Strumming pattern – Jesus Messiah by Chris Tomlin

Strumming pattern – Jesus Messiah by Chris Tomlin

Similarly to Your Grace is Enough the main groove accents all fall exactly on the beat. The up strums add a little movement and allude to the rhythm in the melody. For the chorus you could get rid of the upstrums altogether and add them back in for the verse. Basically more down strums adds more ‘rock’, up strums adds more of a pushed groove which sounds more ‘soul’ey.


If you don’t have a copy of the track handy then try finding it on YouTube or Spotify so you can play along.

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.