View Full Version : Strum Rhythm Difficulty

10-20-2010, 03:10 AM
Hello everyone,

This may be stupid, so please forgive my ignorance... When playing guitar, it seems like strumming happens on the down beats whereas in many songs the ukulele seems to be strummed on the upbeats. Am I interpreting this incorrectly? I am having difficulty with the rhythm patterns. Are there any different resources to learn from that are free online???


mm stan
10-20-2010, 04:22 AM
Aloha Mendel,
Actually just as you play guitar you feel the music and you strum to that whether it be up or down...practice and more practice will get you there...also try different strum patterns for which ones sound best
go to MusicTeacher2010 and he has some strum videos...Good Luck and Enjoy!!! "Keep strumming them strings...MM Stan..

10-20-2010, 06:04 AM
There are dozens of youtube video's for strumming. I would try thinking of the uke as a guitar when strumming. To start, think
8th notes, "1 & 2 & 3 & 4 &" Strum down on the downbeat and up on the upbeat 8th note. Depending on your song, as sometimes the emphisis is on the Offbeat 8th, as in some reggae feel songs, like "I'm your's" by Mraz. My example suits a standard 4/4 song. check youtube and search some of the threads here, ton's of strumming advice and tutorials.

Miss Michele
10-20-2010, 06:50 AM
Don't feel bad. I thought strumming would be the easy part about playing the ukulele! I'm still learning rhythmn patterns. Good luck!

10-20-2010, 06:56 AM
I am struggling too with strumming... I don't have any other musical background only been playing a few months. There is some improvement, mostly I am just having fun. I hope the rest will come in time!
You tube has lots of tutorials, but for some reason, I personally am not learning well from videos. I only get more frustrated. I hope you have better luck there!

10-20-2010, 07:11 AM
The way I learn strumming is by using my left hand to mute the strings and using my right to practice the pattern over and over. Then when I am confident with it I add in the chords. Good luck!!
(actualy im a lefty I dont really mute with my right hand haha but most people are righty didnt want to confuse anyone)

10-20-2010, 08:28 AM
Oh Lordy, I am suppose to "feel" the music. I am a perfect strummer when just counting and playing the chords. Once it turns into music it all falls apart. Yes strumming is proving to be a challenge for me as well.

braden johns
10-20-2010, 08:31 AM
I just picked it up naturally, I think it depends on how musical you are =)
Just try strumming along to the song you want to sing, without singing. When you have picked that up, start singing along. Practice makes perfect! When your done with practicing, you should be able to play on your own =)
Hope I helped, good luck!

10-23-2010, 10:51 AM
I'm a guitar player too - and I have to REALLY SLLLOOOWWW down and count new Ukulele strum patterns when I practice. But then I stop to play through some songs and without thinking I find I'm doing complex (guitar) strums on the Uke! I think the "without thinking" part is the most important when you combine it with "just feel the music." Good luck!
Robyn Lihau


I Ukulista
10-23-2010, 11:57 AM
I tend to play what I like best and then get good at it. Only one problem there is that I find I'm locked into one rhythm ... nice but not progressive! So I look for a chunking pattern that I would not normally use and force my self to play it. I even talk the chunk
ie. Down down down up up down down. This helps me.
Slave to the rhythm. Grace Jones.
Liberated..I ukulista.

10-23-2010, 03:00 PM
I thought the same thing, Miss Michele. I thought it would be fun to strum a song and sing along, and I'm finding the strumming to be a lot more difficult and complicated than I ever guessed. I can't hold a strum pattern throughout a song, and strum one pattern and sing another? Ha. Still, I love making a happy little sound and am hoping with practice it will all come together. Good luck to you.