Spicing Up Your Strumming With A Simple Progression

Spicing Up Your Simple Chords With Strumming

In this lesson you'll learn how to take a simple D-C-G chord progression and really spice it up into something a lot more interesting. Pay attention along the way, as we'll be learning quite a few different strumming patterns!

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Robert Parker Reply

I am loving these video excerpts from the course, because they show how important rhythm is to the foundation of music.  Mastering the strumming techniques as Colin teaches them can turn the most simple progressions into something more unique, allowing a greater sense of personal expression through the music.  Great job again, Colin… I know I’m already learning some things from your videos.  I’m certainly looking forward to seeing more!

Doris S Dees Reply

As a beginner, this  video has been very helpful.  It is the only that I have seen that you can actually see what is happening.  I am absolutely positive that anyone can  benefit from these lessons.

Ed Reply

Excellent instruction, breaking down the approach to simple steps and then putting these steps together goes far in bringing an understanding of how one can execute seemingly difficult strum patterns into workable and successful strumming.

angus reith Reply

this is a  great help,    as i seem to change strumming pattern as i change chords

Easonj3 Reply

Really helpful step by step demonstration of how to practice towards sophisticated strumming!

Cbhuif Reply

wow….you made the lesson so simple. I can’t wait to go get my guitar and try some new stuff !!!

jim brooks Reply

Thanks for the short lesson, you did add some spice to the strumming which others haven’t touched on.

Jerry J. Werner Reply

Unbelievable!  Been playing for about a year and half and have been trying to get my strums to sound like “music”!  After watching your video what an improvement.  Great lesson! 

Bert Wright Reply

Very nice.  Easy to follow.

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Mario Reply

This is a nice way to improve the guitar playing.

Trevor Allen Reply

Hi Colin ,
It must be incredibly tedious at times for a great player such as yourself to have to slow everything down and repeat things so many times so that poorer players such as myself can get hold of a particular method and then try to apply it . I’m 61 years of age and keen as mustard , though progress is sometimes like walking through treacle . Nevermind , I’m hanging in there and your video has given me a real lift . Thank you .

Trevor Allen Reply

PS ” Advanced Beginners ” is a great description ! It makes you feel good about yourself . We can do this , let’s go for it ! Great feeling .

Outhawkn Reply

I’ve only been playing about 3 years, but I’ve learned more in 8 and a half minutes than all the other videos I’ve watched combined. This is exciting…thanks!

Michelle Reply

I tried this video out on Spicing Up Your Simple Chords with Strumming,on my accoustic guitar and it truly helped out.  I totally understood the explanination on counting the base note into the strumming  pattern along with understanding arpeggio. 

Kipkruse Reply

Great lesson! Thank you.

Fernando Bodi Reply

Cool lesson Colin! I like very much your video lessons! It would be so great to win a free copy of your new course….. Best wishes from Bariloche, Argentina

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Mike Stinson Reply

That video lesson was really cool .  I sure can use this as I have been selft taught.  Ready for some real instruction.   thanks.

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jose Reply

The best thing about  any of Colin’s videos is how he clears the fog and settles  the mind into learning the simpler parts of this whole musical experience. He adjusts your focus so you do see that tree in the forest.  

Rpatterson101 Reply

Colin, thank you for this great lesson.  There is no question that this will make my playing so much better.  The thing that actually helped me the most was watching you play so slowly.   I have a tendency to practice too fast so just playing along with you makes my practice much more valuable.

Peter Reply

Great lesson.  It show us advanced beginners who know the basic chords how to do something interesting with them.  Makes me feel like I may not be a perennial beginner!

Patricia Lewis Reply

I’m looking forward to this new course.   Your slide course really helped me a lot and I think this one will too!

Robert Rink Reply

I’m 68 years old and still learning.  Just had carpel tunnel surgery about five weeks ago, and your postings kept my addiction to the guitar at bay during the recovery period when I couldn’t pick up the guitar and practice.  In fact, I bought your “Essentials of Slide Guitar” and will start with that this coming Saturday when the “no-guitar-playing” period expires.
As for this video, I loved the part about arpeggios, which I’d “sort of” been doing by instinct but didn’t know that’s what it’s called.  the biggest hole in my strumming, though, is strumming “cut time.”  Really hope you cover that in your course.

Alkanosky Reply

An excellent basic lesson on strumming!  I learn
something from you on each lesson. Thanks!

Jim Triquet Reply

Nice Job Colin.  I like how you progress through the piece yet each step is interesting.
Jim Triquet

Earl Dean Reply

nice lesson- thanks!

Kazal Reply

I have played guitar on and off for several years. A lot of my frustrations have come from not knowing hoe to strum. This video makes a clear statement of how to create something out of the basics. The timing portion was excellent and I can already feel a difference in my strumming. Wow…looking forward to other lessons. Thanks Colin.

Geri Urquhart Reply

It is a real pleasure watching you. You’re a great teacher and I have learned so much from you. Naturally I’ll be practising today’s lesson. Thanks a million.
Geri Urquhart

Mark Gianetto Reply

Very good lesson and the reason for this is because you made it look simple which is the key. Your usage of the 3 different camera views works quite well.
This lesson opens up all kinds of possibilities and that is what keeps us wanting to continue playing! Well done.

Don Reply

I, like others before me, are older and retired.  I have played bass for a number of years and am trying to learn the guitar.  Strumming is difficult for me because of the patterns used in playing the other instrument.  I can’t seem to use the pick for strumming.  The thumb alone is more in time but doesn’t seem suitable for sound quality.  All advice is appreciated.

Stephen Becker Reply

Basic, yet not basic; simple yet complex; strumming LOOKS so easy until you try it! Great tips and videos. Very much appreciated.

Deprilj Reply

I can play the cords, but my music has no life. If I had your course I think I could change that! I learned from this lesson that there is hope.

Tim Cottrell Reply

Thanks Colin it now makes sense to me. I think you have opened a door for me that is really going to improve my playing. Keep up the great work.

Rob Reply

Another great example showing why ESSENTIALS OF STRUMMING & RHYTHM should be part of guitar training library. The three views on the same screen that can be seen make learning much easier. The pace is very easy to follow for beginners like me. Colin’s teachings is second to to no one by showing how to take three simple chords and making music that is very pleasing to the ear. Thank you for this lesson and the chance to win your course. 

rock mcginnis Reply

What I learned is I’ve bought to many of the wrong guitar course’s  .Playing in time while mixing strum patterns with individual notes is the recipe for much pain and sadness around here. Thanks for the lesson dude ,it helped ease the pain 🙂


I like many others am picking up where we left off more years ago than we care to count. I enjoy your lessons and this one has not disappointed. Your teaching method shows us how to first crawl then walk and finally run. The split screens and the way in which you ramp up to speed make the concepts very clear and show the details to strumming and hand position better than most. Thanks for sharing your gift with us. I look forward to more inspiration from you and enjoy playing more each day.

alfred daniel Reply

sweet i hope i can come back to this when i get time  very informitative  been trying to figure thi out for a while thanks

Ozzymbs Reply

First of all let me just say that, Colin, you remind me of a guy I grew up with. I mean you look just like him. Now, as far as your course, I think it’s great to know how to count the notes to help keep your timing. I struggle with strumming and singing at the same time and I feel like this course can help me with that. It would be so good if I could win this course because I really want to get better at keeping it all together when I play and sing at family functions. Thanks for the lesson and the opportunity to win your course. It really means alot.

ger MOONEY Reply

3 simple chords–D—-C—-G,great stuff Colin you really got the rhythm and strumming pattern across very well—awesome!!–you,re a legend

Karen Reply

Really impressed!  Opened up my mindset.   Simplified !!

TTrotter Reply

Awesome. Thanks.

William Scovell Reply

terrific lesson, Colin

William Scovell Reply

terrific lesson, Colin

Jean Davis Reply

 Hi Colin, I think you’re a great teacher really good at explaining what you’re doing and at the right speed, for me anyway.  I love your approach to strumming and if this is only a taster I look forward to the complete course. Also cool how you’ve made the pattern 5-4-1 instead of the usual 1-4-5 that people usually go for.

Terry Reply

Great lesson! Well explained.

willie roberson Reply

this has been very helpful to me

Assaf Yitzhak Reply

Great video, really important and helpful stuff

Andy_ball_2001 Reply

When you look at the video, I have to ask myself why I have complicated things for so long.  As the saying goes KISS – Keep it Simple Stupid.  You make playing so much more enjoyable and easier to learn.  To learn more would be amazing

Sandra McIntyre Reply

This one lesson reinforced for me the power of picking the available notes within the chord you are already strumming to “flesh out” what you play as both a leader and accompaniment to the melody. Great for leading singers into and through the song.
Clearly seeing which strings are plucked, and whether they are plucked up or down, is a big help for me. Of course, I can hear it, but SEEING it as it is being played, repeated at different tempos, attracted me. I can watch and play along with the lesson comfortably. Lessons like this one would help me improve my playing by maximizing my return on the time invested in practicing specific techniques. I am re-learning to play after setting guitar aside for many years to work, housewife, and raise children. Anything that helps me practice effectively is much appreciated. Thank you.
Most of my playing is accompanying hymns in church and nursing homes, where there is little or no equipment. My biggest challenge is accurate picking. I used to use my fingers and thumb, when playing for myself, but playing without any amplification requires becoming more comfortable with the pick. That may seem really basic, but it is essential when leading a group, even a small choir.

Marjorie Ballentine Reply

FANTASTIC idea for course!!!

Michealvercoe Vercoe Reply

Just great, really easy to pick up. Cheers.

Bob Reply

I just started with the guitar about six months ago. I am loving the time I get to spend with my guitar, but I was always confounded  about strumming and picking. I just could not get the process of combining single notes and arpeggios with chords. Watching your mini lesson on this page was like a light coming on. I see now, it is all in the rhythm. Godspeed, Robbie.

Dan Siegert Reply

Wow thats pretty easy. I make it way too hard usually. Glad to see someone “simple” it out for me. Thanks a ton.

Klaywerks Reply

I really like your concise and systematic breakdown of a chord progression!  You have a very understandable teaching method.

erdogan essat Reply

colin,great lesson and helpful thanks ones again.

LD Reply

I’ve been a player 23 months all off your lessons.  I have become somewhat (I THINK!) adept at chord progressions. 
1 – This lesson told me that my instincts of picking notes within any chord while I enter said chord in my progression are on target as that technique has added some flare to the sound
2 – My challenges in strumming and rhythm lye within wanting to achieve a sound that takes a multilevel arpeggio of a chord combined with some scaling type licks (I’ve done well with your pentatonic minor/blues scaling lessons) while I merge into strumming the chords so I sound like I am playing a song.
3 – working towards achieving my goals as outlined in point 2 would be the best outcome IMO for me
Thanks for all the time you spend teaching your gift to the rest of us

Larry Collins Reply

I’ve been playing guitar for about 45 years now and I’m always amazed at how little I know. I’m a good rhythm player but I have trouble playing patterns. I usually just play what I feel. From this video the way you progressed really made sense. I feel that I could benefit from the course even though I’m far from a beginner. Thanks for showing just what the lessons are about.

Tom Dearman Reply

When I grow up I want to be a Riff Ninja. Every day man I learn something new from you. Legendary stuff. Thanks Tom. I wish I had this sort of media lessons available when I was beginning. New starters do not realise how lucky they are and how hard it was in the good ol’ days before computers and internet. Keep on Riffing my man. Thanks again Tom

Michael Stolte Reply

This was a great strumming example, hope the rest on the dvd are just as good. Will really learn alot from it.

A2ndpower Reply

I have been taking private lessons for about 2 1/2 years now.  I realize my weak spot is my right hand and thus strumming issues.  This course could help improve that weakness.  I will be watching for more preview lessons.  Thanks,Colin.

ken Reply

Great lesson for a newbie like me

Tinaskingdom Reply

Beautiful, the way you start with a plain ‘vanilla’ lesson and end up and end up with ‘rocky road’ with a cherry on top!

Jvitzz Reply

Nothing is easy for a novice, you made the demo slow and they want it more slower. Like the saying” that give them your hand and they want your arm”. To make the story short your way of teaching is perfect enough for a serious student. You want your student to learn and earn every minute of their time.

Melody music Reply

Another great, simple, explanation!  THANKS AGAIN. 

McIntier Reply

Playing the guitar has been a dream for me for along time and watching you through your videos has helped me improve my guitar playing to become a better player over all. it’s not easy to find a good teacher that will take their time to explain everything to a beginer player what they should know at first.
Thank you so very much

Bluesmansrv Reply

As always your videos are great. Thanks alot. Keep them comming I’am learning alot!!!!  

rose Reply

and now if I can only get some rhythm. I’m told I have no rhythm. Without that, nothing sounds like music. Now I’m working with a metronome – maybe this will elp. 

Patricia Wiggins Reply

I Learned to play guitar in nature and my friend gave me three chords only DCG.
Coming around full circle I am finding both your strumming videos very beneficial. It opened a new door for me as far as song writing goes and it inspires me to learn more from you. Your methods of teaching are simple and easy for anyone to understand. 

Glyn Calow Reply

I said to you before, you are very inspiring, I have struggled with strumming up strokes, but I am beginning to see the light. Keep me rocking dude.

Xib6ub9 Reply

good stuff buddy

Ceoregi Reply

THAT WAS REALLY COOL. I always wonder about strumming and how to figure out what pattern goes with what song. that opened up a lot of different sound opportunities. I can’t wait to have a grip on triads and strumming. Thansk.

Will Smeaton Reply

Damn, man! Been trying to get that ‘Sweet Home’ pattern down so I could impress my mates. Now they’ll all be able to do it. Good progressive teaching style, Colin – nice mix of structure and kookiness. Many thanks.


Now I understand the importance of picking the root note – it makes all the difference in the world.

Ttaylor53 Reply

Your Lesson’s are great, but the video streaming sucks. Have to wait 10mins for everything to catch up…

Althea David Reply

Alyhea David
I am so thrilled! I have been trying to play the guitar for such a long time- from the age of 18. I am 62 years of age now and I am still trying to get my strumming to sound professional.I watched that demonstration 3 times and will practice in a while. I am very sure that these steps of using the root notes of each chord and combining them with the strumming is  just what I needed to move my guitar playing forward. Thank You. 

Tony Reply

Fantastic Colin learning at 56 is made easier by people like yourself showing your skil slowed to make sense. I rang a guy about taking lessons a couple of years ago his answer was why do you want to learn guitar at 54 what a bad attitude we need more of you Thank you so much.
Tony South Australia

Peping Umali Reply

Hi Collin,
      I’ve been strugling to learn the guitar decades ago and right now I still can not claim I am a guitarist. I think I i don’t have the gift of music in me, though i am very much inclined. Slow learner, yes I am..and this will again challenge my music wisdom or nonwisdom. Good luck to me and to you..ha..ha..

Robert Diehl Reply

Hi Colon.Don’t know if i am fighting a loosing battle trying to learn guitar at nearly 76 years of age.Been working at it for several months and having problems with sore fingers. Just starting to look at strumming paterns  I.know D-C-G-E-F-A  Chords But haveing trouble with changeing particularly going to the C chord.from wherever.
Have calouses on fingers but they still hurt if I keep at it too long. I am stubborn enough to keep trying.

Goncalo Correia Reply

very motivating. It´s not trying to show that it´s a brilliant guitar player (which is! ),but the main concern is to teach in a simple and understanding way !!!

Tominear Reply

More than the chords, having someone actually counting out the rhythm makes this a great lesson!

Solosanda Reply

I am very sure that these steps of using the root notes of each chord
and combining them with the strumming is  just what I needed to move my
guitar playing forward. Thanks

Balde Aguirre Reply

please I wanna win a copy of Strumming and Rythm course!

Richard Bennett Reply

Very good lesson! Getting back to the basics is the foundation of a good guitarist!

Jdugan1 Reply

Great lesson. I like how you mixed the root notes and arpeggios with the strumming. Where do we get to learn the “Sweet Home..” riff you played in the intro? 

Whitmel Reply

At last, I can sound like a real guitarist with rhythm rather than a stilted beat. 

Donald Lee Reply

Ive enjoyed the presentation here. Colin teches and reviews the concept very well and is easy to follow. I’ve just ordered the DVD package :-).  Please enter me in the contest. 

Carol Karr Reply

Cue orchestra …pan in to me singing …  I can see clearly now that you’ve taught me how to strum!!!! Just GREAT GREAT GREAT instruction!! so helpful!!!

Thomlowry Reply

Colin, this lesson was great to get down the strrumming pattern 1234 etc.  My challenges with strumming is I tend to go to fast or get to eractic. At this time,  I am unable to purchase your course as I am a father of an autristic boy and between work,  and his requirements takes up a great deal of time &  money.   i am able to take your short courses like this one and when I get time to myself I am able to move one small step closer to playing better.  Thanks a ton, Colin, Thom

Thomlowry Reply

Colin, this lesson was great to get down the strrumming pattern 1234 etc.  My challenges with strumming is I tend to go to fast or get to eractic. At this time,  I am unable to purchase your course as I am a father of an autristic boy and between work,  and his requirements takes up a great deal of time &  money.   i am able to take your short courses like this one and when I get time to myself I am able to move one small step closer to playing better.  Thanks a ton, Colin, Thom

Sbilanicz Reply

Always learn something new by watching your videos. Short on time, between family, work, and school, it’s important to me that what moments I can give to my guitar play are effective and fun. That’s what you give me. Thank you for your help and expertise.

Randi Reply

I love this song..and you have just made my day..often wondered how I could never get it to sound “Right”
Thanks a lot for your lesson

Douglas Allen Reply

Somethong that I have started doing with my playing and enjoy doing that sort of playing very much.

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