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Uke Whisperer
06-09-2011, 10:19 AM
Perhaps my mind has left me stranded again?

If you have (let's say) sheet music of a simple song and you want to know what strumming pattern to use to accompany the melody, how do you decide?

EXAMPLE: Sheet music in-hand for "Aura Lee". It is in the Key of C and is 4/4 time. Do you just choose a 4 count strum and just try it, or is there a "method to the madness"?

Thanks...

ukulelecowboy
06-09-2011, 10:35 AM
For me it depends on how the song needs to be played. My strum pattern is based on the genre of music. Swing, Folk, Ballad, Gypsy Jazz (lots of chord damping) Mix of chords and fingerstyle? This will affect my choice.

Play the song through with a 4 count strum and see if it needs embellishment.

Mike

ItsAMeCasey
06-09-2011, 10:41 AM
I agree with Ukulelecowboy. Start with just an up/down strum and add to it if needed. I don't think there's a correct/wrong way to strum to a song, so long as you're strumming within the time signature. Just do whatever sounds good to you!

SailingUke
06-09-2011, 11:38 AM
I agree with Ukulelecowboy. Start with just an up/down strum and add to it if needed. I don't think there's a correct/wrong way to strum to a song, so long as you're strumming within the time signature. Just do whatever sounds good to you!

The key is to LISTEN to what you are playing, let the strum come naturally.
Practice and develop some strums so you can easily mix them into your playing.
If it sounds good it is OK.

TheOnlyUkeThatMatters
06-09-2011, 11:47 AM
Good to start simply with down strums on the beats, and embellish when it sounds/feels natural. And when in doubt, common strum! It's "common" because it always works.

ItsAMeCasey
06-09-2011, 12:41 PM
The key is to LISTEN to what you are playing, let the strum come naturally.
Practice and develop some strums so you can easily mix them into your playing.
If it sounds good it is OK.

I agree that it's important to listen to what you're playing, but for lots of us the strum doesn't come naturally, especially when singing and playing at the same time.

PhilUSAFRet
06-09-2011, 02:29 PM
Lots of strum patterns. I do mine kind of naturally too based on the "beat." I've done a little drumming, so I often strum to the same pattern I'd use to keep the beat on a drum. Lots of demos/lessons on UU and YouTube. If you are having trouble with the "beat", some folks just need a metronome for a while, many tuners have one built in now. Good luck.

Shastastan
06-09-2011, 04:10 PM
I'm glad you asked this question, because I'm a uke noob, too. I do play another instrument though along with bongos. All the answers you received are appropriate, IMO. Why not input your song title into YouTube and listed to what others may have done for rhythm. Should point you in a general direction. FWIW

Uke Whisperer
06-09-2011, 11:33 PM
Thanks for all the replies. Makes sense. I had found myself trying to strum to all the notes/timing of the melody for some reason. I seem back on track now. Again, thanks.

ksiegel
06-10-2011, 01:04 AM
Strumming is personal. I was watching a Ukulele Mike tutorial, and he was explaining the strum pattern - simple, but I just couldn't do it!

So I just went ahead and played the song the way I thought it went... and soon realized I was using the pattern he recommended, but with a more natural rhythm, instead of what I was trying to do when thinking about it.

I understood about the centipede who couldn't walk when someone asked him how he kept all his legs straight.

-Kurt

wolfybau
06-10-2011, 01:11 AM
My strum pattern is based on the genre of music. Swing, Folk, Ballad, Gypsy Jazz ...Mike

can anyone suggest a good book or other resource for examples of different traditional strums to accompany the various styles and genere as mentioned?