3 Most Important Strumming Techniques That A Guitarist Should Learn

By Monica | Guitar

Mar 01
Most Important Strumming Techniques

Do you know that there exist 3 most important strumming techniques that a guitar player should know? I know that most of you are unaware of this. But that's okay. After all, none of these things are written directly on any guitar lesson that you can get today.

However, if I were you, you might want to discover these hacks to get the most of your efforts!

Strumming is one of the most basic skills that you have to learn when playing the guitar. In fact, it should be among the first things that you should master right from the start. And even if you have progressed long enough, you must never still forget the fundamentals of strumming. A flimsy foundation on strumming will cause long-term adverse effects on your journey with the six-stringed instrument.

For some, learning how to strum is quite easy. There are just those people that have been gifted with the dexterity to maneuver their hands. But for others, strumming is a struggle.

If you are among them, then it is the time that you should pay attention to this guide. Heads up because this time, I will be showing you some crucial aspects of strumming that many tend to forget or ignore. Check these out.


3 Most Important Strumming Techniques

Picking the Right Pick

When strumming, it is quite crucial that you know how to use a pick. It will allow you to change the tonal characteristic of your instrument without major augmentations. But more than that, you should also be good in choosing the appropriate pick for your guitar.

Specifically, what I want to recommend you is to get a pick that is thin enough. Let's talk about this first and let me give you some reasons why it is a helpful approach to sharpen your strumming skills.

When we are doing more electric style single notes, double stops, or a more complex variety of picking, it is best that you get a thick pick. You don't want any fluctuations or play that will take place while you are strumming. Furthermore, you don't want the pick to wobble whenever you hit individual notes. It is not neat, too, because you are hitting one note.

However, if we are going to hit multiple notes successively, thick picks are not recommended. The mechanism is similar to combing a hair. It is not good if the comb has a little brush when you have a lot of hair. If you are going to brush using a comb with hard bristles, your hair will get knotted.

That's why when you are strumming, it is important that you pick has a thin bristle. In this way, the way you strum will be smooth and flawlessly. You won't get stuck on a particular string and hear unwanted sounds.

For instance, if you use a metal pick, you will notice that its motion is stiff. As a result, strumming it would be a lot difficult compared to using a thin and flexible pick. If you are honing your strumming skill, you should be aware of this particular technique.

Understanding How to Count

Counting in strumming is quite important. But it seems that most people tend to forget about it.

Usually, people on Youtube are always emphasizing about shortcuts and hacks on how to expedite the speed in which they can learn or play a song. Yes. I completely understand that. The world today is about speed and taking the shortest way possible.

However, if you really want to improve your skills to another level, especially your strumming, you need to count properly and gradually. You have to make that "down-down-up-up-down" pattern because it is not necessary. But if you want to know the real thing, that pattern is just half of the story. It doesn't tell you when you are going to the count in the first place. It actually doesn't make sense when I say "down-down-up-up-down." It would only make its real value when you strum it because you are doing it.

You just have to learn how to count. There are a lot of tutorials when it comes to this basic guitar skill. That's why there is no excuse as to why you cannot have a grasp of it. You can start from the bottom then go over with the harder type of strums. By doing this, you will understand how counting works and how it can change the dynamics of your strumming.

Practice Without Chords

This one is somehow insane and absurd at the same time. But if you really want to bring the A-game out of your strumming, you have to do this. When people hear a song and practice it, they usually hit the chord and sing right away. It is a wow for me! I mean, how can they do that? How can they play a piece that they heard for a couple of times only? And they wonder why they have difficulties in strumming.

Most Important Strumming Techniques

Because the way I do things, I take things slowly. I don't jump right away just because the song has excited the musician in me. You cannot just learn may skill at once. Those people at the circus didn't practice juggling and cycling on a tightrope simultaneously. They have learned it one by one. Learning a song is just the same.

You can never practice strumming, hit the chords, and sing at the same time. You have to separate these aspects, especially if you are still a beginner. Remove all the singing. Remove all the chords. Just do the strumming. Take your fretting hand and let it hold the strings. Next, have your playing hand strike the strings as light as a feather. In this way, you will get that distinctive percussive sound.

Once you can do this, you can already apply the second skill that I mentioned here. Count and understand the strumming pattern of the piece. Just continue practicing until such time the strumming process is like your breathing: you are doing it effortlessly. Of course, the most important thing here is to keep your pace slowly. There is no point in rushing here. I mean it. You don't have to pressure yourself. There's no competition here. There's no time limit here. Learning slowly and repeatedly is the only way you can imprint something in your brain.


These are the three important strumming techniques that you should learn to improve your affinity over the guitar. As you have noticed, none of these skill sets can be acquired overnight. They require constant practice because getting them on your nerves is not that easy, unless you are a genius. The fundamentals of the guitar can be both difficult and grueling. But in the long run, they will serve you for the good.

If you have problems with your strumming, I recommend that you practice all of these techniques that I have mentioned here. Trust me. You will never regret undertaking these necessary ordeals.

Do you have some other questions or suggestions, feel free to drop them in the comment section below!


About the Author

Hi everyone! Im Monica and I am an avid lover of guitars and everything in-between. My current profession is not really music-related. It is quite discouraging but I just don't want to drop my zeal--especially not to guitars! I created GuitarTrance.Com so that I can keep up with my hobby. Of course, I want to engage with the community as well! Hope we can all get along!