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Mastering Strumming Patterns: A Comprehensive Guide to Keeping Rhythm
Mastering Strumming Patterns: A Comprehensive Guide to Keeping Rhythm
Written by Andy Miller
Updated over a week ago

What are strumming patterns?

Strumming patterns help keep up with the rhythm of the song.

The BMP (Beats Per Minute) shows how fast your strokes should be.

For some chord tabs, you can find the strumming patterns below the chord diagrams.

Note: Strumming patterns are not present in all tabs but we are gradually adding them.

Symbols in the strumming patterns

Here are the symbols you can see in the strumming patterns:

  • ↑ and — are the most basic components of a strumming pattern — they are arrows showing the direction of your hand's movement. But simple up-and-down-strokes can be marked with additional symbols.

  • Little X above the arrow means that it's muted.

  • Big X in place of an arrow stands for the palm mute.

  • > above the arrow means the accent, i.e. the note is stressed.

  • You can also see empty spaces, they mean that no strums are made, you leave the strings ring for a number of beats.

Many prefer to continue the hand movements without actually plucking the strings in order to keep the rhythm going.

Strumming pattern example

The strumming pattern has a beat rate of 160, and it goes like this:

downstroke, rest, downstroke, accented upstroke, rest, upstroke, muted downstroke, upstroke.

And then it repeats from the beginning without a pause at the end.

Play the strumming patterns

If you have trouble understanding the visual patterns, you can press the Play button on our website and hear the way it should sound with open strings.

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