Strumming patterns

How to strum a jig on guitar for beginners – Irish or Scottish folk music accompaniment

This free Irish guitar lesson from Folk Friend covers one of the first topics I ever made videos about- strumming along with jigs! These are probably the most common type of tune in Irish and Scottish folk music. They are in the compound time signature 6/8 , with six quavers (8th beats for American viewers) in every bar. They have a very distinctive sound- if a tune goes “diddly diddly” or “da-da-diddly” then the chances are that it’s a jig!


There are two main patterns used by Irish and Scottish backing guitarists, and in this video I’m going to show you both of them. You can find more ideas for rhythmic variations in my more in-depth jig video here:

And the top secret “upside down” jig pattern (more difficult, but seriously cool) here:

If you're just starting out in the world of Celtic backing guitar, my books can help! They cover everything you need to know about theory, structure, rhythms, chords, fingerstyle and much more... Check them all out here

If you'd like to learn how to play by ear then there's really no substitute for an experienced professional teacher. Click here to book your free trial lesson today!

If you would like a complete guide to folk backing on the guitar then you really need my book Backing Guitar Techniques For Traditional Celtic Music, which tells you all the music theory, strumming patterns, chord shapes and everything else you need to become a great backing guitarist and
My invention The Amazing Mode Wheel can show you all the notes and chords which fit in any scale used in Celtic music.

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