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View Full Version : How do you know which strumming pattern



ukunew
03-31-2014, 01:39 PM
I do not have any problems with the chords for "Sittin' on The Dock of the Bay" but how do you know what strumming pattern to use? Right now I am just using all down strokes. That is the biggest problem I have with a lot of the songs, which pattern to use. Thank you.

Ukejenny
03-31-2014, 01:44 PM
I listen to the song a lot and try to match the feel and the pattern. Usually a combination of up and down strokes. My only real advice is don't give up. And I'll wait on the veterans to jump on here and give you some good advice.

Doug W
03-31-2014, 01:55 PM
Try drumming a beat with your hands as you listen to it. Then find a strumming pattern to match. After you have played a while you won't think about up down up up etc., you will find the beat like a drummer.

kwall
03-31-2014, 03:40 PM
listen to the song, down beats are usually down strum and upbeats are usually upstrokes. what i mean by that is in 4/4 time 1,2,3 as well as 4 are usually down strokes. When you hear people count an "and" thats the upstroke, if you know musical theory quater note is one beat and an either is a half , the halfs are usually up. This is simple 4/4 time so it changes for different songs. tbh i mostly just listen and try to find something similar, or goof around with different patterns and u can make it your own by strumming your way

CasanovaGuy
03-31-2014, 04:07 PM
I totally agree with what everyone said. As you play more and more songs, you start to get a feel for what sounds right and what doesn't.

Also, idk if this applies to anyone else but learning the triple strum was a huge eye-opener for me in terms of understanding rhythm and coming up with strumming patterns. Maybe that's just me though xD

Kyle23
03-31-2014, 04:22 PM
I'm gunna go a different route from what everyone is saying and say don't even get hung up on the strum pattern. On all the youtube tutorial videos I've seen people always ask "what's the strum pattern". Don't be afraid to make your own. As long as it sounds relatively like it, it's not big deal if you have it just right. I took the advice from a youtuber that I followed when I just started playing and he would always say "don't get hung up on the strum pattern". It honestly helped me develop new patterns of my own.

bazmaz
03-31-2014, 09:08 PM
What Kyle says is dead right. I come across a lot of beginners who get hung up on trying to get a pattern learned, before they learned the basic rhythms.

In short - there is no right and wrong pattern. As long as you are playing the tune in time with the basic beat, getting the chord changes at the right points, then it is all good. Varying your patterns over these basics will change the style and feel of the piece - try playing a rock and roll piece in a swing style for example. Both are right, just different arrangements.

cdkrugjr
04-01-2014, 02:01 AM
"Strumming Patterns" are a unique Ukulele obsession. Everyone needs one, and it's cheaper than single-malt scotch . . . or "The Best Strings", our Other obsession.

It's useful to Learn patterns, how they're notated, and more important (and often neglected) how they're accented, because that builds our musical vocabulary.

But even then once you get beyond "Sweet Po-ta-to Sweet Po-ta-to . . ." (covering about a gazillion songs) it's rare to find a precise match between any particular song and a learned "pattern."

Then there's the small matter of songs with shifting and changing patterns. . . .

YorkSteve
04-01-2014, 02:08 AM
Here's my tip, for what it's worth. Find a copy of the song to listen to. Pick up your ukulele, and lay one finger of your left hand across all the strings to deaden them completely. Then try strumming along to the song. That way you aren't bothered about the chord changes or the noise you are making, but you can try to get your strumming to fit with the beat of the song. Once you have something which sounds right, try playing the chords.

Kayak Jim
04-01-2014, 02:27 AM
Here's a way to get a feel for the beat and an appropriate strum without even picking up the uke.

http://ukuleleinthedark.com/paper-strum-strum-without-a-uke/

OldePhart
04-01-2014, 03:04 AM
Rhythm is very much about "feel." Kyle, baz, and Steve have all given good advice. One bit I'll add...don't worry about getting it "stroke-for-stroke" perfect. Make the song yours! You need to pick rhythms and strums that set the mood of the piece, but it doesn't have to be exactly the same as someone else does it. Also, when you are listening to recordings there are often a number of instruments working together to set the mood - you can never do what all those instruments are doing...so pick the parts that move you and try to get that feel on the uke.

John

Shastastan
04-01-2014, 06:09 AM
Here's a way to get a feel for the beat and an appropriate strum without even picking up the uke.

http://ukuleleinthedark.com/paper-strum-strum-without-a-uke/

This is excellent and free, too. I bought Guido's dvd, "Hear The Strum" while at a workshop he was giving. This very easy and intuitive to follow.

Kyle23
04-01-2014, 06:23 AM
Rhythm is very much about "feel." Kyle, baz, and Steve have all given good advice. One bit I'll add...don't worry about getting it "stroke-for-stroke" perfect. Make the song yours! You need to pick rhythms and strums that set the mood of the piece, but it doesn't have to be exactly the same as someone else does it. Also, when you are listening to recordings there are often a number of instruments working together to set the mood - you can never do what all those instruments are doing...so pick the parts that move you and try to get that feel on the uke.

John

Make the song yours is great advice. I mean I get that people want to do covers of their favorite songs and have them be spot on, but it really doesn't matter too much from a listeners standpoint.

punk_old_school
04-03-2014, 04:06 AM
I'm gunna go a different route from what everyone is saying and say don't even get hung up on the strum pattern. On all the youtube tutorial videos I've seen people always ask "what's the strum pattern". Don't be afraid to make your own. As long as it sounds relatively like it, it's not big deal if you have it just right. I took the advice from a youtuber that I followed when I just started playing and he would always say "don't get hung up on the strum pattern". It honestly helped me develop new patterns of my own.

I got stuck trying to figure out strumming patterns for about 2-3 months when i first picked it up before saying forget it and just going with my feelings, its been leaps and bounds since then according to the musicians in the family anyway. Only problem is everything i have tried to play in the last 2 weeks winds up as a rock & roll cover gets a bit interesting at times......just go with what feels right

Spud1$
04-03-2014, 11:22 AM
Here's a way to get a feel for the beat and an appropriate strum without even picking up the uke.

http://ukuleleinthedark.com/paper-strum-strum-without-a-uke/
That was very cool!!