How To Guitar Strum - Learning the Double Down Up Technique

Learning how to strum simple chords on the guitar really isn't that much of a venture. Once you get the hang of moving your wrist up and down, it becomes a bit tedious to try to "improve" upon.

There are however, more intricate ways of strumming guitar tunes that can really turn you into a fine player. In this blog post, I want to talk about the pattern that I discovered over the weekend called "Double Down Up."

Now, in no way is this guitar strumming pattern anything "new" that anyone should scream at, but it's another skill to add to your growing list as a good guitarist. It's simple to learn, but a little more involved on how to perfect.

So what IS Double Down Up?

It's a precise style of guitar strumming where you pluck a single string downwards. You pause. You pluck the next string downwards. You pause. Then you pluck the same string with an upward motion.

It's nothing too difficult to use in a guitar tune, but the tricky part is forcing yourself to pause in between the strumming of each string to make the pattern effective.

Where can you use this?

Almost anywhere actually. It probably has some strong merit in a guitar solo for fast little licks in a guitar tune between only a couple strings.

You can probably fit it into a folk song with how rapidly those strings are vibrating sometimes. Really, the sky is probably the limit with this technique.

Here are some things that can help your development of this technique move a little smoother.

* Start slow in order to go fast.

If you want to learn how to speed up this guitar strumming pattern eventually, you'll need to start slow with good form. Once you notice the tediousness of each practice session, then it's time to put your foot on the gas a little.

* Be meticulous about the pauses.

Putting the tiny pauses in between each string pluck is really what gives this technique its flare. The faster you go, the more subtle the pauses are, but they're still there.

*Use as much wrist or finger strumming as opposed to arm strumming.

Sometimes you can feel your arm getting tired when playing the guitar and that's because you're doing too much with those muscles. To get really fast you'll need to train yourself to keep all the movement in either your wrist or just the two fingers that hold your guitar pick. That's where the real speed lies.

* Practice without real notes to focus on technique.

If you jump right into playing this with music immediately, you might miss out on the details of the skill. Try muting the strings with your chord hand and then practicing the technique.

Here's a great video that shows you really how to get down and dirty with this guitar strumming technique and it shows the instructor putting the technique into real use. It's pretty impressive stuff.


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