How do I read the strumming patterns?

For some Chord tabs, you can find the strumming patterns below the chord diagrams. They help to keep up with the rhythm of the song. Please note the Beats Per Minute (BMP) as it shows how fast your strokes should be. 

Here are the symbols you can see in these patterns:

  • ↑ and ↓ - the most basic component of a strumming pattern are the arrows showing the direction of your hand's movement. But simple up- and down-strokes can be marked with additional symbols. 
  • Little X above the arrow means that it's muted.
  • Big X in place of an arrow stands for the palm mute. 
  • > above the arrow means the accent, i.e. the note is stressed. 
  • You can also see empty spaces, they mean that no strums are made, you leave the strings ring for a number of beats. Many prefer to continue the hand movements without actually plucking the strings in order to keep the rhythm going. 

Let's take a look at this example. 


The strumming pattern has a beat rate of 160, and it goes like this: downstroke, rest, downstroke, accented upstroke, rest, upstroke, muted downstroke, upstroke. And then it repeats from the beginning without a pause at the end of it.

If you're having troubles deciphering the visual patterns, on our website you can press the Play button and hear the way it should sound with open strings. 


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