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Best 5 Strum Patterns for Beginning Guitar

Strum Patterns You Must Learn How To Play

Along with scales, chords, and songs, guitar strumming patterns are one of the important elements to master when learning to play guitar. Which strumming patterns for guitar are best to learn when you're beginning? Should you learn the easiest strum patterns first? Are there some guitar strums that are more useful than others?

From my years of teaching students and training guitar teachers I found there is a series of patterns that are best to teach in the beginning stages. These strum patterns incorporate the basic movements that can be used to play many more strum patterns in the future. They also help to develop good strumming technique when done properly and together with common chord patterns give the student a path to playing solid rhythm guitar.

These can all be done with either a guitar pick or with your fingers. I will give you an example of how to do it both ways.

Guitar Strum Pattern 1 to 5

 1.  Basic Down-Up Strum – The first strumming pattern I call the basic down a pattern. The basic movement is down, then down up. The keys to doing this properly are to stay relaxed, start slow and play evenly.

 2.  Mute Strum – The mute strum is the second of the strum patterns I like beginners to learn. It uses a basic mute technique that can be used in many more advanced strums.

 3.  Calypso Strum – The next strum I call the Calypso strum. This incorporates both the mute technique and a raking technique to add some extra interest and a kind of a Latin Caribbean sound.

 4.  Pop Rock Strum – This strum can be used for many type of popular songs and is very common.

 5.  Basic Fingerpicking Pattern – The final strum is actually a simple fingerpicking technique. This is the basis for many fingerpicking patterns and really makes the acoustical guitar come alive.

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  1. hello Thomas !
    a nice video , clear , precise , well described and easy to follow
    i liked the two options illustrating : fingers and mediator
    are you planning a more flamenco oriented video ? i’ll enjoy it !

  2. Am glad to receive the best 5 strumming patterns hope to master them too soon and am really grateful for the lesson. An saying thank you master

  3. Hi Tomas,
    Thank you for providing this teaching moment in strumming. I am an older beginner guitarist and found
    your teaching methods very helpful. I love the variety in strumming patterns.
    I recognized the last strumming pattern, as I am learning Let it Be, by the Beatles.
    Again, a big thank you, it’s very helpful.

  4. Hai Thomas,
    Greetings from India
    surely this strumming pattern is very helpful
    I am very weak to strum guitar. during playing songs on guitar there is lost of mistakes happen with me.
    now this lesson will help me to correct my strumming.
    Thanking you.

  5. Tomas I am a 50+ year old newbie, i love the fun clear informative way you show us all that with time effort and help from maters such as yourself, we can all achieve what we want..

    Please keep up the awesome work..

  6. Thanks Tomas! I never have used a pick as I have a classical guitar (I am working on getting an acoustic, I really want one!), so I never noticed how bad am I at using one… But I’m glad you said using just fingers is okay too:)

  7. Really new at this, having trouble wrapping my fingers around the guitar neck. At 62 I just bought a second hand electric guitar.
    I will not learn to do the notes over night.
    It is my one of my New Years Resolution’s the other is to retire.

    In advance, Thank you!

  8. I am very impressed with email and your videos Thank You.It is great to know that you enjoy teaching and I can learn from from someone who cares I am 63 and trying to learn my first instrument. Thank You.

  9. interesting and helpful. What a great idea to use bluetack to hold
    your pick when its not needed. (i never use them myself though as I prefer fingerstyle
    on classical guitar.)

  10. Thank you for teaching your skills. I am an absolute beginnier, I’m finding learning to strum is more difficult to learning chords. Will practice your methods.

  11. Hello TOMAS
    I was very happy to learn in your style.
    U r awsum in teaching n it was fun to learn.
    I loved your both styles with finger n pick.
    God bless u n fly.

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