Different strokes for different folks: strumming patterns

After learning how to hold and tune your ukulele, the next step is what to do with your right hand (if you are right-handed) on the ukulele. This is the hand that controls the rhythm, the beat, the accents, and the tempo (speed). Strumming is all about time-keeping and rhythm.

Most beginners rush to get a chord chart, fascinated by the chord diagrams, and try to finger the chords with their left hand on the neck of the ukulele. At some point, they get stuck because they don’t know what to do with their right hand.

I’d say: focus on your right hand first. Practice strumming. You don’t need to know chords at this point. But you do need to practice different kinds of strumming.

A strum is a quick movement of one or more fingers of the hand down (towards the ground) or up (away from the ground) the four strings of the instrument in a quick motion.

Another word for a strum is a stroke. There are up and down strokes, which can be represented by letters U and D or up and down arrows.

There’s a WHAM stroke, which I represent by an X.

Next is how to combine the U, D, X to make a strum pattern. The strumming pattern defines whether the accompaniment to a waltz, a pop song, reggae, or folk song.

For the first time, I will be offering a dedicated workshop on this topic. You can be a complete beginner who has just purchased your first ukulele recently. You can also be adept at switching chords with a huge chord vocabulary but want to learn new kinds of strum patterns.

Saturday 10th March 2018
3 pm to 4:30 pm
[Doors open at 3 pm. Workshop to start at 3:15 pm.]

Walter Baker Artist Lofts
1231 Adams Street
Knock loudly on the inner front doors.

Adult $15. Child $5 (if accompanied by adult).
Bring your ukulele, clip-on tuner, pencil, paper or notebook.

For more information visit my ukulele page.

Koa tenor ukulele made on Oahu; tropical hardwood ukulele stand made on Maui




Author: BLOGmaiden

As one of the earliest bloggers (since 1999), I enjoy meeting people who embrace "out-of-the-box" thinking and fear not the unknown. I believe in collaboration for sustainability because it increases stakeholder value.

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