L2 : Accents & Staccato

Please note: after careful consideration, this lesson has been moved to LEVEL 2 (please ignore any references to level 4).

Relevant symbols from The Key:

Π = downstroke with index, middle or both
V = upstroke with index, middle or both
– = placeholder for half of a beat (let chords ring unless otherwise indicated)
Θ = staccato downstroke muted quickly with the right hand
ϴ = staccato downstroke muted quickly by lifting the left hand
Φ = staccato upstroke muted quickly with right hand


A staccato note is any note that has been shortened/detached without changing the tempo of the song.

The ‘chattanooga’ is a staple strum that carries accents (bolded) on beats 2 & 4 in a measure of 4/4 time (accents may be used in any strum pattern, this is just a great pattern that is dependent on accents for its particular feel).


Earn your Strummer Level 2 patch by demonstrating the the Chattanooga strum and the three staccato strums in 4/4 time. You may use a song or songs you are working on to demonstrate the strums, or one of the chord sequences you’ve learned so far. Demonstrated strums should keep a consitent beat with no noticeable pauses between chords. Patterns may be played straight or swung.

Π V Π V Π V Π V (Chattanooga)
Θ – Θ – Θ – Θ – (Palm Mutes – best for chords with one or more open strings)
ϴ – ϴ – ϴ – ϴ – (Left Hand Mutes – best for chords with no open strings / Pinky Mutes – works with either kind of chord)
Π Φ – Φ – Φ – V (Basic Blues Shuffle)