What does the II above the numbers in the strumming section mean?

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  • A guess is it means don't play on the beats 1,2,3 and 4, but only the off-beats - sort of reggae.
    – Tim
    Commented Nov 20, 2019 at 12:42

2 Answers 2


The pattern diagram appears to separate the count into four separations, seeing how the up arrow is coming in on the second half of the &.

Another way to count it would be the syllables One - E - And - Uh, where on count is broken into four beats, or one quarter note separated into sixteenths.

The strumming would be coming in on the And - Uh, or back two beats of each count, or the last two sixteenths of each count, down strum on the "And", up strum on the "uh".

   e   +  uh    e  +  uh    e  +  uh    e  +  uh
1  .   .  .  2  .  .  .  3  .  .  .  4  .  .  .
       ↓  ↑        ↓  ↑        ↓  ↑        ↓  ↑

The two lines then are representing the two beats of the first half of the count.

Edit: looking at it again, I suspect the two lines are the PAUSE symbol...

  • Seems like they've borrowed the 'II' sign used on recorders, for 'pause'.
    – Tim
    Commented Nov 20, 2019 at 12:44
  • That makes sense! I was searching everywhere for specific strumming symbols, but it looks like it was just the generic pause symbol XD
    – Alex Jones
    Commented Nov 20, 2019 at 17:07


I think the II sign has to tell us that the upbeat is mute. Compare this picture: (V)

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