View Full Version : Strumming Patterns

06-21-2010, 11:09 PM
I can't seem to help myself from doing the,
And most of my songs are all starting to sound generic.
Even when I try to freestyle strum it somehow turns into that.

There's songs I play that of course don't follow the same pattern, but have their own distinct sound. Usually for songs that really do need the pattern.

Can someone help?

Ukulele JJ
06-22-2010, 02:25 AM
You can't keep from playing that pattern because it's "automatic" for you... your body and subconscious mind has learned it cold, and can play it easily while your conscious mind goes about the business of thinking about other things (like chords, lyrics, etc.)

So that give you a couple of ways to get out of that trap. First, you could learn other patterns as well as you know DDUUDU. Make them "automatic" too. This requires learning more than just the arm movements. You have to internalize the "rhythm" of the pattern and just get your arm to make that rhythm. Just keep your arm moving up and down and have it "make" the strum sound (i.e., contact the strings) when you want to hear the strum sound. You shouldn't care whether it's going up or going down--only that it makes the sound your mind wants it to make. (This sounds really esoteric, but guess what? You've already figured out how to do that with DDUUDU! You probably stopped literally thinking "down" and "up" quite awhile ago when it comes to that strum, didn't you? That's where you need to get to with other strums.)

Another way to approach it is from the other side. Make the chord changes, singing, lyrics, etc. as "automatic" as possible. This requires a lot of practice, but eventually you'll get them all running on automatic pilot just like your strumming currently is. Then you can turn your mind to your strumming and concentrate there. As long as you can keep focus on your strumming without everything else falling apart, you can strum whatever pattern you want! :-)


06-22-2010, 04:31 AM
Practice, practice, practice. You'll break the habit.

06-22-2010, 06:34 AM
Ahah. Thanks, I really appreciate the help.