In Depth Guitar Lessons and Expert Help


January 30, 2013

Strumming Basics

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Written by: Mike Abbott

Learn the basics of guitar chord strumming and

  1. Strumming a Guitar chord – Lightly and
    quickly brush
    the guitar pick across the
    guitar strings using your arm and wrist.
  2. If your guitar chords don’t ring clearly-practice
    them, with all fingers on the chord,1 string at a
  3. Think of your right arm as a pendulum
    equally back and forth across
    the guitar strings
  4. If you have trouble with the 3 finger chords, start
    with the simple chords

    first(Beginners-start with the simple chords).
  5. Practice both examples with the G, C, or D chord.
  6. Before trying the chord progressions, practice
    from G to C, G to D, and C to
    D – this is what you will have to practice the
  • look at the shape your
    fingers are in(the G chord looks like a
    triangle)and try to switch into that shape
  • Try to put all of your fingers down at the
    same time
  • Stick with it, you will be
    able to switch from chord to chord soon!

Here are the guitar chords: 

Read these guitar chord grids to learn the G, C, and D chords


  • C chord – bring thumb over the top
    of the guitar neck or use part of the 3rd
    fingertip (PICTURE 1)
  • D chord – bring thumb over top
    of the guitar neck to mute 5th and 6th string


The Big C chord picture



Here is a strum which demonstrates up and down strumming

  • Once you can play the exercises fairly well, try strumming
    them slowly with the metronome
  • Gradually try to speed up the strum – test yourself with
    the metronome
  • Don’t forget to record yourself often!

About the Author

Mike Abbott
Mike is a pro guitarist and music educator.  He has performed with such diverse acts as the Rolling Stones Horns, Sammy Davis Jr., and Burt Bacharach.   After spending much of his music career in New York City, He now is a very busy guitarist in the Denver area, performing and teaching extensively. Mike's latest work is a book, The Guitar and Amp Sourcebook, published by Harper Collins and released in December 2012.



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