Learn how to strum in under 7 min!


CLICK HERE to watch the FULL 7 min video on YouTube!

I just recorded & edited one of the most IMPORTANT videos a beginning guitarist can possibly watch. It is how to strum CORRECTLY in under 7 min. In creating this video and teaching for the past 15 years (playing guitar for 30 yrs), I've watched A LOT of videos of teachers teaching strumming the wrong way. It's no wonder so many people are so confused about the CORRECT way to strum. It's really not rocket science as I've seen the proof of the way I teach strumming to kids in action.

Currently, I have a 7-year old student who I started with him at 4 on the ukulele and now he's playing the guitar at 7, which totally blows my mind! I also teach a 10-year old girl who is playing the ukulele and singing at the same time. One of the last lessons she said she started a new song that day and she played the ukulele and sang the entire song. I also teach a 6-year old who is playing the ukulele and singing at the same time one the song, "Million Reasons," by Lady Gaga. I'm currently teaching him to play, "Hallelujah" by the Pentatonix and it's also in 6/8 time, which generally I teach a few 4/4 time songs first, but I think he can handle doing 6/8!

My point in telling you this is that if explained in the simplest way anyone can learn to strum, count & understand music no matter what age.


Here is more info on strumming I posted on my MUSIC ADVICE page on my website: 

Learn to strum FIRST! (Beginners) -- I've noticed over the years that most teachers show how to fret chords first and when they try to learn a song, they have NO RHYTHM at all. If you learn how to strum with your right hand FIRST and just mute the strings with your left hand you can do. It's very difficult to explain this without showing someone in person, but I'm going to give it a shot! 

***IMPORTANT***: Make sure you keep your RIGHT hand moving the entire time when strumming no matter what rhythm you are playing! Your right hand is basically like your metronome and is like a pendulum because it should NEVER stop moving!*** 

Here are the strumming patterns written out that I use all the time when I teach that explains it more visually: 

"+"= AND 
(+) = NO HIT (still strum the down stroke just don't hit the strings) 
(Right-click this chart and DOWNLOAD it to your computer) 

**(In order to find the quarter note in the song just listen to the drums as the snare drum (in 4/4 time) is almost always on beats 2 &4!)** 

            A. Quarter note rhythm (1/4): Count "1 (+) 2 (+) 3 (+) 4 (+)" for this rhythm. All you are really doing is "1 (+)" 4 times if you really think about it. Do a down stroke (1) and on the second down stroke, which is the &, do NOT hit the strings, but still count the "+" OUTLOUD. So it's basically 2 down strokes and you count "1 +" and you only hit the first down stroke. Think of it like this: 2 down strokes, but you're thinking HIT on the 1st down stroke, then NO HIT on the 2nd down stroke. So basically you're only hitting the strings on the NUMBERS 1, 2, 3, 4. 

IMPORTANT: keep your right handing moving at ALL times even when you're not hitting the strings! 

           B. Eighth note rhythm (1/8): Also Count "1 + 2 + 3 + 4 +" for this rhythm. All you are really doing is "1 +" 4 times. Do a down stroke (1) and on the second down stroke (which is the +), you HIT the strings this time. So it's basically 2 down strokes and you count "1 +" and you hit the strings on both down strokes. 

          C. Sixteenth note rhythm (1/16): Count this "1e+a, 2e+a, 3e+a, 4e+a" for this rhythm. All you are really doing is "1 e+a" 4 times. The ONLY difference between this rhythm and eighth note is that you will be hitting the UP STROKES too! If you notice you're still counting the "1 +", but now after the 1 you have to come back up right? Well, that's the "e". So here it is broken down: 


Once you get those rhythms down and pretty comfortable learn a few chord shapes (Em, D, C are the easiest) and try to do 4 beats for each chord with each rhythm separately. The KEY to strumming is keeping your RIGHT HAND moving at ALL times, even if you totally screw up the chord! Your left hand will eventually follow your right hand (strumming hand), but most importantly you will have a much better sense and feel for the rhythm! 

***TRY THIS***:  Put the song <strong>"Slow Dancing in a Burning Room"</strong> by John Mayer OR <strong>"Simple Man"</strong> by Lynyrd Skynyrd on and mute the strings and try to play along with the song using all 3 rhythms. It's a slower song so it's a good one to start out with and the cool thing about this exercise is that you can do it to any song you want and your rhythm will get REALLY good! 

ALWAYS COUNT OUT LOUD: Our job as musicians is to create pleasing sound to the ear from within ourselves and the more we can get used to externalizing by counting out loud the quicker it teaches our brains what we are doing. At first it is a little more difficult, but to really FULLY understand and be able to have COMMAND of any rhythm or song it's HIGHLY RECOMMENDED to count out loud, especially if you want to play and instrument and sing at the same time.

CLICK HERE to watch the FULL 7 min video on YouTube!

I am a performing musician, singer/songwriter, guitarist, live looping solo/duo performing musician in the vein of Dave Matthews, Clapton & Hendrix.. I have also been teaching music for the past 15 years and everything I teach is everything I use that has enabled me to make music my living. I've had the honor of teaching several hundred if not over 1,000 students ranging from music rock camps, to private lessons, and teaching at Musicology Performance Center, in Smithtown, NY. 

I've played 500+ shows in the past 10 years and I always invite my students up on stage to perform with me when I feel they are ready as it’s GREAT experience to perform in front of people at ANY age! Music is my life and it has become my BEST therapy, especially since my father’s passing Feb. 15, 2008. I do my best to share the gift of music to help spread as much joy & happiness as possible.

For private lessons (guitar, vocals, ukulele, or beginner/intermediate piano):

E-mail me @: Archs21@aol.com