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Basic 4/4 accompaniment strums

The following are some basic accompaniment patterns in 4/4 time. They are really just combinations of the strum patterns learned in chord strumming 101.

This first accompaniment strum uses all 8th notes. You are going to strum down on the beat (1 2 3 4) and up on the "&". You are going to be switching between an Em and Am chord and repeating. The "rule" that I am going to explain here is more of an explanation of what happens naturally as you switch from one chord to another when you are strumming 8th notes.


The "Rule"

On the last 8th note rhythm before a chord change, play open strings as you are moving to the next chord. This helps your fingers make a smooth transition between chords, especially at a medium to fast speed. This is more of an explanation of what happens naturally than it is a "rule". But if you start out doing this, you will be able to make the transition between chords a lot sooner than if you didn't. Again this will happen naturally once you start to play a little faster.

Below you are going to play the open strings on the 8th note before the chord change (the "&" of beat 4). The important thing here is to keep your right hand moving down and up at all times. The tendency at first is to stop your right hand at the point of the chord change and place your fingers on the next chord. (BAD, try not to do this) Keep your right hand moving, even if you think your left hand is not ready. This is a hard step to make for a lot of people. They want to make sure everything is perfect before they go on. It is far better to keep your right hand moving and fix any problems with your chords as you are moving. (fix it on the road) I can't emphasize this enough!!! Em and Am are very close to each other, so this should be an easier chord combination to start with.

straight 8ths

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All right MAN...enough of the theoretical mumbo jumbo,
I just want to play some tunes.

Well, because of copyright laws, I can't teach you specific songs. But.... after the different strum patterns, click on the song simile button. This will take you to a page where you can learn chord progressions and strums "in the style of" some familiar songs.

Click Here "using accompaniment strum #1"


Page 2, basic 4/4 accompaniment strums

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