How to Play Ukulele Strums


Buy it on Gumroad

Price: $12

Note: You can pay by credit card or by PayPal (just click the PayPal option in the shopping cart). Prices are in US dollars so if you have a non-US credit card I’d recommend the PayPal option or checking your credit card fees.

On my blog, Ukulele Hunt, I get one question more than any other: “What’s the strumming pattern for this?” It was obvious that strumming was an area that many ukulele players weren’t comfortable with. So I wrote this ebook to give you everything you need to know to be confident in your strumming.

The problem is that there isn’t anything out there for the ukulele that gives you the ideas behind strumming patterns so you can work out strums for songs and come up with your own. They just give you a few patterns and leave you to get on with it. My aim with this ebook is to give you the knowledge to understand what’s going on behind the strums so you can play along with any song you choose.

Get Your Timing Right

Knowing that a strumming pattern is down, up, up… is a good start, but you need to know how long each of those strums is supposed to last. So I’ve come up with a ukulele-brand based method that will help you get you strumming at the right time. It’s a case of matching up words to the length of the strums. It’s a simple way of doing it but it works great.

Never Be Stuck for a Strumming Pattern

Of course, I’m not going to neglect the strumming patterns themselves. The ebook contains a whole bunch of basic strumming patterns and some advanced ones in the style of ACDC, Nirvana, James Brown, Bo Diddley, The Specials and Bob Marley. There are mp3s of all the patterns (including slow and fast versions of most of them).

Get Your Technique Down

If you ever have problems with your arm getting tired after strumming, or your playing doesn’t sound bright enough, or your strumming sounds a little raggedy, or you can’t get your chnking down; the ebook will help you sort out your technical gremlins. There are videos of the various techniques including basic strums, chnks, muting and triplets.

Who Is It For?

This one is aimed at beginners and improvers who have learnt the basics but feel like there’s something about strumming that they’re just not getting. If you have trouble taking chord charts and matching them up to the song, or you feel like you’re muddling through and winging it a bit; it’ll increase your knowledge and confidence and improve your playing.

Everything is explained really simply, so you don’t need to have any knowledge of musical theory going into the ebook.

If you haven’t downloaded one of my ebooks before, please do check out FAQ for more info.

What Are People Saying About It?

Thorough and thoroughly fantastic book! Thanks as always.

I’m sure my flatmates will be very grateful for it as well. With time, my practicing will (hopefully) sound like actual music rather than the sort of abstract noise that it was before and my flatties can stop voluntarily banning themselves from home until it’s clear that I’ve moved on to another task for the day.

In all seriousness: the book is wonderful, Thorough, easy to understand, and funny (as always). I am completely indebted to you for saving me from the depths of ukulele despair.

Carrie Griffin

I shall be recommending the ebook to our Monday Ukearist ukers as I know many of them are interested in improving their strumming. I’ll also be unashamedly stealing your mnemonic way of teaching!

John Hobson

Al’s topped himself this time which I wouldn’t have thought possible after the blues book.

This is a great read for beginners, but there are some strumming patterns at the end that are brilliant and will take some work to get the hang of.

When I started playing four years ago, I had no idea there would be such a great wealth of information available. Al’s books, in my opinion, are better than anything I’ve found elsewhere, as far as written instruction goes. And, he is rather hilarious when he wants to be.

Lonna Brockway

I’ve already read this ebook more than 6 times and found something new with each read. A very important aspect for me was that the book covered basic things essential for strumming that are left out in other ukulele methods, such as rhythm and time signatures.

The examples and the videos are really helpful and you can even test out your newly acquired sense of rhythm through the exercises.

If there one book to buy on ukulele strumming, then it is definitely this one.


…it’s definitely set up for everyone at any level to learn something new. I get frustrated when teachers take the small bits of knowledge that make a BIG difference to a new student for granted. Al does the opposite by making sure that everything is explained in an accessible way that takes the mystery out.

Al’s teaching is very clear and well illustrated, and I would rec any of his work. I have Chord Progressions too; I will be working through that for awhile as well, there is just so much great information and there’s enough in each lesson to keep me interested and moving forward rather than get me discouraged like other books or authors.

“Teek” on Ukulele Underground

What Do I Get?

– A 103 page PDF file of the ebook covering strumming techniques and timing. 49 strums covering different genres, time signatures
– MP3s of all the strums.
– YouTube videos of all the strums and techniques done slowly and up to speed.

This one is slightly different to the way I’ve done it in the past. There are so many mp3s and videos that it made it too big for a single download. So you’ll get the pdf files as a single download (the same as my other ebooks) and the mp3s will be a separate download (available as a zip file or a Dropbox folder). The links to all of them will be emailed to you automatically as soon as you buy.


If you check out the ebook and you decide it isn’t for you, let me know within 7 days of purchasing and I’ll give you a full refund. Just email me and let me know the email address you bought it with – you don’t need to give me a reason or anything. If the ebook doesn’t make you a better player, I don’t want your money (because swimming around in it, Scrooge McDuck style, is only fun if you’ve earned it).

How Can I Buy It? And How Much Is It?

Buy it on Gumroad

If you have any questions, leave a comment or send me a message.


The full contents of the ebook:

1. Strumming Basics
1.1 Strumming Hand
1.2 Holding the Ukulele While Strumming
1.3 Where to Strum
1.4 How to Strum
1.5 Summary for a Good Strum

2. Musical Basics
2.1 Tempo
2.2 Metronomes and Tempo
2.3 Bars
2.4 Working Out Time Signatures
2.5 Exercises
2.6 Steps for Understand a Song

3. First Strumming Pattern
3.1 Down, Down, Down, Down
3.2 Down, Up, Down, Up, Down, Up, Down, Up
3.3 Notating Strums

4. Rhythm Basics
4.1 Counting Out
4.2 Mnemonics
4.3 Fleas and Kalas
4.4 G-String
4.5 Kamaka

5. The Most Common Strumming Patterns
5.1 Ups and Downs
5.2 First Choice Strumming Pattern
5.3 Strums in Part 5

6. More 4/4 Strumming Patterns
6.1 More 4/4 Strums
6.2 Longer Gaps

7. Strums with Unusual Timing
7.1 Chord Changes With Bars
7.2 Two Bar Strumming Patterns
7.3 Strumming Patterns in 3/4
7.4 Swing Strums

8. Strums with Emphasis
8.1 Strong Strums
8.2 Chnks
8.3 Mutes
8.4 Roll Strums

9. Working Out Strumming Patterns

10. Advanced Strumming
10.1 Semi Quavers
10.2 Touch Strums
10.3 Triplet Strums

Part 11. Strumming in the Style of… (Ukulelist Edition)
11.1 IZ Thumb ‘n Strum
11.2 Beirut Hammer-On Strum
11.3 George Formby Split Stroke
11.4 Roy Smeck Fan Stroke

Part 12: Strumming in the Style of… (Guitarist Edition)
12.1 Kinks Sliding Strum
12.2 Jah Jerry Haynes Ska Strum
12.3 Bob Marley Reggae Strum
12.4 Bo Diddley Style Rock and Roll Strum
12.5 James Brown Funk Strum
12.6 Nile Rodgers Disco Strum

Part 13. Varying Your Strums
13.1 Varying the Pattern
13.2 Varying the Dynamics
13.3 Varying the Tempo

Buy it here

Creative Commons License
How to Play Ukulele Strums by Ukulele Hunt is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License. Read more here.

Warning for mobile and tablet users!

You won't be able to download this ebook directly to your device. You'll get an email with the download link. You can use that to download to your computer and transfer it from there.