AE: Rock & Pop

Area of Expertise : Rock & Pop

There is a great deal of crossover between rock and pop styles as far as strumming patterns go. Some popular strums have already been covered in strumming levels 1, 2 & 3. To earn your AE Rock & Pop patch demonstrate five of the strums (each from a different group) on this page. At least one strum should be demonstrated in the context of a song. The other four patterns may be demonstrated with a chord progression of your choice. You may also demonstrate all five strums in the context of two songs (three in one and two in another). Demonstrated strums should keep a consitent beat with no noticeable pauses between chords. Please refer to the strumming shorthand guide for any unfamiliar symbols.

Staccato Patterns

Adding a little space to a strum pattern airs it out and makes it lighter.

Π Φ – V – V Θ –
Π–ΠV Π Φ – V Π V
Π – Π Φ – – Π V
– V Π Φ – V Π Φ

Louie’s Wild Thing

Combine these strum patterns with a I-IV-V-IV chord progression for songs like Louie Louie or Wild Thing.

Π V Π – – V Π V
Π – Θ – – V Π V
Π – Π – – V Π –
Π – Θ – – V Θ –

Rock Chnks

Chnks are another way to add space as well as percussion.

Π V X V Π V X V
Π – X V – V X V
Π V X V – V X V

Rock’n Rolls

Rolls add bling to humdrum strums.

Π – R V – V Π V
Π – X V – V R V
Π – R V Π V Π V
Π – X V R V X V

Two Measure Patterns

Banging away at the same strum pattern measure after measure can sometimes come across as oppressive. Two-measure patterns are less tiring on the ear. You can combine just about any two patterns. Here are some examples from various sources.

Π – – Π – – Π – || – V Π V Π – Π – (a more complex punk strum)
Π – X V Π – X V || Π – X – X V Π V
Π – Π – R V – V || – V – V Π V Π –
Π – Π V – V Π V || – V Π V – V Π – (Sophie’s Choice, named after Sophie Madeleine by Al Wood)
Π – Π V Π – Π V || – V – V Π V Π V
Π V X V Π V X V || R V X V – V Π – (great with a 1 4 b3 4 chord progression)
Π V Π – Π V – V || – V Π – Π V – V
Π V Π V – – Π–ΠV || Π V Π V – – Π –
Π V Π V – V Π – || Θ – Θ – Π V Π –
Π V Π Φ – – Π V || Π Φ – – Π V Π –

Slow Rock Ballad

Patterns that work well at slower tempos.

Π V Π–ΠV ΠVΠ– Π V
Π–ΠV Π–ΠV –VΠV ΠVΠ–
Π–ΠV Π–ΠV ΠVΠ– ΠVΠV

Bo Diddleyin’

A number of different interpretations of Bo Diddley’s signature rhythm.

Π x x V x x Π x || x x Π x Π x x x
Π – Π V – V Π V || Π V Π – Π – – –
Π – Π – Π V Π – || – V Π – Π – – –
Π – – V Π – Π – || – – Π – Π – – –
Π – – – Π – – V || Π V Π – Π – – –

From Some Popular Songs

Another Brick in the Wall

Π––V Θ – ΠV–– ΠV––
Π––V Θ – – V –V–– || Π––V Θ V Π–ΠV Π V

Big Yellow Taxi

Π – X V Π V X Π || X V X V Π V X Π

Over the Rainbow

Π ΠV xxΠV ΠVΠV xxΠV