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Intro to Classic Country and Bluegrass Strumming

Lesson 1 – Country & Bluegrass Rhythm Course
Lesson ID: A0102

This is the first lesson in a series of videos where I’ll be teaching y’all a ton of my favorite classic country and bluegrass strumming patterns. In this lesson, we’re going to start with the basics and learn one of the most important strumming patterns used in country and bluegrass music. We’ll break down the pattern in detail and then I’ll show you how to use it with several common open chords. After that, I’ll give you some info on the chord numbering system, and finally, we’ll practice the strumming pattern using a really common country and bluegrass chord progression in four different keys.

Video Start Time Lesson Topic
00:00 min Lesson Overview
01:19 min The Basic Strumming Pattern
02:07 min Alternating Bass Notes
04:29 min Country and Bluegrass G Chord Hammer-On
06:42 min Using the Pattern with Common Guitar Chords
09:32 min How to Count the Strumming Pattern
11:48 min Let’s Use the Pattern with a Country and Bluegrass Chord Progression
16:29 min Practice Along with Me
17:51 min Changing Keys Using the Chord Numbering System
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Randy Keizer
Randy Keizer(@randy)
7 years ago

Hey Devin – I just wanted to say you have some of the best country/bluegrass lessons I’ve seen online, and very nice professional website. I’m glad I stumbled upon your lessons! Looking forward to learning with you.


7 years ago

Nice lesson 🙂

Tim Miller
Tim Miller(@tim)
7 years ago

Wow, always impressed with your lessons, Devin. Great instruction and fantastic video work.

7 years ago

Awesome lesson. Thanks Devin!

Luis Matos
Luis Matos(@mat1706)
7 years ago

Thank you! This is what I needed.

Mark (@guest_454)
7 years ago

Good stuff!

7 years ago

Great lesson Devin I especially liked the technique comments on the light touch and loose hold on the pick. Would it be possible to get some advise on maybe string gauge or any other equipment issue,s that might help. Any discovery’s you have made along the way or through other bluegrass contacts.
Thanks so much Devin

7 years ago

Is there a way, within the courses, to keep track of the lessons done?

7 years ago

Hey Devin, I just found your site and love it so far. I wanted to ask what you think about doing a C chord alternating base line with the C note (5th string 3rd fret) and the G note (6th string 3rd fret)? Thanks, Adrian

7 years ago
Reply to  Devin

Cool, thanks!

5 years ago

Devin, I really like your style of teaching, looking forward to learning even more rhythm styles.

5 years ago

Well taught…great way to learn Blue Grass

Jocelyn Beauregard
Jocelyn Beauregard(@jocelyn)
5 years ago

The organization and the way you teach guitar are exceptional. All is well structured and progressive and it’s up to us to take advantage of it…..thank you so much Devin.

5 years ago

Good catch on adding the fifth string C note to the F chord. Actually makes the chord easier to do. Thanks.

5 years ago

I I I I IV IV I I V V I I: regarding the numbering sequence that you have used. Will most country songs be in this sequence of 12 measures?

5 years ago

Thanks Devin, good lesson on key change formula

5 years ago

Hey Devin! I just wanted to ask you a question about the 4th string in C-chord. I think when we use the alternating bass on the 4th string in this chord we can do the hummer-on as well as playing G-chord, when you show it on the 6th string. Is it so? And what about hummer-ons on A or E-chords? 4th or even 5th string in E? I think it sounds quiet good. But i don’t know what can i do with F or D chords and if i needed to do something special with them in country/bluegrass in this… Read more »

5 years ago

Hey Devin, I have seen the video clips of all of your lessons on country and bluegrass Lead/Rhythm music.I appreciate your approach of teaching guitar lessons in an easy to understand step by step method with important tips and techniques that has helped me in learning guitar . I am looking forward to practicing all of your lessons though it’s a long journey for me to become a perfect guitarist.
I would like to learn from you how to play the song “The Long Haired Country Boy” one of my favorite songs..

Have a nice day


5 years ago

Hey Devin. I stumbled today over your site, entered the test period and am very much impressed! Great and so non-nervous and clear this introduction into the boom-chick! Confirmed also my own recent change to the 5-string F.
I feel very much motivated to follow your guidance and develop my several decade old, but still quite limited “cowboy playing”.
As to song wishes, I’m a big fan of Don Edwards and his working with old cowboy songs. Would be great to learn some of them!

4 years ago

Can we get some Jim Croce goodness in here?

Scott Morrow
Scott Morrow(@morrow1616)
4 years ago

I’m curious why the sharps are not included in the numbering?

Julie Hostetter
Julie Hostetter(@hal_julie)
4 years ago

So when I hammer the E string it doesn’t have a nice ring out tone like your guitar does. I can barely hear it. Is it because my guitar isn’t a good quality one. I have a Fender FA-100

Jake Gottlob
Jake Gottlob (@guest_15052288)
3 years ago

I think that your computer has a grudge against my MacBook. I’m doing the strumming course. Lesson two tells me that due to privacy rules, I can’t see lesson 2. I click ‘next lesson’ and it switches me to the next course on my favorites list,
By the way, I very happy to be back taking the course. I enjoy listening to you.

norman dion
norman dion(@normandion)
3 years ago

Devin thanks much, your an awesome teacher, just what i needed to play country….keep up these great lessons.

Bear Kingery
Bear Kingery(@bearpastor216)
3 years ago

Day 2 ever on bluegrass guitar. Saw your video on YouTube and signed up. Looking forward to learning from you and your site!! Blessings!! Bear!!

Hubert Doherty
Hubert Doherty(@hughie)
3 years ago

Can you guys develop a lesson series on song writing , basics , techquies etc

Collin Scott
Collin Scott(@collinscott17)
2 years ago

when i pick the Low E string i dont pluck it again on the down stroke right? so in other words if i plug the six string i only strum 1-5 assuming its a G chord

John Hart
John Hart(@jmhybrid)
2 years ago

Again so happy to have found you guys. This lesson is exciting knowing there’s more to come!

Jukka Harju
Jukka Harju(@cw-jay)
1 year ago

Hey Devin – Great intro to country rhythm guitar. I especially appreciated your use of pick instead of finger picking. Although country is not my main genre I can get by with finger picking, kinda jazzy way, but string skipping with the pick which is required for this style is challenging for me. This lesson got me started the right way, so thanks very much!

Alexander Aelius
Alexander Aelius(@dukeofwolfish)
1 year ago

Just picked up your course after watching some of your videos on YouTube and, I’m really happy with the way you provide instructions. The entire catalog looks like a big picnic table in summertime, with tons of with delicious food, I want to taste everything!.

Steven Strong
Steven Strong(@stronghsteven)
1 month ago

I have a question, after the bass note pick on the down strum are you hitting all strings within the chord are just the ones beneath the bass notes?

Steven Strong
Steven Strong(@stronghsteven)
1 month ago
Reply to  Steven Strong

So are you just not interactive with your students?

Steven Strong
Steven Strong(@stronghsteven)
1 month ago
Reply to  Devin

Gotya and I apologize I do understand and if you have any setup for private lessons that would be awesomr