16th notes strumming patterns


usa4cc
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usa4cc
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Joined: 03/02/20
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09/09/2020 3:41 pm

Hey everyone,

I've been wondering how to do strumming patterns for 16th notes.

It looks like you do 1 a & e, 2 a & e, 3 a & e, 4 a & e. And then all the ands are also downstrokes, rather than upstrokes.

So for example, the first beat here would be DUDU.

Here's my question. How do I implement that and have good timing?

And is the physical aspect of it just muscle memory?


# 1
JeffS65
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JeffS65
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09/09/2020 5:10 pm
Originally Posted by: usa4cc

Hey everyone,

I've been wondering how to do strumming patterns for 16th notes.

It looks like you do 1 a & e, 2 a & e, 3 a & e, 4 a & e. And then all the ands are also downstrokes, rather than upstrokes.

So for example, the first beat here would be DUDU.

Here's my question. How do I implement that and have good timing?

And is the physical aspect of it just muscle memory?

I think part of the answer for you is to understand that there are inflections during a strum pattern. Better verbalized as 1-eee - and - a -two-eee - and - a - three-eee (and so on).

Not every note is going to be strummed with the same empasis. I know someone whose playing sounds like a military drum because the strumming is uniform to the point where it's a strum like a march and not a groove of a song.

Though it does not directly answer your questions, the thought you want to also consider in strum patterns, timing and whether 1/8th or 1/16th notes is that the groove of the song disctates how you strum.

While you mentioned that it is DUDU etc yes, that would be a general overall pattern but what are the emphasis notes in that pattern.

Go listen to the Steeldrivers-Heaven Sent (it's the bluesy bluegrass band Chris Stapleton was in before he was huge). That's the kind of tempo and pace and listen to the strum pattern under the banjo and madnolin scratching, you hear the acoustic galloping along and that gallop is because of those emphasis notes. It's that emhasis that makes you count out 1'2'3''4 and so on.

Not sure if that answers but when talking about strum patterns, the actual pattern may not always apply to all songs given tht not all songs have the same pace and groove. So it's a matter of hearing those cues that help you strum, time and groove to the song.


# 2
Carl King
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Joined: 10/08/07
Posts: 466
Carl King
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Joined: 10/08/07
Posts: 466
09/09/2020 5:24 pm
Originally Posted by: usa4cc

Hey everyone,

I've been wondering how to do strumming patterns for 16th notes.

It looks like you do 1 a & e, 2 a & e, 3 a & e, 4 a & e. And then all the ands are also downstrokes, rather than upstrokes.

So for example, the first beat here would be DUDU.

Here's my question. How do I implement that and have good timing?

And is the physical aspect of it just muscle memory?

Hey usa4cc,

Here's how I would begin to implement it.

Set a slow metronome tempo. 60 bpm for example.

For every click, you just evenly strum Up Down Up Down. 4 strokes. ONE - e - and - a.

You can get into accenting certain strokes later. First, just get used to dividing the space into 4.

Next step is to switch between subdivisions.

Quarter Notes: 1 Strum per Click

Eighth Notes: 2 Strums per Click

16ths: 4 Strums per Click.

So, do one measure (4 clicks, 4 strums) at Quarters, then one measure at Eights (two strums per click), then 16ths (4 strums per click). Then you can go back to 8ths, then back to Quarter notes. Repeat the cycle.

Hopefully that explanation makes sense to you typed out like this. It would be much easier to explain in a video or audio recording, so let me know if that's not clear.

Right now just focus on those subdivisions and keeping the strum smooth at a slow tempo.

Over time, increase the tempo.

-Carl.


Carl King[br]GuitarTricks Video Director / Producer

# 3
Carl King
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Joined: 10/08/07
Posts: 466
Carl King
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Posts: 466
09/09/2020 5:27 pm

Oh! And to answer your second question, it does become "muscle memory" after you get used to it, like anything else. Eventually you'll just be breaking up all the subdivisions at will, jumping between quarters and whole notes and 16ths (and accents as Jeff said) to make more musical patterns.

-Carl.


Carl King[br]GuitarTricks Video Director / Producer

# 4
usa4cc
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Joined: 03/02/20
Posts: 81
usa4cc
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Posts: 81
09/09/2020 9:07 pm
Originally Posted by: JeffS65
Originally Posted by: usa4cc

Hey everyone,

I've been wondering how to do strumming patterns for 16th notes.

It looks like you do 1 a & e, 2 a & e, 3 a & e, 4 a & e. And then all the ands are also downstrokes, rather than upstrokes.

So for example, the first beat here would be DUDU.

Here's my question. How do I implement that and have good timing?

And is the physical aspect of it just muscle memory?

I think part of the answer for you is to understand that there are inflections during a strum pattern. Better verbalized as 1-eee - and - a -two-eee - and - a - three-eee (and so on).

Not every note is going to be strummed with the same empasis. I know someone whose playing sounds like a military drum because the strumming is uniform to the point where it's a strum like a march and not a groove of a song.

Though it does not directly answer your questions, the thought you want to also consider in strum patterns, timing and whether 1/8th or 1/16th notes is that the groove of the song disctates how you strum.

While you mentioned that it is DUDU etc yes, that would be a general overall pattern but what are the emphasis notes in that pattern.

Go listen to the Steeldrivers-Heaven Sent (it's the bluesy bluegrass band Chris Stapleton was in before he was huge). That's the kind of tempo and pace and listen to the strum pattern under the banjo and madnolin scratching, you hear the acoustic galloping along and that gallop is because of those emphasis notes. It's that emhasis that makes you count out 1'2'3''4 and so on.

Not sure if that answers but when talking about strum patterns, the actual pattern may not always apply to all songs given tht not all songs have the same pace and groove. So it's a matter of hearing those cues that help you strum, time and groove to the song.

What do the ' and " mean? Does that mean 1 and 2 are accented and 3 is especially accented?


# 5
usa4cc
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Joined: 03/02/20
Posts: 81
usa4cc
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Joined: 03/02/20
Posts: 81
09/09/2020 9:09 pm
Originally Posted by: Carl King
Originally Posted by: usa4cc

Hey everyone,

I've been wondering how to do strumming patterns for 16th notes.

It looks like you do 1 a & e, 2 a & e, 3 a & e, 4 a & e. And then all the ands are also downstrokes, rather than upstrokes.

So for example, the first beat here would be DUDU.

Here's my question. How do I implement that and have good timing?

And is the physical aspect of it just muscle memory?

Hey usa4cc,

Here's how I would begin to implement it.

Set a slow metronome tempo. 60 bpm for example.

For every click, you just evenly strum Up Down Up Down. 4 strokes. ONE - e - and - a.

You can get into accenting certain strokes later. First, just get used to dividing the space into 4.

Next step is to switch between subdivisions.

Quarter Notes: 1 Strum per Click

Eighth Notes: 2 Strums per Click

16ths: 4 Strums per Click.

So, do one measure (4 clicks, 4 strums) at Quarters, then one measure at Eights (two strums per click), then 16ths (4 strums per click). Then you can go back to 8ths, then back to Quarter notes. Repeat the cycle.

Hopefully that explanation makes sense to you typed out like this. It would be much easier to explain in a video or audio recording, so let me know if that's not clear.

Right now just focus on those subdivisions and keeping the strum smooth at a slow tempo.

Over time, increase the tempo.

-Carl.

Thanks Carl (and for the other response too in the tempo thread).

I'll try these and see how they go!


# 6
Herman10
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Joined: 12/04/19
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Herman10
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09/09/2020 11:52 pm

Easiest way to play 16th note strums, usually rhythms that contain 16th notes ( also called sixteenth beats ) are not fast so what you do is actually divide the bars in 2; what does this mean; instead of counting every bar up to 4 the way explained before you count every bar to 8 or 2 times to four by just counting 1 and 2 and etc, this way every sixteenth note becomes an easy 8th note which is way more easy to strum and figure out. Also if the rhythm patterns get more difficult ( like 16th dotted 8th notes, 8th dotted 16th, 16th 8th 16th etc ) it will be almost imposibble with counting 1 e and a but divided becomes a piece of cake.

Hope this helps.

Herman


# 7
usa4cc
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usa4cc
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09/10/2020 2:23 pm
Originally Posted by: hsnoeckx

Easiest way to play 16th note strums, usually rhythms that contain 16th notes ( also called sixteenth beats ) are not fast so what you do is actually divide the bars in 2; what does this mean; instead of counting every bar up to 4 the way explained before you count every bar to 8 or 2 times to four by just counting 1 and 2 and etc, this way every sixteenth note becomes an easy 8th note which is way more easy to strum and figure out. Also if the rhythm patterns get more difficult ( like 16th dotted 8th notes, 8th dotted 16th, 16th 8th 16th etc ) it will be almost imposibble with counting 1 e and a but divided becomes a piece of cake.

Hope this helps.

Herman

Herman, so if I did that, how would I change the tempo?

Because wouldn't the tempo have to change?

For example, how would you do it for this strumming pattern: https://tabs.ultimate-guitar.com/tab/elevation-worship/o-come-to-the-altar-chords-1757938


# 8
ChristopherSchlegel
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Joined: 08/09/05
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ChristopherSchlegel
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09/10/2020 5:36 pm
Originally Posted by: usa4ccI've been wondering how to do strumming patterns for 16th notes.[/quote]

16th notes are simply one possible rhythmic subdivision. They can be strummed in a variety of ways depending on the song & what kind of pattern you want or the song requires.

Anders does a great job explaining counting 1/16th notes & showing some basic strumming options using them.

https://www.guitartricks.com/lesson.php?input=29256&s_id=2486

Originally Posted by: usa4ccIt looks like you do 1 a & e, 2 a & e, 3 a & e, 4 a & e. And then all the ands are also downstrokes, rather than upstrokes.[/quote]

Yes, but that assumes you are trying to strum every single 1/16th note subdivision. Which can be done, but rarely is done throughout an entire song.

Originally Posted by: usa4ccHere's my question. How do I implement that and have good timing?[/quote]

A lot of practice. :) Watch the Anders tutorial & practice a lot.

[quote=usa4cc]And is the physical aspect of it just muscle memory?

Yes.

[quote=usa4cc]What do the ' and " mean?

"and" and "&" are equivalent.

1 e & a

is the same as

1 eee and a

is the same as

1 d & d

Just different ways of writing out the same thing.

[quote=usa4cc]Does that mean 1 and 2 are accented and 3 is especially accented?

No. There is no way to know which strum or note is accented until or unless you see the music notation of the specific song.

The only thing being discussed here so far is how to count. Not how to play anything specific.


Christopher Schlegel
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# 9
ChristopherSchlegel
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ChristopherSchlegel
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09/10/2020 5:49 pm
Originally Posted by: usa4cc

Herman, so if I did that, how would I change the tempo?[/quote]

No, tempo stays the same. Herman is explaining how it's sometimes easier to count 1/16th notes differently. Instead of:

1 a & e, 2 a & e, 3 a & e, 4 a & e

You could count:

1 & 2 & 3 & 4 & 5 & 6 & 7 & 8

But it has the same effect. Just can be easier to count.

[quote=usa4cc]For example, how would you do it for this strumming pattern: https://tabs.ultimate-guitar.com/tab/elevation-worship/o-come-to-the-altar-chords-1757938

That song uses 1/8th note triplets as the basic rhythmic subdivision which is different than 1/16th notes.

So they are saying to subdivide every beat into 3 equal units counted:

1 & uh - 2 & uh - 3 & uh - 4 & uh

Then you strum on the 1st & 3rd triplet of the 1st beat (down down).

All 3 triplets of the 2nd beat (up down up).

1st & 3rd triplet of the 3rd beat (down down).

All 3 triplets of the 4th beat (up down up).

This is good example of how there is a complete rhythmic subdivision happening (3 subdivisions on every beat), but you are only playing on some of them. You don't which ones until you see that indicated on the page.

There are some stereotypical strumming patterns that are used in various styles of music. But the rhythmic subdivision alone does not equal or indicate a certain, specific strumming pattern. The music has to specify that.

Hope that helps!


Christopher Schlegel
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# 10
Herman10
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Herman10
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09/10/2020 11:34 pm

Thanks for stepping in Chris, have the family over for a long weekend so no time to answer much.


# 11
usa4cc
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usa4cc
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09/12/2020 4:04 am

Thanks so much, Chris!


# 12
ChristopherSchlegel
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ChristopherSchlegel
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09/12/2020 2:52 pm
Originally Posted by: usa4cc

Thanks so much, Chris!

You're welcome!


Christopher Schlegel
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# 13

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