Strumming with Accented Notes - A Getting Started Guide

Lesson #537 • Jan 23, 2024

In this lesson I’ll answer a viewer question on the topic of accenting notes while strumming. This is tricky to get the hang of, but is an absolutely essential skill as you move into the world of intermediate strumming techniques. In many cases, it’ll let you take strumming patterns you already know – and level them up by emphasizing certain notes on the thinnest few strings.

In this lesson, I’ll walk you through five exercises – each of which builds off the last – helping you get up to speed with things. My suggestion is you bake these into your practice routine, and with some time you’ll develop the muscle memory needed to put this to use whenever you choose. I’ll be using a riff inspired by Green Day’s Time of Your Life, which makes good use of this technique over the G Cadd9 and D chords. Let’s get to it!

  • 0:00 Overview
  • 1:27 Exercise #1: Up-Strum Muscle Memory
  • 4:05 Exercise #2: Don’t Strum All the Strings?
  • 5:56 Exercise #3: Using Filler Strums
  • 7:48 Exercise #4: Using Bass-Note Strums
  • 9:16 Exercise #5: Putting It All Together
  • 10:21 Farewell & Practice Advice

Instructional PDF 2 pages

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It includes all of my notes for this lesson, allowing you to follow along at your own pace. You're free to download, print, and share the PDF across your devices.

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Zoomed Playthrough with Tabs

Here’s me playing the final exercise (riff #5), over and over, with tabs on screen. Note, I strongly suggest you work through the four exercises I show before this one in my main video! They’ll introduce the individual techniques that are combined in this final riff.

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My Other Strumming Tutorials

Check out strumming & rhythm page to see all of my lessons on this topic! Here’s a few of the related techniques I mention in this lesson:

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