In this lesson, learn the most foundational country and bluegrass strumming rhythm known as the “Boom-Chicka” Rhythm.
To play in the country and bluegrass style on ukulele, you must know how to play this rhythm. You can use this rhythm to play a wide variety of songs played to an upbeat tempo, specifically in the country or bluegrass style.
This lesson is a preview from the new upcoming Country Bluegrass Strummin’ course where you learn how to combine muting, swing rhythm, and strumming technique to create toe-tappin’ country and bluegrass strums in the style of Johnny Cash and more. In the full course, you apply your skills to learning a variety of country and bluegrass songs on the ukulele.
If you’re a brand new ukulele player or complete beginner, you might want to start with the Strumming Tricks course first to build a strong foundation.
Watch the video to begin!
For the boom-chicka rhythm, use a combination of fingers from the strumming hand (this is essential and required for best results).
For the first beat, pluck or strum down across the top g-string with the thumb, as indicated by the “t”. Then, on the second beat, strum down across all strings with the nail-side of the middle and ring fingers. Then, on the “and” of the second beat, strum up across all string with the flesh-side of the index finger. Repeat this for the third and fourth beats.
Practice this rhythm slow at first and gradually speed it up.
Don’t speed it up if it hurts! Stay loose and relaxed.
As you begin to speed up, the rhythm begins to take on an exciting, energetic toe-tappin’ strumming rhythm! Lastly, don’t be afraid to add swing to this rhythm to create a toe-tappin’ groove.
It’s important to practice this rhythm exactly as described above since you’ll end up using the thumb and the other fingers to pluck and strum even more intricate strumming rhythms in later lessons.
Note: In the full Country Bluegrass Strummin’ course, you apply your knowledge of the “Boom-Chicka” rhythm to play a song. All lessons in the course teach you techniques and then how to play a song in the style.