While practicing the DDUUD strumming pattern (on an acoustic guitar) with a metronome (set at 60 BPM) with 4/4 time, I'm confused on which beat should I play the up strokes. What I'm currently doing is:
Is this correct?
The usual strum pattern for this is downstrums are on the beat. Thus your hand goes in a downwards position on 1, 2, 3 and 4. This also means that the upstrums will come on the & so will occur on 1 & 2 & 3 & 4 &.
Since you're not strumming 8 times in the bar, play the strings on 1 2 & (3) & 4. Obviously that means a ghost strum, or a downstrum which misses the strings on beat 3.
The object with most strum patterns is to keep the arm moving up and down regularly. Not jerking it in order to play a particular pattern. Which can then easily be changed by when (or not) hitting the strings.
Put another way - strum all 8 strums in the bar, and then try to miss the second, fifth and eighth strums, keeping the arm moving constantly up and down. Incidentally, you aren't doing nothing on beat 3 (I hope!),but playing nothing instead: you're moving the arm downwards ready for the next upstrum on beat 3.5!
It's so awkward to describe this stuff with words. Here's how this pattern, as it's usually played, should be written:
X:1 L:1/8 M:C K:C %%score T1 T2 A B V:T1 clef=treble-8 % 1 [V:T1] vB2 vB(uB B)uB vB2
The difference between what OP describes and what is generally meant by this pattern is that in the pattern, the second "up" is on the 2nd part of the 3rd beat, whereas OP has beat 4 starting the 2nd "up". The pattern should correctly have "Down" on beat 4.
A basic 4/4 time might be DxDxDxDx i.e. a down on every beat (and "x" is silent).
If you play an up after every down, I'd write that like this: DUDUDUDU.
No matter which beats (on the down) and half-beats (on the up) you strum, the song is still in 4/4 time.
So I think of it as always playing DUDUDUDU except that sometimes you miss a strum.
I'd write (and play) the pattern you mentioned, not as DDUUD but as DxDUxUDx, if you see what I mean..
@Tim's answer is right on the money especially with the 'ghost' stroke execution description, but @leftaroundabout's notation is great for clarity.
I'm just adding a picture to explain the up/down stroke marks. Apparently these can be used as both string bowing marks and guitar stroke direction marks.