D - Means a chord is struck with a downward stroke (from the 6th towards the 1st string)
U - Means a chord is struck with an upward stroke (from the 1sh towards the 6th string)
( ) - Brackets are sometimes used instead of the bar on top () It means that the strokes within / under these constitute one unit and all of them share the time allotted to that group equally.
' or * - These marks are placed on top of the particular stroke to denote that it is sounded and then muted quickly.
| | - These are the symbols of a meter. The strokes or their groups between these two lines constitute one meter (time unit) of the song.
/ or _ - Indicates a rest when the plectrum is not to be used though the strings may continue to vibrate unless it has to be muted.
Dashes - These may be used to separate the character and do not indicate anything in particular and hence do not alter the time fractions. e.g. |DDDD| is the same as |D-D-D-D|.
All songs in these blogs that have strum patterns provided generally have the following explanation attached to them -
Explanation - x beats per meter; the stroke that is marked with a (') is played and muted (D' here); the beats in brackets are divided into subunits of equal duration as noted.Here, the "x beats per meter" indicates that for each complete cycle of rhythm, or commonly - line, of the song contains "x" individual equal subdivisions.
This pattern usually repeats itself throughout the song and provides the rhythm of the song.
3 beats per meter; these are a down stroke, followed by an upstroke and again a down stroke.
4 beats per meter; that is to say each beat is divided into 4 subunits. Each such subunit - shown in brackets -contain 2 individual strokes. Here the second stroke of alternate subunits are muted. All strokes here are down-strokes.
4 beats per meter; 1st and 4th subunits are a down-stroke each while middle two subunits have been divided into two strokes each : 2nd unit - down - up and 3rd unit - down - down.
Two alternating meters. Both have 3 beats each. First is just 3 down-strokes while the second is a bit more complex. Its two final subunits have 2 down-strokes each.
- Continuing with the discussion on strum patterns
- About off-beats and on-beats and their relation with strumming.
- Figure out strum patterns yourself.
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