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Rhythm Guitar Basics 4

The Beginner's Course

Now we are going to introduce ties and it's time to meet a strumming pattern that is probably the most used ever, so much so that I call it 'old Faithful'.

You don't wear these ties around your neck, you tie notes together with them! They have the effect of making strumming patterns sound more natural than those we have looked at up until now. EVERYONE struggles with these a little when they first have a go at them, but if you follow my advice in the video you should be fine. The pattern we are going to learn is probably the most common strumming pattern of all time. It is really easy and sounds great.


Watch The Video Lesson



So, first of all, what is a tie? Well, a tie is a little curved line that goes between two notes and ‘ties' those two notes together. Have a look at the pattern below, the middle two notes are tied together, this means that you don't play the second of the two. So you would count ‘1, 2 and, and 4'; you don't strum on ‘3'; you let the chord ring on from the ‘and' after ‘2'.

There is only one ‘trick' to this, and that is the trick to all strumming patterns: KEEP YOUR HAND MOVING. Don't let it pause after the up-strum before the tie and then have to rush down to get the next up-strum. This is the most common mistake that people make. Keep that hand moving!

Playing along with me in the video will help you the most.

Once you can play it, you need to do it over and over again – drill it in so that it becomes natural to do it. This for many guitarists is THE strumming pattern, and I have met quite a few singer-songwriters that use this pattern in every song! That's not necessarily recommended, but you will use this pattern a whole lot once you get it comfortable.

RUST #5 Strumming using ties


This pattern comes up so often, I call it ‘old faithful'. You can rely on it to work most of the time, so it's a great one to try out first if you are not sure what to use.


Next up we will be looking at picking just one string at a time in BC-166 • Picking Individual Strings

Beginner products you may like from
Justinguitar Beginner's Course DVD set
Justinguitar Beginners Songbook
Justinguitar Beginners Songbook
Beginners Course Book
Practical Music Theory

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Lesson ID: BC-165