Strumming patterns – some people can’t play without them, others never use them. Personally I never really know which pattern I’m playing unless I analyse afterwards, but I know some people really need a strumming pattern to guide them through a song. With that in mind I’ve put together a PDF of 32 ukulele strumming patterns to help anyone that needs a little inspiration.
All of these strumming patterns are eighth note patterns so the best way to get to grips with them is to count 1 and 2 and 3 and 4 and throughout. Count out loud if you need to to begin with (if you can say it, you can play it) and miss the words where no strum appears.
I haven’t noted any songs alongside these patterns as I think you should let your ear guide you as to which you think works with the song you’re playing – also don’t feel limited to playing one throughout a whole song. Once I get a feel for a song I’ll make subtle variations to the strumming to keep it interesting.
The patterns I’ve given you here are just to spice up your playing a little, feel free to experiment with them – try them on songs you don’t think they’ll fit into, you might be surprised.
If you really want to progress your strumming at a rapid rate then I’d highly recommend taking a look at Al Wood’s downloadable ebook How To Play Ukulele Strums. For just $12 you get an in-depth guide showing you how to play 49 different strums with supporting videos and MP3 files. There’s also a really useful section that focuses on counting strums the easy way (something I wish I had when I was learning to play).