How to strum 16th notes on guitar

16th note strumming lesson
(Image credit: Future)

Beginner guitar: If you’re confident at strumming, it’s time to look at rhythm patterns with a slightly more advanced 16th-note approach. That means every quarter-note beat is divided into four, so we can count the bar by saying “1 e & a 2 e & a 3 e & a 4 e & a” (ie, in 4/4 time there are 16 strums in every bar).

Count that out loud as you play, alternating between down- and upstrokes; if a strum falls on an ‘e’ or an ‘a’, it’s an upstroke. Practice until it’s easy and automatic. When that’s working well, aim to keep the same motion going all the time, so that your picking hand acts as a metronome.

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