How to Strum a Guitar Beginner Guitar Lesson

Strum guitar leasson

How to Strum Guitar Lesson

99 percent of the time you will be strumming, learn how to strum in the strum guitar lesson. Don’t forget to Subscribe.

Get the Key in the Strum Guitar Lesson 

Here are some basic Key concepts to remember when mastering rhythm skills, and practicing strumming.

  • Mute the strings lightly cover the strings with your fretting hand.
  • Strum down, up down. The Down motion or down strums are the numbers in the exercise.
  • The up motion the “And” is the “and of the beat”. The “and of the beat” will always be an up strum. This is the key to good strumming.
  • The strums should be the same distance.
  • Always count to keep good time. (out Loud at first)
  • Don’t forget the “ghost note” your hand should stay in motion, just don’t hit the strings. On the exercise when there is open space that is the ghost note.
  • Remember your down strums are always on the down beat, and you’re up strum is on the upbeat.

Guitar Strumming PDF

Get a Great Resource to help you with strumming right here. The resource shows you several fundamental strumming patterns.

In Order to Play Songs There Are a Few Things We Need to Know

What is Strumming Time?

Most Songs are in 4 time. That is the measure of the rhythm. So the pattern is repeated every 4 beats or times. The other 5% of songs are in 3, 6 or 8 time where the beat repeats 6 or 8 times. Sometimes 5 & 7 times are used, but these songs are rare.

Use your guitar and practice by strumming (down), count out loud one. Strum Down this is – two, strum down again and don’t forget to count out loud – three and strum down – four. This is for beats at 4/4 time.

If you were in ¾ time your down strum would be 1 2 3, 1 2 3, 1  2 3, 1 23 with the accent on the one. Accent meaning more pronounced strum. When you look at a song or music you see lines coming down |                | The space is a measure so in between the two lines are notes if we are in 4 time there will be four beats in the measure.

For More In-depth Look at Playing Guitar Check out Sharon’s Guitar Academy!

4/4 Rhythm Guitar Time

  • Measure of 4/4 time needs equal 4 quarter notes.
  • A measure at 4/4 time could be a measure of 8 8th
  • A measure at 4/4 time could be a measure of 16 16th
  • Or even a measure of 32 32nd

The notes have to be twice as fast in a measure of 8th notes, than a measure of quarter notes

A measure of 16th, notes have to be twice as fast as 8th notes and so on.

A term to know is Tempo: This is the speed that the notes or beats are played at.

Whole notes = |one strum then count 2 3 4|1 strum then count 2 3 4|

Half notes = | one strum then count two then strum and count 4| the strum is on the one and the three.

Quarter notes = a strum on every count | 1 2 3 4|

Eighth notes = strumming down and up four times | 1 and 2 and 3 and 4 and | when your hand goes up that is the, “and” of the beat.

Sixteenth notes = 1 “e” and “a” 2 e and a 3 e and a 4 e and a| accent is on the numbers

Practice whole notes, half notes, quarter notes, eighth notes, sixteenth notes. Make sure you count out loud so you will learn to keep time. It takes time to learn how to keep time. Go slow when you practice and have fun.

What is a Fret of a Guitar 

When you are strumming a guitar you are using your pick or fingers. If you are a right handed player holding the pick in that hand to strum a chord.

A chord is three or more notes put together and held with your left hand. Again this is if you are right handed. If you are a lefty then you strum with your left hand and hold the notes with your right hand.

In either case the fretting hand has a distinct responsibility to hold the guitar neck and notes properly. Without causing the notes to be muffled or buzz.

There are several things that could keep a guitar from sounding proper when you strum. Most of it has to do with how you are holding the guitar neck and fingers on the fret.

The Fret is on the guitar fingerboard. It is a metal wire that is pressed into the guitar neck. Sometimes there are fret markers on the side of the guitar neck.

What do the dots on the side of a guitar mean?

Sometimes there are dots on the side of the guitar so that when you are playing you can see what fret you are at.

The dots are located at the 3rd , 5th , 7th and 12th fret. Sometimes there will be dots all the way to the 15th and 17th fret.

Here are some guitar tips for the fretting hand

  • Fingers when fretting should be directly behind the fret
  • You should play on the tips of your fingers
  • You should be able to see daylight  between the guitar and the bottom of your hand. DO NOT grip the neck like a baseball bat.

Another responsibility of the fretting hand is to transition between the chords smoothly and on time. Your fretting hand should be In sync with the strumming hand.

How to Strum a Guitar with a Pick

A strum is where you stroke the strings with either a pick or your fingers. When strumming with a pick you hold the pick between your finger and thumb.

You can use different parts of the pick for different sound on the guitar. If you use the rounded part of the pick the sound is softer than if you use the pointed part of the pick.

At first as a beginner guitar player learn to play with a pick using the pointed side. Then later you can try other sides of the pick. And the Best electric guitar amp for beginners.

How to Hold a Guitar Pick For Speed

The proper way to hold the pick is between your thumb and first finger with the pick facing the strings see the picture below. Furthermore your arm should rest on the top of the guitar. This is how to hold a guitar pick for strumming. Click to learn the 10 things every beginner guitar player needs to know.

How to hold a guitar pick for speed to
How to Hold A Pick Properly

The first tip to remember when learning how to strum is you need to keep your arm moving like a pendulum. A pendulum is a fixed object and it swings back and forth with gravity.

  1. When you practice strumming mute the strings with your fretting hand. (lightly hold the strings so they don’t ring out).
  2. Take your strumming hand and just strum down while your strumming count one, two, three, four.
  3. Keep the hand in an even motion down up, down up, down up, down up. (keep the up/down motion even).

Once you have practiced without the strings ringing out try using a basic chord to see if you can get it to sound out properly. Here is a link to a PDF with strumming patterns to help with your strumming technique.

How do you Learn How to Play the Guitar 

There is some great information and basic guitar fundamentals in my Book “Teach Yourself Guitar,” you can get it from this link here Check it out on Amazon.

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