When learning how to play acoustic guitar, one of the first items that many people explore are easy acoustic guitar strumming patterns over various chord progression and songs.
While we all know that learning how to play common strumming patterns is important, sometimes when we’re first starting out we don’t know where to start as far as choosing the “right” patterns to study.
To help you get started on the right note, here are five easy acoustic guitar strumming patterns, which are all variations of each other, that you can learn to play, apply to your songwriting or jamming, and combine to make more complex sounding patterns, without having to learn complex strumming patterns in the first place.
Easy Acoustic Strumming Patterns 1
To begin our study of easy acoustic guitar strumming patterns, we’ll be playing a simple quarter-note, four to the bar, rhythm pattern that uses down strums on each down beat of the bar, 1-2-3-4.
Though this pattern looks easy on paper, it can be tricky to really nail the quarter-note pulse in a way that’s both accurate and grooves.
So, try playing with a metronome at various tempos in order to work on playing this pattern steadily on your guitar. When you can do so with confidence, move on to the first variation which features 8th-note patterns along with these steady quarters.
Easy Acoustic Strumming Patterns 2
Now that you have the steady, quarter-note pattern, under your fingers, we will begin to vary this pattern by adding in two 8th-notes on the first beat of each bar.
When playing these 8th notes, make sure to strum the first one down, and the second one up, so you continue to place down strums on the down beats of each bar, 1-2-3-4, and the up strum occurs on the up-beat of each measure, in this case the & of 1.
Try to be as even as possible with your rhythm and use a metronome when needed to ensure that you pulse and groove is steady between both 8th and quarter notes.
Easy Acoustic Strumming Patterns 3
The third variation of the easy acoustic guitar strumming patterns finds quarter notes, all down strums, on beats 1, 3 and 4 of the bar, with the 8th-notes occurring on beat 2 of each measure.
Easy Acoustic Strumming Patterns 4
Variation 4 see the 8th-note down-up strumming pattern fall on the 3rd beat of each bar, with quarter note, all down strums, on beats 1, 2 and 4.
Easy Acoustic Strumming Patterns 5
To finish our exploration of easy acoustic guitar strumming patterns, you will now play three quarter notes, with the 8th-note down-up rhythm falling on beat 4 of each bar.
After you have worked out these easy acoustic guitar strumming patterns, try mixing them together in order to derive countless variations in your playing based on these 5 simple ideas.
Sometimes taking a few easy strumming patterns and combining them can provide surprising results in the practice room and in your songwriting as you build more complex strumming patterns from these initial ideas.
Do you have a question or comment about these 5 easy acoustic guitar strumming patterns? Share your thoughts in the comments section below.