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Bluegrass Strumming 101

Downstrokes: The Foundation for Strumming Chords

Downstrokes are the foundation for strumming and picking melodies and in this lesson you'll learn how to get started with strumming the mandolin.

To play a downstroke strum on your mandolin, raise your hand so it's just above the 4th string on your instrument and drop your hand down through all of the strings. Gravity's pull on the weight of your hand should propel this movement and you shouldn't being forcing your hand down through the strings. It doesn't need to be loud at this point and you just want to focus on the correct movement. Repeat this strumming movement a few times and watch the lesson video below to see a demonstration.

Push the play button to practice your downstrokes along with the tab.