Changing chords ‘off’ the beat and DDUUDUUDUUDU strumming pattern

24 Apr

Hi There,

Thanks for reading the blogs so far.

In previous blogs regarding strumming we’ve looked at a few common patterns and how you can play many songs with each of these.

To get really interesting rhythms, you want to be able to mix up your accents and strumming between playing ‘on’ and ‘off’ the beat.

On the beat would be 1,2,3,4

Off the beat would be 1 + 2 + 3 + 4 +

The 2 bar strumming pattern you’re going to learn here has most of it’s emphasis on the ‘and/off’ of the beat.

Have a look at the pattern below:

What you’ve got here is:

1 crotchet = 1 beat

then 14 quavers @ 1/2 beat each = 7 beats

with 3 ties.

What the tie does again is ring out the previous note (as you can see from the tied note, there is no chord below on the guitar tab)

in terms of counting you’d count it like this:

1  2 + 3 + 4 + 1 + 2 + 3 + 4 +

The notes that are tied (that you don’t play are on the following)

1  2 + 3 + 4 + 1 + 2 + 3 + 4 +

Now as i’ve explained with strumming patterns you want to play a downstroke on the beat (1,2,3,4) and an upstroke ‘off’ the beat so it’ll be like this:

1  2  +  3  +  4  +  1  +  2  +  3  +  4  +

D D U      U  D U     U  D U      U D U

As you can see we miss 3 downstrokes – this makes for a really nice strumming pattern.

Have a click on the link below to see how it’s played with a G chord:


So know you can play the 2 bar phrase, what you want to do now is change on all the following pulses:

1  2  +  3  +  4  +  1  +  2  +  3  +  4  +

D D U      U  D U     U  D U      U D U

What i’ve done in the below sample is play the chorus to Bryan adams – run to you which contains Em G, D and A

Have a listen to the audio clip of me playing it:


You can use any chord combination you like – i’d thoroughly recommend playing around with this strumming pattern as it’s used in 1000’s of songs

Many thanks for reading

You can find other useful free advice on twitter @jsmusicschool

Many thanks



Posted by on April 24, 2012 in Sightreading and Strumming


Tags: , ,

6 responses to “Changing chords ‘off’ the beat and DDUUDUUDUUDU strumming pattern


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