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View Full Version : Strum Patterns for songs in Chord Books



scotprice
09-22-2016, 03:05 PM
I have been looking around the site, and have noticed a lot of chord books in the Ukulele Resources thread. I think the books are great, but am having an issue with strum patterns. None of the chord books list strum patterns that go with the songs/chords. Are there any sites/chord books that show complete strum patterns?

Mivo
09-22-2016, 03:27 PM
The "Ukulele Exercises for Dummies" book contains a large chapter on strumming and strumming patterns. It's generally a great book with a lot of content for both strumming and picking. There's also YouTube.

jimavery
09-22-2016, 09:06 PM
Likewise I can recommend Ralph Shaw's instructional DVDs

http://ralphshaw.ca/store/

Once you have learned some basic strums and some basic principles, you won't need strum patterns with your songbooks as you can work out which strums you think fit the songs best and how you want to play them (or just improvise the strums as you go along).

jollyboy
09-22-2016, 10:31 PM
I think it's also handy to get a 'swiss army knife' strum under your belt and for 4/4 I would recommend dduudu :) This will work fine for a lot of things.

Edit: Here's a good online guide to some useful basic strums (http://ukulelehunt.com/2011/06/29/ukulele-strumming-patterns/). And there's a list of songs that will work with each pattern.

AndieZ
09-23-2016, 12:31 AM
Justin Guitar has a uke book with strum patterns and videos to go with it but the videos aren't for all the songs.

I know some of the songs, but most of the songs are not suitable for me so its a bit disappointing there because when i have listened to the songs i have realised they are still not songs i really want to learn - they are very male focused.

But also he doesn't lay his chords out as well as i think they could be done.

But he does provide some really useful explanations and it is worth doing his free lessons on his site. He is an excellent teacher but mainly teaches guitar. He is a professional guitarist and teacher. Funk seems to be his favourite but he's a well rounded musician and his site is amazing. So at least check it all out.

PhilUSAFRet
09-23-2016, 02:11 AM
Lots of tutorials on youtube. search ukulele strum patterns. I also like to use bass lines and drum patterns as a model for my strumming. Ralph Shaw and Lil'Rev both specialize re: strumming as part of their classes on performing. Here a link from a recent UU post re: strumming course:
http://ukuleleunderground.com/mattd/

bunnyf
09-23-2016, 02:41 AM
In the beginning, I just studied strum patterns from books like ukulele for dummies and then applied them as I "felt" them to particular songs. Sometimes though, you get in a strumming rut, using the "Swiss army" strum for every 4/4/ song. All your songs start to sound the same, like when you always play in the same key. Or you want to capture the sound of the original song and the strumming pattern may be important to get the right rythym. So I'd Google "suggested strum pattern for.....name of song" and see what came up. Usually required a lot of searching with mixed results, so I understand your desire to have a book with it laid out for you for each song. As Andie said, I know Justin has a uke book laid out very clearly with strumming patterns and you can check it out on his site. I used him for guitar instruction and found his book very good for beginners (decent songs too). Aldrine's UU videos do an excellent job of showing you the strumming pattern. While you should learn strumming patterns in general, and learn to create you're own from the feel of how it fits to the music, I do think it's useful for an instructional book to lay out an appropriate stumming pattern for each song. I wish more books did this.

Down Up Dick
09-23-2016, 03:34 AM
Likewise I can recommend Ralph Shaw's instructional DVDs

http://ralphshaw.ca/store/

Once you have learned some basic strums and some basic principles, you won't need strum patterns with your songbooks as you can work out which strums you think fit the songs best and how you want to play them (or just improvise the strums as you go along).

When I started, I worked on all those strum patterns, but I found that I had trouble remembering them. Trying to remember them as I strummed along, slowed me down and became a real pain. So, little by little, I just quit bothering with them and used my own impeccable sense of rhythm. It worked, so that's what I do.

I did buy "Fun With Strums - Baritone Ukulele" - Bill Bay, but I found the strums less than useful . The tunes are all right though, so it wasn't a total loss. I mostly fingerpick my baritone.

I think I do use some of the patterns that I learned but not doggedly. :old:

scotprice
09-23-2016, 04:26 AM
thanks for all the information. I have been learning different strum patterns, but I guess I just have to keep trying to figure out which one goes with which tune/song.

Uncle Rod Higuchi
09-23-2016, 04:35 AM
I tell my students to mimic the rhythm they hear/sense for the song they're learning.
this presumes they are listening to a rendition of the song they want to learn
and can pick up the tempo, melody, rhythm, etc.

Yes, this puts the pressure on the students... and that's a good thing. It will help them
train their 'ear' to discern patterns in tempo and rhythm. It may also give them the
confidence to work out strumming 'patterns' of their own to go with the genres of
music they love to play.

I have developed my own go to strums for Latin, Waltz, 4/4, March, Hawaiian, etc.

I believe that when we sing and play (a lot) we will develop what becomes comfortable
for us. Part of the key to that is to make sure that we are playing the appropriate number
of beats to the measure. I know this can be challenging, especially when there are whole
or half notes that seem to go on and on interminably :) But we must all work through
that, otherwise, when we play along with others, we may find ourselves out of step and
cause general confusion as the song progresses.

Oh well, we live and learn... don't we?

keep uke'in',

Down Up Dick
09-23-2016, 04:51 AM
thanks for all the information. I have been learning different strum patterns, but I guess I just have to keep trying to figure out which one goes with which tune/song.

Right! That's what it's all about. FEEL the strums. :old:

cml
09-23-2016, 05:47 AM
I think it's also handy to get a 'swiss army knife' strum under your belt and for 4/4 I would recommend dduudu :) This will work fine for a lot of things.

Edit: Here's a good online guide to some useful basic strums (http://ukulelehunt.com/2011/06/29/ukulele-strumming-patterns/). And there's a list of songs that will work with each pattern.
The only problem with dduudu is that at least I am so used to it I sometimes gravitate towards it without noticing. Sometimes it requires conscious effort to strum differently.

jollyboy
09-23-2016, 06:25 AM
The only problem with dduudu is that at least I am so used to it I sometimes gravitate towards it without noticing. Sometimes it requires conscious effort to strum differently.

I completely agree that you don't necessarily want to end up using the same strum for everything. For me dduudu is just handy to have as a starting point. When I learn to play a new song (I'm talking about singing and accompanying myself on the uke) I think of it in terms of three main elements - 'right-hand stuff', 'left-hand stuff', and 'voice stuff' (apologies if this seems overly technical ;)). Even if it's a favourite song of mine and I know the tune and the lyrics backwards, I have personally found trying to learn all three of these elements from scratch at the same time to be quite challenging. Something like trying to pat your head and rub your belly at the same time. I have found it helpful to just slot in a generic strum pattern (one that is so ingrained in muscle memory that it requires none of my conscious attention) and work on the other bits first. Then later swap out the Swiss army strum for something more appropriate. It's actually quite interesting substituting different patterns and seeing how each one affects the 'flavour' of the song :)

Something that Uncle Rod said made me think that a key element is often the genre of music that a song falls into. Certain rhythmic patterns seem very much associated with certain styles of music.

ukulelego
09-23-2016, 09:45 AM
I really like this lesson from Ukulele In The Dark on paper strumming without a ukulele to help you work patterns and rhythms out…

http://ukuleleinthedark.com/paper-strum-strum-without-a-uke/

zztush
09-23-2016, 12:34 PM
I tell my students to mimic the rhythm they hear/sense for the song they're learning.
this presumes they are listening to a rendition of the song they want to learn
and can pick up the tempo, melody, rhythm, etc.

Hi, scotprice! I strongly recommend you to listen to Uncle Rod Higuchi's MP3's, which are linked under his signature. He covers many types of songs. They are all very good vocal with suitable strumming.

padlin
09-24-2016, 01:28 AM
I tend to print out the Tab of a song, if I don't have it in book form, and mark down the strum pattern once I come up with one. It does take some effort to not use whatever pattern your used to. I would hope it'll come easier at some point down the road. Trying to figure out a swing strum at the moment, the different stums don't seem to come naturally, like dduudu does.