How to be a better “strummer” – revised.

I often get asked to teach my students how to play different “strums”.

My answer is always the same – learn your rhythm, and you will have countless “strums” at your disposal. It’s like the saying, “Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day. Teach a man to fish and you feed him for a lifetime.” Teaching someone a “strum” without explaining how rhythm works is like handing someone a Swiss Army knife and only showing them one of the many tools it contains. (I hope by now, you all know how much I like analogies!)

So I have created a “Strumming Worksheet” and an explanatory video to help you practice your strumming, while learning a bit about rhythm along the way.
Then, using this system I have created, I can more easily increase the difficulty of the strums and you will be sailing along with the best strummers.

Download and print this worksheet by clicking on the link below:
Strumming Practice Worksheet

and then watch this video:

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13 Responses to “How to be a better “strummer” – revised.”

  1. Gilbert Says:

    Hi Rhan,

    Thank you so much for your trick : it works .

  2. Gilbert Says:

    Hi,
    Thank you for lessons.
    I am struggling with trying to play triplet (DUD) with a metronom (tempo 50).Is there any trick to achieve that ?
    Thanks for answering.
    Gilbert

    • Rhan Wilson Says:

      HI Gilbert.
      Thank you for asking this question.
      First – my advice to anyone learning anything like this is to slow it down! But the problem here is that the “click” of a metronome at 50 bpm is rather slow – with little information in between to help you hear the triplets and where they should go to be spaced evenly. Slowing down the tempo would make it even harder.

      So – my advice it to set your metronome to 3/4 time and set the tempo at 150! That will produce a click for every triplet event, the louder emphasized click being the click you were hearing before at 50, but now you can hear the subdivisions.

      Now you can slow it down to a comfortable learning speed. Don’t be afraid to learn slowly – that will help put the DUD action into your muscle memory. When you speed it up – it will be much easier.

      I hope this helps.

  3. Jackie Goodreau Says:

    Thank you , very helpful.

  4. Edward Bordallo Says:

    I really enjoy your thoughts about music and am grateful for your efforts. Thank you very much. Do you not have a dark side that you can talk about?

    In the spirits of life-long learning and continuous improvement, I think when you say “metaphor” in your first paragraph you really mean “analogy”

    cheers.

    • Rhan Wilson Says:

      Edward,
      Thank you for that correction. Yes, I had been using the wrong term – perhaps because I like the sound of metaphor better than that of analogy, but that’s no reason to misuse the word. I use it correctly now.

      But what I really want to know – is what has you thinking of my dark side and wanting me to talk about it? I’ve never been asked that before, and I am intrigued.

      Rhan

  5. georgette reynolds Says:

    Hi, so happy I went to your class when I was out of town and now I have these videos you put together so well,thank you so much.georgette

  6. Steve Says:

    Very clearly presented. Thank you
    Keep em coming

  7. PLUCking Ukes – Rhythm Without Blues « People of Lewisham's Ukulele Club Says:

    […] See also his lessons on: Put some “feel” into your strumming!; How to be a better “strummer” – revised […]

  8. webmasterpluc Says:

    That’s really useful & very clearly explained. Thanks very much.

    Jeanette

  9. William Kelly Says:

    Thank you. I have not tried it out yet, but just from watching your video I know that it is going to make a big difference for me. Metaphors or not. Your explanations always come across very clear and concise, thus making it understandable to me. As I got a new drum the other day, I have been working on rhythm and I do believe that it is also going to be of great assistance. Once again thank you, your lessons are always fantastic.
    Bill

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