Using The Strumming Pattern

Now it's time to try out our new strumming pattern with some more chords and see how it works.

Let's try an example where we go E minor for 2 bars, then we'll go to C major for 2 bars. Then we'll keep it simple and just repeat that one more time. And then we'll end on a big E minor chord that we let ring.

When you try this with the rhythm you'll notice that it's tricky to jump straight from one chord to the next in between strums and that's where our trick from the last chapter comes in handy, where we strum the open strum on the last strum right before changing chords.

This open string trick may feel like extra effort right now, but it really does make it easier once you get used to it. And this is not a beginner cheat I've come up with for you. I do this myself all the time and so do most other people who use open chords on guitar.

Instructor Anders Mouridsen
Strumming Patterns
Any Style
Using The Strumming Pattern song notation

You need to be registered to ask our instructors a question.

Questions & Answers

5 months ago
I'm really struggling to switch to the open C chord fast enough even with the open string strum (my fingers don't reliably stretch enough without placing them one at a time) - any recommendations? Should I be able to do it before I move on? Thanks!
Mike Olekshy 5 months ago

Hello - thanks for your question! You can go ahead and move on, but I would recommend continuing to work on the exercise from this lesson in your practice sessions. Just 3-5 mins per session, playing through the exercise nice and slow with lots of repetition will yield solid progress. Once you feel comfortable with the chord change at your slow practice speed, try increasing the tempo slightly, then keep practicing with lots of repetition at the new tempo for awhile. Repeat! Let me know how it goes!

5 months ago
How much time should I practice for per session normally and go to the next?
Mike Olekshy 5 months ago

Hello - thanks for your question. Only proceed to the next lesson when you understand all the concepts from the current lesson and can comfortably play the examples. It is always a good idea once you've moved on from the lesson to revisit the previous lessons from time to time to make sure you are still retaining the techniques and skills.

6 months ago
Is the open chord an quick extra strum squeezed in between the final quarter note and the first half note? Or does it replace the final quarter note of the bar?
Josh Workman 5 months ago

You can replace the last quarter note with open strings, to make it easier to change chords in time.