I’ve taken this version of Agnus Dei from Michael W Smith’s album Worship. There is no acoustic guitar in the version per se but this will work if you are leading worship on guitar. The pattern itself is refreshingly different and provides a sense of rolling consistency as the accents on the beats change in the verse.
I’ve listed this in a box format that shows the song over a single bar in a 16th note format. So the key is to count 1 E & A, 2 E & A, 3 E & A, 4 E & A over the song and crucially KEEP YOUR HAND MOVING at all times. Naturally your hand should strum down on the numbers or beats (1234), the &’s and then the up beats should always link to the E’s and A’s. If you find this difficult to work through on paper then I’d recommend either our Song Learner series DVDs or Intermediate Acoustic DVDs as its much easier to see it on video than in an article.
I’ve tried to pick the patterns from either the original album version or a fairly stock version of each song but of course, there are many versions of each song, and even within each version there will be some room to change up the strumming pattern and still fit the groove.
Do realise that while each strumming pattern will work for the song on its own, if your drummer, or indeed your band is playing a different groove (consciously or unconsciously!) then it may not entirely fit. The key is to make sure the main accents in the rhythm of the melody are reflected in the strumming pattern.