View Full Version : strumming.......

04-27-2011, 03:41 PM
i can get the chords and everything but i just cant do the stum i can only do a simple up down up down up down. i can even pluck every well its just the strum i cant get. some one please help me!!!!

04-27-2011, 03:54 PM
I still have a hard time strumming patterns after 8 months... it's still hard. Best I can say is practice, practice and practice some more.. just mute your strings and practice the patterns until you get them down, then try adding the chord changes, otherwise, just strum up and down and let the rhythm come naturally.

04-27-2011, 03:56 PM
thanks you i will keep practicing :)

04-27-2011, 04:11 PM
Ive been a pick wielding guitar player for years , and never played much with my fingers other than inger picking, all the various strums with differnet finger combonations has been a real challenge for me too, but a fun one too, I emjoy new territory.
I've found that I have o be realy carful to conciously strum lightly and brush across th strings, or I 'twang' them instead of getting a nice smooth sound

and what fitncrafty says about just muting the strings and focusing on a strum pattern is good advice. practicing with a metronome can be a benifit too.
I myself have a hard time keepign a steady strum going, my hand tires quickly and it all turns to chaos lol

04-27-2011, 04:23 PM
wax on wax off

wax on wax off

wax on wax off

There is lots of great advice out there. THe best is to slow down and use a metronome. Then slow down some more. close your eyes. Just feel it.

The problem I had is with those "rests" or intermittent ups; but, only by playing certain rhythms was I able to learn. It also seems that limiting how many strums you study at a time, such as 2 per week then move on to others.

Shaw has a great DVD for learning to strum. I recommend it highly.

04-27-2011, 04:23 PM
I recommended it on a different thread this morning, but the strumming course at Ukuleletricks.com is great. A very solid progression of lessons and exercises. There is something like 20 or so (3 hours or so) video lessons. Brett's lessons are well laid out and he does a great job in the videos.


04-27-2011, 04:40 PM
This video by Ukulele Mike is very useful :


You can try to practice the calypso strum and then, with practice, you'll be able to chunk.

You need to do it slowly, it seam really tricky but you will succeed.

You'll find other very useful videos about strumming patterns, beginner or advanced level, like, pinky mute. I still can't do that kind of reggae strums after 8 months. :D


04-27-2011, 04:55 PM
Muting the strings will help you concentrate on the rhythm, absent the distraction of actual chords.

Just relax and have fun with it - there is no "right" or "wrong" so experiment with different fingers and combinations of fingers, get your thum in their, too. That seems really awkward at first but just practice a little each day. If you're anything like me you'll be sitting there strumming away watching TV and suddenly realize that you're using your thumb on the up stroke natural as can be without thinking about it.


mm stan
04-27-2011, 05:17 PM
Aloha Jake,
I'd start first by holding a chord or open and strum slowly and concentrate on your strumming speed and hitting all the strings..as you feel comfortable with the strum, and sound increse you
speed....it takes alot of practice, Patience, persistance....and in time you will get it...try new strumming pattern as you get better...I start with songs you know the rhythm and timing..easy
songs first..Like nursery rhymes...like... http://www.baby-patch.com/guitar.html good luck and happy strummings..MM Stan

05-28-2011, 07:19 PM
thank you all this has really HELP ME!!! :) i cant thank you guys enough.

Ukulele JJ
05-29-2011, 06:46 AM
Can you do a down-down-down-down strum? That is, just strum downward, but with a nice, even tempo and rhythm?

If so, you're halfway there. Because you'll notice that your arm is moving exactly the same as it does during a down-up-down-up strum. The only difference is that you're not hitting the strings when you move your arm up.

And that's pretty much the key to fancier strums. Your arm and hand are always moving the same way. Up and down. Up and down. That doesn't change. What changes are the times that you "leave out" a strum by not hitting the strings.

That's how I think of it, anyway. That may or may not help. :-)


06-01-2011, 07:14 AM
I have been playing ukulele for a year now, and STILL and terrible at strumming! I get the chords pretty fast, and even the ones I thought were harder are getting easier, but I am a mess with strumming. I've been a singer my whole life, and I thought I always had a good sense of beat, but when it comes to strumming...yikes! :)

06-01-2011, 08:04 AM
Shaw has a great DVD for learning to strum. I recommend it highly.
I agree, Shaw's "Essential Ukulele Strums" DVD really helped me a lot.

06-01-2011, 08:52 AM
At first I had a lot of trouble... and some new pieces I approach are sometimes challenging.

When I started (10 humble months ago), I admittedly moved along when it was too challenging. I found new songs with new patterns, got those down, revisited the ones that had proven frustrating and eventually got them. I found that after getting three or four unusual or challenging patterns down, it all suddenly got easier for me.

06-01-2011, 11:18 AM
I'm still a newbie, but this might help someone. I started out strumming using the nail of my index finger on the downstroke and the meat of the finger on the upstroke, which is recommended in many online sources for beginners. However, basic strumming patterns came easier to me when I changed my hand position and started using the sides of my index finger to strum, as shown here:


Of course, it also helped that I walked around strumming the air, silently chanting Down Down Up Up Down Up.

06-02-2011, 03:13 AM
Are you having problems with getting strum patterns down or are you having problems just strumming?
When I have problems with strum patterns I mute all the strings with my left hand(just like a lot of people already said) and try to strum the pattern. If the pattern is hard you can try breaking it up into smaller parts. Another suggestion is to try listening to the song and trying to do the strum pattern along with the song while your strings are still muted. If chords are no problem for you then you can play the chords and try to feel the rhythm of the song and try to figure out the strum pattern. Try a simple pattern like down, down, up, up, down.

If you are having issues with strumming I would recommend that you watch this http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EYzf6cFSD9E
This is a video of Aldrine explaining the basic strum. If you are new to the ukulele I would recommend that you check out the other uke minutes also.

Sorry that this post is so long. Hope this helps you.

06-02-2011, 05:26 AM
Keep practicing, you'll get it in no time!...