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8th Notes & Upstrokes

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Now that you know how to strum all the 8th notes with both down and upstrokes, let's find a cool way to make it sound more like a strumming pattern.

In the previous lesson we played the all the 8th notes in the bar. While you do hear this used in songs, most of the time it sounds less monotonous and more musical if we break up the constant stream of subdivisions a little bit.

So let's try and just play '1 and 2 and'. That's down/up/down/up.

Then for the rest of the bar we'll just play beats 3 and 4. That's just two down strokes. So it's down/up/down/up, down, down.

If you have trouble remembering rhythms like this, it can sometimes help to make up some silly lyrics. For example, 'Strumming in a new way, strumming in a new way' or something completely absurd like, 'Turkey in a hot tub, turkey in a hot tub', or whatever you can come up with that can help you remember the rhythm.

Here's another tip that's going to save you a lot of time: The best way to learn something like this is to practice playing it correctly once, and then stopping. Don't try to loop it right away, because you'll most likely just get confused!

Whenever you can do it once pretty comfortably like that, try doing it twice and then stopping. Still resist the urge to loop it!

Do that until you're comfortable playing it twice.

If it's a really hard thing you're trying to learn, then you can do it three times and then stop. But at this point you're probably ready to try looping it. When you mess up after a while, just stop and start again. And then eventually it'll feel like second nature.

Often we go straight to trying to loop something and although it feels like we're pushing things along we're really slowing down the process because we just end up messing it up and confusing ourselves.

This applies to so many hard things you're going to learn from hereon out, and it'll save you so much time and frustration if you keep this approach in mind.

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8th Notes & Upstrokes