Two Ways To Make Your Strumming More Expressive

Today we’re looking at two different techniques you can use to make your strumming more expressive. The first is the “chug” strum; you could also call it a half strum. The idea here is to strum only the lowest 2-3 strings in the chord. This produces a tighter, more controlled and less expansive sound out of your strum, which can be very effective in certain situations.

The second technique builds on the first, but this time we’re going to expand from those 2-3 strings until we’re strumming all the strings that are meant to be in the chord. This brings us from tighter, more controlled, to a broader, fuller expression of the same chord. Cool stuff!

If you have questions or comments, fire away!

11 Responses to “Two Ways To Make Your Strumming More Expressive”

  1. robert November 23, 2017 at 7:10 am #

    aw some

  2. Scotty November 23, 2017 at 7:55 am #

    Thanks Jonathan I needed something new!

  3. John Eisner November 23, 2017 at 10:30 am #

    Thank you.

  4. Sunil Manawadu November 25, 2017 at 9:36 am #

    I am a little confused as to which strings to strum in the chug when strumming the Am or C chords do we strum the strings 5 4and3 OR strings1 2 and 3.
    Thanks Jonathan

    • Jonathan Boettcher November 25, 2017 at 3:27 pm #

      Hi Sunil, go for the lower strings in this case (4,5,6). That said, the higher strings presents another alternative, they just produce very different sounds.

  5. John Eisner November 29, 2017 at 5:54 am #


  6. Sunil Manawadu November 29, 2017 at 2:40 pm #

    Thanks Jonathan for the quick reply to my query
    Best regards

  7. lauren laplante December 5, 2017 at 4:08 am #

    Morning Jonathan,
    Quick ?
    I suffered an accident,both rotator cups were torn so badly i can lift tbem only up to my nose, and my timing was dulled,bad.
    Anything off the top of your head that could help me?

    • Jonathan Boettcher December 5, 2017 at 8:16 am #

      Hi Lauren, I’m sorry to hear that, as I know that’s very painful! I’ve injured my rotator cuff before, though not as severely as yours, it sounds like.

      One thing I would recommend is to simply work on very easy timing – if quarter notes at a slow tempo is what you can handle, then work with that for now. Just try to work on your consistency. You can work on your timing, even apart from actually strumming. If you find a metronome or drum track or something, even just tapping your fingers in time can help a bit too. Obviously at some point it needs to come across to your strumming, but perhaps that can give you something to work with while you’re healing. All the best, I hope the recovery process is quick for you!

  8. Michelle N May 24, 2018 at 5:15 pm #

    Thanks Jonathan for these strumming tips!!!

  9. Cliff May 24, 2018 at 6:58 pm #

    I thought that was total cool thank you

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