Constant Strumming Technique
Welcome to the next installment of our strumming exploration! This time we are going to look at something called the constant strumming technique. This concept is one of the keys to figuring out your favorite songs and coming up with your own wicked strumming patterns. Whether you realize it or not, you are probably already using this idea in your own playing.
The fundamental idea behind the constant strumming technique is to keep your strumming hand going even when you don’t actually strike the strings. This is the way that many of the great strumming patterns that we all love are created. Here is simple example of the constant strumming technique. Play a simple quarter note strumming pattern using all downstrokes. Just play any chord four times. Do you see how your arm had to make an upstroke without actually hitting the strings to prepare for each downstroke? That is the constant strumming technique at work.
Here is another example. Play a straight sixteenth note strumming pattern using alternating down and upstrokes. One measure of sixteenth note strumming should give you sixteen down and upstrokes. Now, I want you to play “down up down up” but do not actually hit the strings on the second downstroke. Do you see how your arm kept going with the sixteenth note strumming pattern even though you did not actually hit the strings on that second downstroke? That is the constant strumming technique again.
Play around with a simple sixteenth note strumming pattern, and leave out some down or upstrokes in order to come up with your own unique patterns that use the constant strumming technique. Try to listen for the constant strumming technique in some of your favorite songs over the next few days. In the next lesson we will take a look at how using accents in your strumming patterns can add a whole new dimension to your rhythm guitar playing.