Probably the most awkward query I get requested is, “What’s the strumming sample for this?” As a result of there’s no actual reply to it. It’s not like a chord development the place there’s a proper chord and a flawed chord. You should utilize totally different strumming patterns and it’ll nonetheless work. It’s an vital ability to have the ability to decide your individual strumming patterns.

So on this put up I’ve listed among the commonest strumming patterns round. Ones you possibly can check out and see in the event that they match the tune.

For more information on strumming, learn the posts on strumming notation and strumming for dummies; and the e-book I wrote How one can Play Ukulele Strums.

Some Fundamentals

Earlier than you begin strumming, undergo these steps:

Step 1: Clap together with the tune: If the singer was to shout, “Hey everyone, clap alongside,” what would you do? (Assuming you’re much less surly than me and would simply fold your arms and look moody.)

Step 2: Fake you’re in The Ramones: Should you have been going to start out the tune by shouting one, two, three, 4 what would you do? Attempt counting by the tune repeating that every one the way in which (if counting to 4 doesn’t match, strive counting to a few).

Step 3: Attempt just a few strumming patterns: Attempt becoming a strumming sample to the tune. Match them so the down strums within the sample match with the numbers you rely. So a lifeless easy sample can be all down strums: strum down once you rely one, once you rely two, once you rely three and once you rely 4.

4/Four Strumming Patterns

By far the most typical time signature round is 4/4 (“4 4”). Should you can rely alongside to a tune, “one, two, three, 4, one, two, three, 4,” and it suits, check out these strumming patterns.

Strumming Sample 1: d – d u – u d –

This one crops up in so many ukulele songs. It’s easy to play. However – as a result of it misses the third down strum – it has a barely syncopated really feel to it which makes it extra attention-grabbing.

Appears like:


Use it in:

Charlieissocoollike – A Music About Zits
She and Him – Gonna Get Alongside With out You Now
WIUO/Outkast – Hey Ya!
Kate Micucci & William H Macy – It’s Time to Get Laid
Noah and the Whale – Jealous Sort of Love
Zee Avi – Kantoi
Zee Avi – Simply You and Me
In double time: Cosmo Jarvis – She’s Acquired You
Nevershoutnever – Cheatercheaterbestfriendeater
Andrews Sisters/Sophie Madeleine – Bei Mir Bist du Schon

Strumming Sample 2: d – d u – u d u

Similar to strumming sample 1, however with one other up strum on the finish.

Appears like:


Use it in:

Ingrid Michaelson – You and I
Paolo Nutini – Excessive Hopes
I Wanna Be Like You
Misty Miller – Bear in mind
Paramore – Interlude: Transferring On
Brendan Maclean – Silly
Keston Cobblers’ Membership – Pett Stage
Amanda Palmer – Ukulele Anthem
Beirut – A Candle’s Fireplace

Strumming Sample 3: d – d – d u d u

Appears like:


Use it in:

WIUO – I Might By no means Take the Place of Your Man
OK Go – This Too Shall Cross
Keston Cobblers Membership – You Go
The Pogues – Fiesta
Impartial Uke Resort – King of Carrot Flowers
Ewan Wardrop/50 Cent – In Da Membership
Daniel Johnston – Dwelling Life

Strumming Sample 4: d – d u d u d u

A very straight-forward strum helpful for punky stuff.

Appears like:


Use it in:

UOGB – Teenage Kicks
Ryan Gosling – You At all times Harm the Ones You Love
The Seaside Boys – Wouldn’t It Be Good
Sufjan Stevens – Christmases Previous
The Smiths – The Queen is Lifeless
Prepare – Sing Collectively
The Vaccines – Wrecking Bar

Half-Bar Patterns

Should you’re on the lookout for a strumming sample for a tune the place the chords change often (twice a bar) check out these.

Strumming Sample 5: d – d u

Appears like:


Use it in:

Demise Cab for Cutie – I Will Comply with You Into the Darkish
WIUO – Brief Folks
Sesame Road
McFly – Love is Simple
Zooey Deschanel – You Forgot about Valentine’s Day
Zooey Deschanel – What are You Doing New Yr’s Eve
GOTYE – Anyone That I Used to Know

Strumming Sample 6: d u x u

Appears like:


Use it in:

Hellogoodbye – Betrayed by Bones
Allo Darlin – Tallulah

Two Bar Sample

If the chords change far more slowly, you possibly can simply double up on the 4/Four sample. Or you possibly can make it extra attention-grabbing by utilizing a two bar sample.

Strumming Sample 7:
d – d u – u d u
– u d u – u d –

Henceforth to be often called the ‘Sophie Madeleine strum’.

Appears like:


Use it in:

Sophie Madeleine – The Knitting Music
Sophie Madeleine – You Are My Favorite
Sophie Madeleine – I Simply Can’t Cease Myself
Rocky and Balls – Love Cake
Bella Hemming – Play Guitar
Peggy Sue – February Snow
Antarctica Takes It – C&F


Strumming Sample 8: d u D U d u D U

Appears like:


Use it in:

Florence and the Machine – Kiss With a Fist
Rocky Horror Image Present – Time Warp
Sophie Madeleine – Take Your Love With Me
Sufjan Stevens – Lumberjack Christmas
Chuck Berry – Run Run Rudolph

Strumming Sample 9: d u x u d u x u

Appears like:


Use it in:

Nevershoutnever – Largest Fan
Noah and the Whale – 5 Years Time

Reggae Strums

With a reggae strum you’re at all times going to be accenting the off beats. Within the different strums right here you’re at all times enjoying a powerful beat on the ‘one’ of the rely. Right here you’re accenting different beats. It’s not at all times apparent what’s happening so I’ve included a click on monitor with these.

Strumming Sample 10: – d – d – d – d

Right here you’re accenting the beats between the rely.

Appears like:


Use it in:

April Smith – Colours
Weezer/Sarah Blackwood – Say It Ain’t So

Strumming Sample 11: – – d u – – d –

Right here the accent is on the ‘two’ and ‘4’ beats.

Appears like:


Use it in:

WIUO – The Israelites

3/Four Time

If counting, “one, two, three, 4,” doesn’t match with the tune you’re enjoying, strive counting in threes as an alternative. If that works, strive these patterns.

Strumming Sample 12: d – d u d –

Appears like:


Use it in:

Amanda Palmer – In My Thoughts
John Denver/Ballard C Boyd – Christmas for Cowboys
Weezer – Christmas Music
OK Go – Needing/Getting

Strumming Sample 13: d – d u d u

Appears like:


Use it in:

WIUO – Blue Smoke
Kelli Rae Powell – Some Bridges are Good to Burn
Stroll off the Earth – Little Bins
Bon Iver/Kina Grannis – Michicant

Altering the Patterns

There are tweaks you may make to all these strumming patterns.

Swing Them

Once you swing a strumming sample you make the down strum final barely longer than the up strum. That offers the strum an off-kilter really feel to it.

You are able to do this with any of the strums. For instance, strum sample Four would sound like this when swung.

Swing Strum

Change the Tempo

You make any of those strums quicker or slower than I’ve performed them. On the whole, the extra sophisticated the strum, the higher it’ll sound slowed down. The extra straight ahead it’s, the higher it really works at excessive velocity.

For Extra on Strumming…

Choose up a replica of my e-book How one can Play Ukulele Strums

Supply hyperlink

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