How To Strum Guitar

In a few simple steps it is possible to learn how to strum a guitar. Learning a good strumming patter can take months, but a basic strum can be learned quite quickly.

To strum a guitar, you will need:

  • a guitar
  • a guitar pick

Steps in learning how to strum a guitar:

  1. Choose a guitar to learn on that is in tune. Pick up the guitar and set it comfortably on your lap with it resting on your knee.
  2. While holding the guitar pick in your right hand, gently run it over the strings of the guitar.  Carefully run the pick over the strings, starting at the top of the guitar, so that an even sound from each string can be heard. It's important to know that there are many different strumming patterns and styles. Learning to strum a guitar is mastered by first learning basic strums and then building on them.
  3. Continue cautiously strumming in a downward motion on the strings of the guitar.  Try tapping your foot as you strum, trying to keep a rhythm. When that feels comfortable, keeping your wrist loose, take your hand in a down-up motion. Strum a guitar down and up; down and up. Continue doing this while tapping your foot, until you get the hang of it. Keeping looseness in your wrist is a key point to a good strum. Try relaxing your hand, by flopping it at the wrist back and forth to warm up. This is how your hand and wrist should be moving.
  4. Once a down-up rhythm is acquired, different styles of strumming can be attempted.  Keep your wrist moving down then up; down then up, but try only strumming some of those times. For example, keep your hand moving down and up, but only strum a guitar on the down strokes. Then try strumming only on the up strokes. Then try different patterns such as: down, down, up, up. Be creative and always try keeping a steady beat.