New guitar players will tend to develop or discover a preferred strum pattern. I remember when I was first learning to play, a friend of mine and fellow musician used the same predictable strum pattern for every song.
It drove me crazy. “There it is…” I would think to myself “…that same old strum!” Ever since then I decided not to fall into that rut and try to remember to use different patterns.
Well here is a good place to start with strum patterns. This is about the simplest pattern I can imagine. I call it the 1-2-3-Rest strum. It consists of 3 downstrokes and one rest, 3 downstrokes and one rest, 3 downstrokes and one rest. Don’t make it your go-to pattern. Just use it to learn the importance of sticking to the beat, and cleanly hitting the strings you’re trying to hit.
The idea behind the rest is that often chord changes take place when a new measure starts. The rest on beat 4 of the previous measure gives the new guitar player additional time to change chords.
The video above shows how this strum is used in the song “Achy Breaky Heart.”
And here is the practice track…