8th strumming

In this strumming guitar lesson, we're looking at 8th strumming. This is where we split a bar into 8. We can play this with All Down strums for slower tempos, or with Down and Up strums for faster tempos.

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8th notes- splitting a bar into 8

This is how a single 8th note looks alone. This is not seen often seen in the early stages but stay with me… quaver strum

This is a pair of 8th strums. These add up to 1 beat and are joined at the top- the idea is it makes it easier to read.quaver strum pair

If we do this for every strum in a bar, we split a bar into 8 strums, hence the name ‘8th strumming.

8th ‘all downs‘ strumming 

Strumming-Power-8ths 1 Basic

Here, you simply play twice as many twice as fast. However, the count MUST be ’1 + 2 + 3 + 4 +’ otherwise your chords will be to the wrong count.

Exercise 1; Play 1 bar on the beat then 1 bar of 8th strumming (60 to 100 bpm)

Strumming Stage 1                  Strumming-Power-8ths 1 Basic

Play any chord using the 2 bar strumming pattern above, then change chord. Then, simply alternate between these two chords for a minute or two. The goal is to do this without any pauses and with the correct count. It’s essential to keep the count consistent and not your count or strumming.

Strumming Pattern 4- 8th strumming ‘downs and ups‘ (100bpm to 150bpm +)

8th-Strumming

Here, you simply play twice as many twice as fast. However, the count MUST be ’1 + 2 + 3 + 4 +’ otherwise your chords will be to the wrong count.

Exercise 2; Play 1 bar on the beat then 1 bar of 8th strums (100 to 150bpm +)

Notice- if you do this correctly your arm is always moving in the same way, this is crucial!

Strumming Stage 1 then8th-Strumming

 You should now try and play this chord sequence and the 8ths Down and Ups strumming pattern over the drum beat in the video below! TOP TIP- Begin on a cymbal to know that you have started on beat 1!

 Recap- Why ‘all downs’ or ‘downs and ups’?

  • Pattern 3 (8ths all downs) is appropriate for slower songs (60 to 100 bpm).
  • Pattern 4 (8ths downs and ups) is appropriate for medium to faster tempo songs (100 to 150bpm +).

 

Each of these strumming patterns is a gateway from the simple 4:4 strumming at Level 1 to any higher level strumming pattern. The ‘Strumming Pattern Family Tree’ should be seen and understood to grasp this concept. The End Goal is to be able to listen to any strumming pattern and be able to play it. Therefore, an understanding of tempo, patterns AND hand movements is crucial.