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How do i know strumming patterns???

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New Member
Joined: 18 years ago
Posts: 1
Topic starter  

I have chords for the song by the Beatles "Daytripper" - but how can you tell the strumming pattern? Even listening to the song, the strumming pattern sounds complicated with muting and stuff. But it is hard to make out behind the noise of the other instruments.

Do I just play a simple up and down stroke 4 times to the bar or make something up myself?

I've noticed with a lot of songs, you are given the chords in books, but when listening to the song they seem to be overly simple.

Illustrious Member
Joined: 21 years ago
Posts: 5349

The song is basically caried by the riff, thr rhythm guitar merely adds some drive behind it. I'd play around accenting the 2nd and 4th beat and filling it up with whatever you like. Keep it varied, fall back to just four rather staccato downstrokes every now and then and use more flowing patterns between.

Noble Member
Joined: 18 years ago
Posts: 1882

I've noticed with a lot of songs, you are given the chords in books, but when listening to the song they seem to be overly simple.

I expect that varies with the quality of the book, the book's target audience (a beginner's book, versus an advanced one), and the author's interpretation of "close enough for rock'n'roll"

It's also possible that the original musician played the song differently on different recordings.
Perhaps one of them does match the book.

I wrapped a newspaper ’round my head
So I looked like I was deep

Honorable Member
Joined: 19 years ago
Posts: 557

hi mate
if you do a search there are several topics in this forum full of tips for detecting strumming patterns. In a nut you could choose any pattern you like until you choose the right resolution (play a song with eight notes if it is based on eight notes, with triplets if it has a triplets-feel etc.): of course the more similar your patten is to the original one the better the result...


p.s. sorry but I'm at work so my answer is very short :-)!...If you wish more explanations send me a pm

Famed Member
Joined: 19 years ago
Posts: 3454


As Arjen says, the chords played by the rhythm guitar don't usually provide what we tend to hear as the 'song' or melody. That is mostly put across by the voice and/or lead instrument. So it can be a bit frustrating at first, trying to make a song sound right when you only have one guitar to do it with - especially if the version you know was played by a whole band with singer(s) :?

Also, as kent-eh says, they often vary what they do anyway. I've got an 'official' Dylan songbook that does list the strumming patterns, which is handy. But there is one song (Blowin' in the Wind) that they've included two completely different versions of. The second one is not only in a different key, it's strummed/picked in a totally different way.

For those reasons, it's often easier to start with simple traditional songs, or songs that were played by a single artist (Dylan being a good example), so that you have a better chance of getting closer to how they made it sound.

But as matteo says, if you play around a bit, and experiment with different rhythms and strums pattern, you can often get it sounding a fair bit closer than when you first played through. :)

Good luck. Sorry I can't offer something a bit more specific.