This is a guest post by Terry Carter, founder of Uke Like The Pros. Carter is a talented ukuleleist, guitarist, and songwriter with a Master of Music from University of Southern California and a Bachelor of Music from San Diego State University. His online ukulele lessons are featured here.
One of the hardest things to do as a ukulele player is to listen to a song and be able to identify the strum pattern that is being used. Students ask me time and time again, “Can you show me the strum pattern for this song?”
Many online resources will show you the chords and lyrics to your favorite songs, but rarely do they show you the strum pattern.
Finding the strum pattern for songs can be difficult since some songs use simple eighth notes patterns, while other songs use more complex sixteenth note patterns.
In my years of playing and teaching I have listened to, transcribed, and played thousands of songs and I have found something very interesting. There is one strum pattern that will work over all styles of music whether it’s Rock, Pop, Blues, Jazz, Christian, Hawaiian, or Country. By knowing this one strum pattern you can play almost any song that you want.
This strum pattern is so important that I call it the “Granddaddy Strum Pattern.”
This strum pattern uses quarter notes and eighth notes, but what makes it tricky is the “tie” that happens between the “+ of beat 2” and beat “3.” Make sure to practice it slowly and build the tempo up as you get more comfortable with it. Trust me once you get it you’ll be off and running playing your favorite songs and jamming with your friends.