Basic Patterns of Right Hand Movement (Basic 8-beat Stroke A)

  • This article is for those who

・want to know how to play and practice 8-beat strokes (basic right hand pattern)

・want to know tips of up-stroke and down-stroke

This section explains how to play 8-beat strokes.


(1) Basic pattern of 8-beat strokes A

First, listen to the basic 8-beat stroke pattern A explained in this article.

In order to play these 8-beat stroke patterns, you need to be able to play them with downstrokes and upstrokes.
The next heading explains this in detail.

(2) What are downstrokes and upstrokes? Basic practice and tips

First, please watch the following video to get an idea.


In both cases, the right hand plucks the entire string,
The downstroke is the plucking of the string from the top down.
The other way around,
The upstroke is the plucking of the string from the bottom to up.

In this article, we will use the D chord. (You can use any other chord when practicing.)

First, let’s practice playing downstrokes and upstrokes alternately.
If we show it in music notation, it will look like this.

The downstroke is shown by ↓
Upstrokes are indicated by ↑.
(Other notations, such as ⊓ for downstrokes and v for upstrokes, are also used.)

Please refer to the video below to see how it is played.

If you are not used to it, you may find it difficult to play smoothly due to the strings catching.
Move the elbow in the center, from the wrist to the fingers.
It’s good to relax the entire movement from the wrist to the fingertips without fixing the movement.

Until you get used to it, it should be easier to play with a softer pick, so try it out.
The strings will be less likely to snag, and it will be easier to play.
As for the picks, if they are marked “soft,” “thin,” etc., or if they are marked with a thickness of 0.70 mm or less, they should be of 0.70 mm or less.

(3) Basic pattern A Practice method

Once you are able to alternate between downstrokes and upstrokes, try playing the basic pattern A.
First, check the video

If it is shown in musical notation, it will look like this.

Let’s divide it into two patterns.

First, the red part.

One downstroke. It is played once from top to bottom.
Let’s call this pattern a.

Next is the blue part.
One downstroke and one upstroke.
This is pattern b.

Once you have memorized the a and b patterns, try playing them in the order a→b→b→b to get the basic pattern A.
At first, take your time and practice until you are able to play it repeatedly.

<Next article>

How to Play Guitar: Basic Pattern of Right Hand Movement (Basic 8-beat Stroke B)