Hiya guys. In this lesson, we’re looking at how to play a couple of the easiest strumming patterns to play real songs with on guitar. These are appropriate for level one of my beginner’s course and beyond. Before we get into the actual technique of strumming, we need a bit of background on what bars and beats are. So, the beat is what you would naturally tap your foot to, or nod your head to, if you’re listening to one of your favourite songs. But it is a pulse that is actually throughout every song you’ve ever heard, but there’s not necessarily something that has to play on the beat… for it to still be there. As I say, it’s a pulse that exists and you would naturally sort of feel when you get into having a natural rhythm through learning music. And that beat goes to a count of four. So..1…2…3…4. Evenly spaced counts, or pulses, as I say. And it’s that count of four that we call a bar. So rather than joining in a song at, maybe, you know beat 72 or 103… we would count say…’come in two bars in’, which is two counts or ‘four bars in’. So on and so forth. So grouping things together in bars makes it easier to keep track of how many beats you are actually playing. But essentially all we want to be able to do is count to four at a slow, even, pace. So…1….2….3….4. And then, to start off with, we’re just going to strum on beat one….. which is actually how our first song actually starts. So if we just take this E major chord as an example – and you can play along as soon as you feel comfortable at home with your guitar…. we’re gonna play that first chord, E major, and I’m going to count ‘1, 2, 3, 4’ evenly in a loop and just strum on beat one… which is our first strumming pattern. So that goes like this ‘1….2…..3….4’ [3 times]. And that is our first strumming pattern nice and easily…. but we’ve got all the foundations there of what we will use later on in real songs and chord sequences. So that strumming pattern is called a spread, and it sounds best if we do the strum slightly delayed…so slightly slower. So, kind of like a harp. Whenever we do one strum that rings out like these spreads do, it just sounds a bit more professional if we do it nice, gentle… dragging the pick down. 1….2…..3…..4 [3 times] Ok? So make sure you join in with this at home. Nice and easy, we’re just gonna go for it real quick in….2….3….4. 1…..2….3…..4 [twice]…..strum….2….3….4 [twice]. Ok? And if you have to count out loud to start off with, that’s fine. But if we can make that count internal – in your mind – then that’s the perfect way to make sure that you’re doing this right. The second strumming pattern – and the one that is often the foundation of so many of our songs, I’ll always show you the chord sequence starting off with this strumming pattern -…. this is strumming on the beat. So that count of 1…2…3….4, we’re just gonna do down strums every time. And down strums are far more natural than up strums so we’re gonna start on down strums for everything for now. So we’re gonna take that E Major chord one more time and just strum on the beat evenly, but keeping the count in your mind… so that you know how many you’ve done. So let’s just have a go at that now. Join in at any point when you’re ready. In 2….3….4. Strum…2…3….4. 1….2….3….4 [3 times]. And pause there. Ok, so a couple of points just on that strumming now that you’ve had a go. I’m using a pick, also known as a plectrum. Um, these are really handy to get a nice, clean sound. And I really recommend getting used to having a pick, if you’re not using one already. You wanna grip that pick between your thumb and your first finger… but if you do find that you keep dropping it or it’s more comfortable, you can use two fingers as well. And strumming, fundamentally, needs to happen from the elbow, not the wrist…at least to begin with, ok? So it’s a strum like this, from the elbow, and that elbow is hitting the guitar just here. And we strum using this action like this, ok? Just a demo of that one more time and, if you want to join in, you can. We wanna hit all six strings, nice and evenly. And just collide against them, you know, rather than dragging down every one. We want these strums to, unlike the spread, to sound like one sound rather than the harp sound we were going for earlier. Ok? So one single strum, yes, make it sound like a harp. For this one, just go straight for it, ok? Nice flick down almost. Ready? With your guitar, on an E chord. In 2…..3……4. ‘1…2…3…4’. ‘Two….2….3….4’. ‘Three….’. ‘And four…..’. And pause there. Now just so we know how long you’re playing for, let’s change to the A chord now…which was the second chord that we looked at. And we’re gonna strum for just two bars. Ok? So just two bars of this count of four. So, this is gonna sound like ‘1…..2….3….4.’. ‘Two….2….3….4’. And this is because in songs, we get given a chord sequence and your chord will last a certain amount of time. So this just checks that, rather than just keeping even, we’re gonna play for two bars, ok? Which is again like a couple of songs that we’re gonna be going for later. So, on that A chord, join in to me…on beat one, after a count of 1….2…3…..and… Strum…2…3….4. Second bar…2…3…4. And…stop. That’s the end, ok? So, let’s do that for four bars now, just to get onto it. And then, as I say, you’ve got everything you need, really, to be able to have a go at these songs a little later, and chord sequences. So, one more time, but four bars of A this time. Ready…in….2….3….4. Strum…2…3….4. 1…2…3…..4 [twice]. Last bar….2….3…..4. And, we stop there. So, if you wanna get your timing a little better, you can run through those one more time. But I recommend we get straight onto some chord sequences, which are…you can kind of see as pre-songs in this beginner’s course… we’ve got chord sequences that are always gonna be really similar to certain songs, but they don’t have the structure or they’re a little bit simplified. So, ideal to go for first. So that’s in the next lesson, as I say. Or you can get straight on and have a go at the songs themselves, which are on the website at andyguitar.co.uk. And I hope to see you in one of those future lessons. Take care of yourselves, and bye for now.