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Eighth Note Rhythms

All the rhythm patterns you have played so far use a downward strum ( ), on the first, second, third and fourth beat. To make rhythm patterns more interesting, up strums can also be used. An eighth note rhythm uses a combination of a down and an up strum within one beat. The downstrum “on the beat” is played louder than the upstrum which is “off the beat”.

An up strum is indicated by a , and is played on the “and” section of the count. To play an upstrum, start the strum at the first string and strum all four strings.

There are two eighth note strums per beat. There are eight eighth note strums in one bar of music in time.

The downstrum “on the beat” is played louder than the upstrum which is “off the beat” (the ‘+’ section of the count).

Eighth Note Rhythm Patterns

Here are some eighth note rhythm patterns in time. Practice them while holding a C chord and then apply these patterns to the chord progressions in Lessons One and Two. Any of these patterns can be used on any chord progression in time.

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Pattern 1

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10

Pattern 2

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11

Pattern 3

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12

Pattern 4

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13

Pattern 5

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14

Pattern 6

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15

Pattern 7

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16

Pattern 8

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17

Pattern 9

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18

Pattern 10

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Pattern 11

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20

Pattern 12

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G Major Chord

G

To play the G chord, place the first, second and third fingers of your left hand as shown in the diagram. Strum all four strings.

The following chord progression contains a G chord and uses eighth note rhythm pattern 1.

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Rhythm Pattern

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D Seventh Chord

D7

To play the D7 chord, use the first and second fingers of your left hand as shown in the diagram. In this chord, the first finger bars three strings at the second fret. Strum all four strings.

Practice new chord changes using a basic rhythm pattern first. Once you are confident with the progression, use the eighth note rhythm pattern. You can apply any rhythm pattern to a chord progression. This one uses eighth note rhythm pattern 2.

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Rhythm Pattern

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23Oh Susannah

This song uses eighth note rhythm pattern 4. Note that the melody of this piece starts on beat 4 so give yourself 3 beats before you start the first word.

Rhythm Pattern

23Oh Susannah

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