There are two things you need when you want to learn to play songs on the guitar: chords and strumming patterns.
A chord is a set of notes played on the guitar that will give you a particular sound and color. Many popular songs consist of only three or four chords.
A strumming pattern is a preset pattern of down and up strokes played with your fingers or a pick against the strings. The strumming pattern will determine the rhythm for your music.
You can strum with either your fingers or with a pick.
Strumming with your fingers
There are several ways to strum with your fingers. Here is one that is commonly used: Place your thumb against your index finger and hold them like that. This gives you a decent support. Strum down with the nail of your index finger against all the strings and strum up with the nail of your thumb.
Strumming with a pick
Hold the pick between your thumb and index finger. Place the pick on the top side of your index finger and clamp your thumb down on top of it. Hold the pick firmly.
There are a lot of variations for strumming patterns and different ones for each time signature (4/4, 3/4, 2/4 time). In these strumming episodes I will show you the few essential and common strumming patterns that will get you started and ready to play tons of songs.
In Part II I will show you five more indispensable strumming patterns to get you equipped with the appropriate tools to conquer the world.
Have a great workout!