June 4, 2015

Beginner’s strumming patterns – Pt.4 How to strum semi-quavers/sixteenth notes

Hi there,

In this 4th installment of this strumming pattern series, we are going to introduce sixteenth notes into our strumming. What this will do is vary your patterns up even more and make them more versatile. It’ll also allow you to play lots more songs that have this style of strumming.

Firstly we’ll see what a bar of 16th notes look like:

So they are 1/4 beat each, meaning that you can have 16 in a bar. The way to count 16th notes/semiquavers is by going ‘1 e + a, 2 e + a and so on. What this does is allow you to know exactly where you are in each beat and whether to strum a down or upstroke. The 1 and the + you play downstrokes and the e and a play upstrokes.

The next picture will show a fantastic 2 beat pattern that combines, crotchets, quavers and semiquavers.

For this you’d count 1, 2 +a and strum Down, Down, Down up. Listen to me playing it in the video to help. Bob Dylan’s classic ‘Knockin on heaven’s door’ uses this pattern (he may vary it from time to time but this keeps it simple).

Here’s the Dylan pattern:

The great thing about this song is it just loops this 4 bar phrase all the way through so is great for beginners. This 2 beat pattern is in 1000’s of songs, plus you can use it in your own songwriting

Hope you’ve found this blog and video useful.

Many thanks

Rock ‘n’ roll

James Schofield

Twitter – @jsmusicschool
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Instagram – @jsmusicschool

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