Strumming Up a Storm

This week I really wanted to work on my strumming. I’ve got the rough idea on a couple of songs in “You are my Sunshine” and “Three Little Birds“. In order to be able to go beyond sounding like these songs and actually being able to play them, and learn other more difficult songs, I needed to improve my strumming.

Somewhere over the Rainbow” is a popular ukulele song that my family has been saying I should learn, so I thought maybe I would start there. I also thought I would try something different than the tutorials I had been watching from Ten Thumbs Productions. Although those tutorials have been very helpful, I thought maybe changing things up would help a bit. So I found Cynthia Lin Music, who has a tonne of tutorials up on YouTube.

In her tutorial for “Somewhere over the Rainbow“, she begins by saying in order to learn the song properly, you need to know the “Island Strum”. I don’t know the Island Strum. Thankfully, a link was provided in the video to another tutorial for “Stand By Me“, where Cynthia Lin explained the “Island Strum”. It goes a little something like this…

Down, Down, Up
Up, Down, UP, Down,
Down, Up
Up, Down, Up, Down,
Down, Up…

Took a while, but it started to come around. I also figured I would try to figure out Stand by Me, and maybe progress to Somewhere over the Rainbow down the road. So that’s what I tried to do. Here’s my crack at the chorus of “Stand by Me”.


It may not sound like much, but I’m happy with starting to learn a new strumming pattern (Still having a lot of trouble getting to that G chord).

This was an interesting week, because my initial idea turned into something different, but then came around to what I wanted in the first place — which was to improve my strumming. I finally found a video that helped me understand the d,d,u u,d,u beat. I had a couple prior that I just wasn’t understanding.

The tutorial that I first went to was good as well, because it helped re-direct me to a different video that was more my speed. It’s all about taking steps, so It was great to see those steps in bedded in the video to send me in the right direction.




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