Basic Guitar Strumming Tips For Newbies

Strumming always seems to be an issue when you’re starting out playing guitar. I’ve done a couple different lessons on strumming before, but I though this time I would back things up to just about as basic as we can get.

If you’re struggling with your strumming, I recommend practicing with a metronome.

For learning basic chords and strumming patterns, Riff Ninja’s Essentials of Strumming & Rhythm is a very good place to start. Click here to learn more.

Don’t feel bad about keeping it basic – make sure you can master a strum before making it more complicated. The worst thing you can do is always be attempting to do more than you’re able, and thus never really playing in time. Rhythm needs to be built slowly, but accurately and precisely.

Video Problems? Watch it on Youtube

Leave a Reply 10 comments

Tom Kasch - July 24, 2010 Reply

Thank’s your a big help !

Mike D. - August 18, 2010 Reply

Your lessons are great but you did ask for comments.
Since this is a lesson for beginners, an even simpler strum pattern would be one strum per barre.Assuming it is 4/4 time that would be play a chord once , count to 4 , then move on to the next chord. For beginners this would give them the “time” that they need to form the next chord.
The next strum pattern would be ( using 4/4) time a ” 2 times per barre ” strum pattern on the 1 and 3 counts. Again to give beginners time to form the next chord. After that, 4 strums per barre as you suggest.
One strum per barre is a legitimate strum pattern and as simple as it gets, which is perfect for a beginner.
Keep up the good work.

    Sandra McIntyre - March 25, 2013 Reply

    He does show one strum per bar as an option, as well as two strums per bar in 4/4 time. With a metronome (which everyone should have) you can practice all the patterns you want, starting as slowly as you wish.

Justin Berilla - October 27, 2010 Reply

That was great. I don’t think I’ve been strumming in an even pattern like that. Your video was a big help. I’ll try to incorporate your tips into my practicing.

Joanne - April 11, 2011 Reply

Hi there,
I have now been playing guitar for 14 months & I have found this time I have taken more out of your strumming lesson than I did first time round. I think it is because i am getting into my guitar more. I take it with me to my gigs & people are enjoying my playing & singing. I thank you very much. Joanne

Julia Pegula - October 4, 2011 Reply

Great tips! Thanks

Julia Pegula - October 4, 2011 Reply

Thanks for the lesson. Very helpful!

Ace Smith - September 22, 2012 Reply

great lesson! I’ve been struggling with my strumming, but this help a great deal.


Mbuyee Macpella - April 18, 2013 Reply

Thank you so much for the lesson. it has given me an idea

MTM - June 5, 2013 Reply

These simple lessons keep getting better and better. Thank you.

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