When playing guitar I stumble upon tabs that either have striking the chords, brushing them with the pick, doing a crescendo or playing them as an arpeggio. As far as I learned when you strike you hit all the notes of the chord simultaneously, when you brush a chord you just hit the notes all the way up or down, a crescendo strum is a kind of a brush downward but you stop on every note. And arpeggio is just picking them in order.

Am I right with what I think I know?

  • 1
    Crescendo means getting louder. Don't see how that's possible with one strum up or down.
    – Tim
    Commented Jan 30, 2017 at 9:18
  • Perhaps you mean glissando instead of crescendo? Commented Jan 30, 2017 at 13:38
  • @RockwellRice No. Definitely not. I meant strumming techniques. Crescendo strumming and Diminuendo strumming are two of those techniques! Commented Jan 30, 2017 at 15:48
  • Crescendo strumming is not what you have described. It refers to increasing the volume with each strum, not during one strum.
    – Doktor Mayhem
    Commented Mar 21, 2017 at 10:11

1 Answer 1


Unfortunately you haven't really got those right. Here are the correct meanings:

  • striking means to play through the strings, hitting them as simultaneously as possible. As it is not actually simultaneous, an upstroke sounds different to a downstroke as the order of hitting the strings is different.

  • brushing is an odd term that doesn't appear to have a single meaning. It can either mean a slower version of striking, or it can mean a lighter version (i.e. Holding the pick more softly

  • arpeggio is playing the notes of a chord, not necessarily in order, with an audible delay between them.

  • crescendo is the odd one out. This term doesn't have a connection with playing a chord, but instead is an increase in volume over time. E.g. If you were strumming, and you wanted to play 4 bars of strumming with and increase in volume from the 3rd bar to the 4th you could have a crescendo there.

  • It's very odd but I'll stick to what you've answered! Commented Mar 21, 2017 at 10:51

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