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Ukubell
05-29-2018, 05:48 AM
Hi, this may be a stupid question, but when playing with other ukuleles how important is it to follow the same strum pattern? Trying to play a few songs and it doesn’t sound good, when everyone’s playing same chords differently. Can’t work out if we are bad at playing or simply all following the same strum pattern would sort it.

Thanks

bacchettadavid
05-29-2018, 06:25 AM
Either strum "in unison" with the others or use complementary rhythms.

I'll use two ubiquitous examples (skipped up and downstrums are in parentheses, accented strums precede an asterisk): 1(&) 2& (3) &4& and 1(&) 2!& 3& 4!&

For the first (a pop strum), you could use the two bar pattern: 1(&) 2(&) 3& (4)& (1)& (2)& (3)& (optional 4)&. This could work especially well as a rhythmic sprinkling if you play movable chord shapes up the neck.
For the second example (a driving old-timey rhythm), you could use an alternating thumb pattern: 1(pluck g string with thumb) & 2 & 3(pluck c string thumb) & 4 &. This preserves the emphasis on the backbeat while adding a slight country flair.

General advice: everyone should be on the same page first. Pick a strum pattern and wait for it to sink in. Then carefully add a second pattern (less is generally more here) that doesn't undermine the first.

Uncle Rod Higuchi
05-29-2018, 07:02 AM
most important to stay in tempo especially if using a different strumming pattern from the
other players. Everyone should unite on the down beat at the beginning of each measure (at least?).

of course, we won't want to throw our neighbors off with our selected strum patterns :)

we may have to tread softly to support the group, but it is your time to enjoy as well, so
i'd encourage everyone to go with the rhythm they like, per the above - remain in tempo
and try not to throw your neighbors off their tempo :)

keep uke'in',

acmespaceship
05-29-2018, 07:02 AM
General advice: everyone should be on the same page first. Pick a strum pattern and wait for it to sink in. Then carefully add a second pattern (less is generally more here) that doesn't undermine the first.
+1 Groups with experience can do different strums and make it work. But beginners gotta start at the beginning. Get everybody together on the same rhythm, doing the same strum. Even if that means you have to slow it down and simplify so the newbies can keep up. One downstrum per measure if that's what it takes.

The OP asked: "Can't work out if we are bad at playing..." Yes, my friend. You ARE bad at playing if the group is not strumming together. That's ok, this is why practice was invented. You and your friends must shoulder the heavy burden of getting together more often and playing more music. Enjoy! :D

Ukubell
05-29-2018, 08:14 AM
Thanks for the advice, hopefully it improve with a few more practice sessions!

Rllink
05-29-2018, 08:34 AM
Different strumming patterns will work well together if everyone stays on the same tempo and everyone playing the same pattern won't if you don't. You need an alpha strummer. Someone strong enough that they can hold a rhythm and everyone else can fall into sync with it, no matter what pattern they are using. The problem is when everyone is too timid and no one rises to the moment. Anyway, that is my experience on the subject. Pick your strongest strummer and make that person your metronome. That should help a lot.

seesar
05-30-2018, 01:44 PM
I think matching tempo and amount of swing are most important.

monica.h
05-30-2018, 04:39 PM
i really dislike being shown what strumming pattern i should use on a uke.

i’m sure that some recommended strums are better than the one i choose, and naturally, if playing in a formal arrangement, i would strum as i’m told!

stay well.