (count of 4)

Strumming Pattern DUDUD/D/UUDUD   as in "Torn" (count of 4)


Latest Requested Strumming Patterns


Strumming Pattern DDD/UDUDD as in "Lady stardust" by Lisa Miskovsky

Strumming Pattern D/UD/UDUDUD  as in The Only Living Boy in New York ( S & G)

Strumming Pattern D/D/UDUD (or DDD/UDUDD)as in somebody's me Enrique

Strumming Pattern DD/UDU "Up tempo" strumming use for Folsom Prison Blues

Strumming Pattern UD UD UD UD 2:4 strumming as in Cecilia - Simon & Garfunkel

Strumming Pattern DDD/UDU/UD as in The Truth Jason Aldean  DD/UDU

Strumming Pattern D/UD/D/UDD as in The Listening, Lights (acoustic version)

Strumming Pattern DD/UDD/UD as in White Rabbit Jefferson Airplane

Strumming Pattern UDUclick very muted strumming as in Jason Mraz I'm Yours

Strumming Pattern "Stabs" (muted strumming/Old rock'n'Roll style) as in Peppermint Twist by Joey Dee

Strumming Pattern Love you till the end The Pogues    DUD/UUD/UUD/UUDU count 123 223 323 423 and.........

Strumming Pattern "In The Aeroplane Over The Sea" Neutral Milk Hotel D/DUDU count 123 223

Strumming Pattern "Devils Playground" Gram Rabbit D/D/DUDU or DD/UDU or Root/D/UDU

  Strumming Pattern "Empty" Ray La Montagne DUD/UUD/UUD/UUD (also try "Ruby" Strumming)

Strumming Pattern Room on the 3rd floor McFly DDD/UDUDD

Strumming Pattern Blue Jeans & a Rosary  Kid Rock  D/D/UU/UDUDU

Strumming Pattern Outside Taylor Swift  DDD/UDUDD (also Sugarland All i wanna do!)

Strumming Pattern Drifter December radio D/D/UUDD

Strumming Pattern My heroes are all cowboys DDD Waltz 3/4 Country strumming

Strumming Pattern DUD-DUD-DUDU   play it slower for One Sweet Love & Saint's and Angels

Strumming Pattern Jumper Third Eye Blind DD/UDUDD

Strumming Pattern Stop & Stare One Republic DDD/UDUDD/U  and "BOB "

 Strumming Pattern Breakdown Jack Johnson DUDU/UDU

Strumming Pattern Ruby Baby Dion Duclickuduclick! or faster/different chords  for Jason Mraz I'm Yours

Strumming Pattern Flowering spade Sean Hayes DD/UDU

Strumming Pattern Gloria Van Morrison DUDU

Strumming Pattern Skyline Yui D/UD/D/UD/DUDU

Strumming Pattern  Good Bye Days Yui DD/UDUDD

Strumming Pattern Feel My Soul Yui DDDU

Strumming Pattern I Remember You  Yui DDD/UDUDD

Strumming Pattern Boondocks Little Big Town DUDDUDDUD

Strumming Pattern Magic carpet ride Steppenwolf DDUUDDD

Strumming Pattern Dream lover Bobby Darin  DDU/UDU

Strumming Pattern  Heal The Pain George Michael D/UD/DUD

Strumming Pattern Waiting for the day George Michael DDD/UUD/DUDU

Strumming Pattern Freefalling (Tom Petty) D/UD/D/UD/DUD/D/D/D/UD/DUD 

Strumming Pattern Teardrops on my guitar Taylor Swift DUD/UUDU

Strumming Pattern Cupid Jack Johnson   DUclickUUclick !

Strumming Pattern Take away my pain Dream Theatre D/UD/D/UD/DUD

Strumming PatternRadios in heaven Plain White Ts D/DUDU

Strumming Pattern Root note and pick up as Crazy Girls by Bethany Joy Lenz

Strumming Pattern DDD/UDD/UD & DDD/UDUDD as in Roobaroo

Strumming Pattern D/DUDU D/DUDU 6/8 as in Cinnamon The Long Winters