Adding Some “Island” To Your Guitar Strumming
One way to add some color to your guitar playing is to expand your repertoire of strum patterns.
Here's a strum pattern that adds a little Caribbean sound while still be useful in a variety of popular music. Because it's in 4/4 the pattern can be used for many pop songs to add a little bit of an exotic feel.
The Left-Hand Mute Technique
The pattern uses a couple of techniques that are valuable also.
One technique is the left-hand mute. You'll see this more clearly on the video. It’s easiest with bar chords, but also can be achieved with open chords by flattening out the fingers in the left-hand to dampen the strings.
Take It Slow… Step By Step
To learn this pop ready strum practice it slowly at first. I recommend using the G minor bar chord because it's fairly easy to lift up on the left hand to mute the strings. You can try open chords later which will be a little more difficult.
Once you can play this slowly with one chord try using this sample progression. It does use the open C chord which only to practice. To mute and open chords you'll want to quickly flat not your fingers in the left hand to stop the strings from ringing.
Doing The Pop Reggae Jam
Another fun way to practice is to play along with the jam track I've included below. The jam track does use and Eb major bar chord which may be new for you. You'll want to download the cheat sheet which has the chord progression and all the chords diagrams including the fingering for the Eb.
One More Way To Have Fun With This
Just for fun I created a reggae version of happy birthday. I did this area show you an example of how you could turn standard song do a little more exotic feel by using this rhythm.
I also want to give you another way to practice the rhythm. I've included the entire chord progression on the cheat sheet that you can download on this page.
Go ahead and try playing to the entire song, first just by following the chord chart. Then for extra points play along with the track.
Download The Cheat Sheets Here (Chords, Chord Charts & More):
>> Pop Reggae Strum Cheat Sheet
>>Happy Birthday Reggae – Full Score
>>Happy Birthday Melody (Notes & Tabs)
Tell Us What You Think - Please Comment Below!
We would love to hear your comments and questions. What specific things are you struggling with while learning guitar?
Wow, this lesson is so cool. Thanks for that one!
You are welcome Joe. -Tomas
Do you have tab for the happy birthday solo part?
Hi Mike, As per your request I just added it to the post https://tomasmichaud.com/reggae-guitar-strum/. It’s called the Happy Birthday Melody (Notes & Tab). – Tomas
Hi , your strumming 2 different ways on that song. Which is it. And how do you mute the open c chord.
Hi Gary, you mute the open C chord by flattening out the fingers of the left hand quickly. It is harder than bar chords and takes some practice. I didn’t understand what you meant by “2 different ways of strumming”. – Tomas
awesome and I’m happy to learn more from you
Thanks Red. There’s plenty more coming. – Tomas