I am not sure how to interpret strumming pattern in the picture. I understand that for eights it should be following DUDUDUDU structure but the picture looks like it doesn't make a sense because of U D UDU.

What do I get wrong?


  • Check my edit..
    – Tim
    Commented Jan 16, 2019 at 15:21

2 Answers 2


Looks suspect to me. The rhythm of the strumming hand/arm is disturbed. D-D-DUD- would be easier, and probably sound better too. Without listening to it, it's difficult to comment further.

EDIT: having had a quick listen, it's probably D--D-UDU. To keep a constant down/up movement, try DudUdUDU caps are strums, lower case ghost strums. So that second downstrum comes where an upstrum could be, but there's time either side to do it the 'wrong' way.

  • Exactly! The pattern you wrote make a sense. I am asking because I didn't expect a mistake (it is official ultimate-guitar notation) but intention. Is it somehow playable as they wrote it? By the easy, the song is Otherside by RHCP.
    – tucna
    Commented Jan 16, 2019 at 4:11
  • @tucna I suspect the transcriber didn't picture actually playing this when they transcribed it and just stuck to strictly alternating down- and up-strokes without really thinking how it would feel to play. Personally if I was playing Otherside, I'd play a rhythm more like D-DU-UDU or D--U--D-. Commented Jan 16, 2019 at 15:05
  • @JamesWhiteley Thank you, I actually sticked with the same rhythm you mentioned :)
    – tucna
    Commented Jan 16, 2019 at 19:39
  • @Tim To your edit - don't you have a video of some strumming pattern like that? I would like to see the guitarist's right hand to be sure I understand it correctly. I have tried to find something by my own but without any success.
    – tucna
    Commented Jan 16, 2019 at 19:40
  • No. Most of us try out the many different patterns till we find one that works for us. There are other ways to learn other than copying.
    – Tim
    Commented Jan 17, 2019 at 8:46

It looks really weird for me,i would play it like D U D D U,well yes the 8th notes are correctly DUDUDUDU,but you know you dont have to play every single note,in music we have notes and pauses, the notes that are missing are just small pauses,so you should play D(pause) U (pause) DDU in my case,it doesn't matter if you start with a downstroke or with an upstroke,well because you will be in the same time signature in any case,the only thing that changes wether you selecet to start with an Upstroke or a Downstroke is the pattern

  • Thank you. I understand a concept of pauses but what you wrote "D(pause)U" - how do you play it? As far as I know, during the strumming you should constantly move your hand DU and (pause) means "don't hit the strings". So "D(move hand but don't hit the strings)U" doesn't make a sense because after (move hand but don't hit the strings) your hand is already "up". Apparently I am missing something.
    – tucna
    Commented Jan 16, 2019 at 4:18
  • 1
    Your pattern introduces a 'stutter' which will not be conducive of a smooth hand/arm movement.
    – Tim
    Commented Jan 16, 2019 at 8:32
  • So an 8th note bit in 4/4 is basically 1 & 2 & 3 & 4 the pauses are basically on thr fisrt and second bit, in that pauses imagine that you play a Downstroke but you don't hit it,so you can play like this DDUUDUD but the second D and the fourth U you just imagine that you play it,you dont hit,you just act that you play them to feel the 8th notes,its basically the classic pattern that every new guitar player learn,but in that case you just dont hit the second and the fourth you just act of playing them Commented Jan 16, 2019 at 8:48
  • You can also start in 65 bpm instead of 120bpm just to get the feeling Commented Jan 16, 2019 at 8:58
  • Also i believe that the tab has written wrong the 8th notes, that has written 1 & 2 & 3 & 4, the & is note but for simplicity we say the word. & Instead of counting to 8 in 4/4 bit,just to not confuse our selves, in that case 1 & 2 & 3 & 4 are 7 notes,they must to be 8 notes thats why we call them 8th notes, so the coreect tab must to be like this 1 & 2 & 3 & 4 &,and then you just keep reapiting,maybe is this the reason that confused you Commented Jan 16, 2019 at 9:12

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.