8th Strumming Down and Up variations

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Here is the strumming pattern for level 3 of my beginners guitar course. These strumming pattern variations can be used in the songs Mr Tambourine Man, Girlfriend in a coma, If you Wanna and Songbird from the beginners course!

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8th strumming with downs and ups


As a rule, the down strums always have to be on the beat. With this strumming, the up strums have to be on the off beat. This is suitable for MEDIUM TO FAST bpm songs because of the economy of movement. We NEED to keep this hand movement for ALL the variations below.

8th strumming downs and ups - Variations!

In reality, songs rarely stick to one strumming pattern for an entire song. Instead, slight variations are used to hold the listener's attention. My suggested variations at this level involve missing some up strums. Importantly, your hand should always keep moving as if your playing then ups still. I call these 'false strums'.

Exercise  - Keep the strumming hand moving D U D U to a count of 1 + 2 + etc. with the following variations to the drum track at the bottom of this page!

Variation 1

Strumming Stage 3

Variation 2

Strumming D DUD

Variation 3


Variation 4

Strumming-D D DUDU

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