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Rhythm Guitar:
Country and Bluegrass Strumming Patterns



Q: I watched your country guitar seminar video on YouTube and was wondering if you could do more of a beginners level video all about playing basic country bluegrass strumming. I just seem to only strum guitar with one or two basic strum patterns and could really use something fresh in my playing. Thanks, Jake - New Albany, IN.

A: Thanks for writing in. Learning the country strum patterns are by far one of the best ways to help beginner players reach higher levels of strumming ability. Not only can this style of playing help with the knowledge of open position chords, but it also helps with learning how to incorporate alternate bass note technique. This alternate bass approach, (moving the 3rd and 5th chord tones in the bass in-between the chords root), will help players to develop solid strumming hand accuracy.

The patterns in this video lesson (the download links are below) mostly focus around quarter note and eighth note strumming. Although I do not state it in the video, it should be made clear that I seldom play this style with a pick. Instead, I hold my index finger against my thumb and strum with the tips of those fingers.



Although it might appear as if I am holding a guitar pick, I am not doing so. My index finger and thumb are pressed together in much the same way. On down-strums I use the top of my index fingers fingernail. And, on up-strums I use the tip of the pad of my index finger.

Practice your strumming hand technique however it feels best for you. If you prefer using a pick, (rather than fingers alone), it might be the best to stick with what seems the most comfortable for you at the present. You can always practice other techniques in time.

Practice the example piece measure by measure. Work slowly to develop the rhythm, chords and technique. Before attempting to play along with the example MP3, work with a metronome or drum machine.


Download the FREE Lessons Material for this Video
Rhythm Chart
rhythm chart
Rhythm Chart
rhythm chart
MP3 Play-along
playalong jam