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Ukulele Shuffle Strum Ukulele Lessons

Getting your happy shuffle on!

The 'shuffle' strumming pattern is used on guitar but it's happy character really suits the uke and so it's worth making sure you can do.

It's not difficult but it will take some practice to make it feel good.

Video Lesson

Shuffle the rhythm

First of all, let's look at a bar with four beats in it, with each beat divided into three (triplets). We count this with the number of the beat, ‘trip' and then ‘let'.


Then, we get rid of the middle note from each triplet, and we end up with a rhythm called a shuffle.


You can see that we still strum down on the beat, and we use an up-strum for the ‘-let'. So it is similar to the usual down-up pattern, but with the up-strum delayed slightly.

You can see there are four triplets in the bar. Counting as shown above while you play should help you know where you are. Say the ‘trip', even though you are not playing it.

This shuffle-type of strumming has many variations and it not quite as ‘tight' as I am showing you here. If you think of the first strum being right on the beat (which it should be) then the second strum (the up) can be anywhere in between where the ‘and' would have been and the next beat, depending upon the groove you are playing.

For now you should work on getting the shuffle just as I have shown it in the above example, but be aware that in the future you might play around with this idea a bit.

Feel It

Really important is to get it 'feeling' great!! Once you get it right you should spend quite a lot of time just playing it and making it feel good - it really will make all the difference!!

There's not much more I can tell you to help you with this, just practice making it feel good :)




The Justinguitar Ukulele Songbook

The Justinguitar Ukulele Songbook
The Ukulele Songbook contains 25 songs arranged for Ukulele. When I got stuck into learning to play Uke I found that learning songs was the most fun way to learn the chords and so in this book I've picked songs and made arrangements that will teach you most of the common uke chords and many of the techniques you'll need to play most songs!

Lesson ID: UK-004