top of page

Top 10 Guitar Techniques To Improve Strumming

Lee John Blackmore

8 Sept 2023


Hello Fellow Guitar Enthusiasts,

Welcome to the September 2023 edition of my newsletter! I'm thrilled to have you here as we dive into another month of music, learning, and guitar adventures.


Finally I’ve gotten around to writing this newsletter but I just wanted to start by saying how much I appreciate your support and thank you for signing up to my VIP list. 


If you follow me on social media you may have realised I’ve been busy being a new dad and moving to another country (which is a lot more difficult than you might think). So, as you can imagine, I’ve not been able to dedicate as much time to creativity and teaching as I’ve wanted to.


I love receiving questions from you all, and as VIPs, you get the exclusive opportunity to ask anything! I often get questions about almost everything from the model of my guitar to the colour of my pants ! (Haha… I don’t wear pants), I’ll share some of your best questions and try to answer all of you.  Also, let me know what you’d like to see more of in this newsletter or on my YouTube Channel. 


Featured Lesson:  Top 10 Guitar Techniques To Improve Strumming


Improving your strumming technique on the guitar is crucial for rhythm and groove. Here are ten guitar strumming techniques and concepts to help you enhance your strumming skills:


  • Downstrokes:Begin with simple downstrokes, strumming all the strings in a downward motion. Focus on keeping a steady tempo and maintaining even pressure across the strings. 

  • Upstrokes:Similarly, practice upstrokes where you strum from the lowest string to the highest. Like downstrokes, ensure a consistent tempo and pressure. 

  • Down-Up Strumming:Combine downstrokes and upstrokes in a continuous motion. This is the foundation of many strumming patterns and rhythms.


  • Accenting:Experiment with accenting specific beats or strums to create dynamics in your playing. This involves strumming some strokes more forcefully than others. 

  • Muted Strums:Use the side of your palm to lightly touch the strings while strumming to create muted or "chugging" sounds. This is often used in funk and rock music. 

  • Palm Muting:Rest the palm of your hand lightly on the strings near the bridge while strumming to create a muted, percussive sound. This is common in many rock and metal rhythms. 

  • Fingerstyle Strumming:Try using your fingers (thumb and fingers) instead of a pick for a softer, more delicate strumming style. This is often used in folk and acoustic fingerstyle guitar. 

  • Strumming Patterns:Practice various strumming patterns, such as common patterns like the "down-down-up-up-down" pattern or more complex ones like syncopated strumming. Explore different styles and genres to learn their typical strumming patterns. 

  • Syncopation:Experiment with syncopated strumming, where you emphasise off-beat or between-beat strums. This adds rhythmic complexity to your playing. 

  • Strumming Dynamics:Vary your strumming dynamics by strumming softly and then gradually increasing the Intensity. This helps convey emotion and energy in your playing. 

To improve your strumming, it's essential to practice with a metronome to develop a strong sense of timing. Start slowly and gradually increase your speed as you become more comfortable with each technique. Additionally, playing along with songs in different styles can help you apply these techniques and improve your overall strumming proficiency.



Community Spotlight: Your Success Stories


I absolutely love hearing about your progress and successes! Share your guitar journey with me, and inspire others on their musical path. You might be the motivation someone needs! You could be featured in my next newsletter. Just reply to this email with your story, photos, or videos.



 New T-Shirts


I have now closed my TeeSpring shop but don’t despair, I have another shop with TeeMill: 


I have put up a couple of new designs and have a few more to follow.  BUT! If You’re a designer or just fancy having a go, send me your designs!  I’m always interested in collaboration. I’ll pick my favourite’s and wear them in my videos and obviously I’ll send you your own custom Tee  


Why did I change shop? Well, we’re all trying to be a bit greener theses days and TeeMill are certainly making an effort: 

Sustainable Packaging, plants not plastic, no landfill, made to be remade. Here’s what they say “Creating a sustainable, circular supply chain for fashion starts with making products from natural materials like organic cotton, in factories powered by renewable energy. It also means creating products that are designed from the start to be sent back and remade into new ones once they’re worn out, keeping materials out of landfill and in the loop”.

Read more on their website here:

Free shipping for orders over £50 and keep an eye out for my FREE SHIPPING OFFERS AT THE END OF THE MONTH. Easy Returns 28 days to change your mind.



Discover New Music


In the spirit of music exploration, I always encourage everyone to discover new tunes. Whether it's a genre you've never explored or a hidden gem from your favourite artist, take some time to listen and broaden your musical horizons. Check out my latest Spotify playlist filled with hidden gems and tracks that have inspired me recently. Share your suggestions with me here or add me as a friend on Spotify. Let’s hear some playlists.



Stay Connected


Connect with me on social media for weekly guitar inspiration, sneak peeks of upcoming lessons, and surprise giveaways. Find me on Facebook, Instagram, and YouTube.


If you have any questions, feedback, or suggestions, please don't hesitate to reach out to me.


Best regards,




bottom of page