One of easiest ways to improve your ukulele strumming…

…and add variety and interest to you playing is to STOP.

Nope STOP I'm not slipping into 1900's telegraph grammar STOP

I'm telling you to literally STOP strumming.

That's the secret.

Your bang-bang, always-on strumming is driving everyone around you crazy.

And as I pointed out in yesterday’s email, incessant ukulele playing COULD be grounds for murder…

So here’s what I mean by STOP.

Choose some beats (within your typical 4) to just leave out.

In these examples, just count 1-2-3-4. The word replaces some of the numbers-and tells you what to do…

Example: PLAY-2-3-4, 1-STOP -STOP-STOP (and repeat)

This is exactly what the Beach Boys do in “Surfing’ USA” and what Chuck Berry does in “Sweet Little Sixteen” (which is exactly where the Beach Boys got it…)

Leave out any ONE down/up strum of the four. The emphasis and feel shifts depending on which one you choose.

REPLACE any full beat or half beat with a mute. (Full beat is the down/up; half beat is just the down OR the up).


Now, I tossed that off like it’s the easiest thing in the world. But it’s all do-able and can add lovely surprise to your playing.

And may just keep alive…

your pal,

What to read next: Uke Practice–quality or quantity (answer inside)

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