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Folsom Prison Blues
Folsom Prison Blues

Johnny Cash: Strumming Session

Folsom Prison Blues; Johnny Cash

Learning to strum is one of the first hurdles beginners will need to overcome. It can prove to be a frustration of many a guitarist, so it is always beneficial to keep such lessons interesting by learning patterns to specific songs. This particular Folsom Prison Blues strumming pattern is relatively easy to play, employs a couple of interesting techniques and, most of all is lively and fun! 

Folsom Prison Blues is an archetypal Johnny Cash rhythm and is there to hear on many of his classic recordings.  It is a simple down, down up pattern played at a relatively high tempo, although not all the strings are always played and, to emphasise the rhythm, you can employ a softening technique with your left hand so the notes do not sound. This creates a percussive-type sound which gives the pattern a level of distinctiveness. Not playing all the notes of a chord is a common technique employed by rhythm guitarists and it is worth trying this out for other patterns.

The Strumming Lesson

Folsom Prison Blues: That Ending Bit

OK I thought I’d show you the piece at the end which nicely rounds off the session. Have fun!

If you want to get into playing some complete songs, we would recommend you check out Lyin Eyes as one of our Easy Guitar Songs video lessons.

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