New Strumming Patterns Preview Release!

Thanks for sharing this early. You’re right its is fun to play with. Love the “Medium, Bouncy” Blugrass setting.

Luke, thank you for all your work on this.

I haven’t yet done a deep dive, but I have a couple of general comments, specifically about the Celtic section.

First, would you be interested in me gathering a few folks to do a more expert review of what you have in this genre? (I have some opinions, which I’ll share, but I don’t consider myself an expert). I could check in with some friends and see if I can find any volunteers…

Second, and my first impression, is that perhaps in this genre you might have the default exclude a mandolin chop. There are no doubt some strumming patterns for Celtic mandolin that could be included instead, but my impression is that the offbeat chop is going to seriously stray from the genre. Of course, people can always cancel it, I know.

More later when I get a little more time with it. Thank you again, you are awesome.

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@Kathy1, I would love to get input from your expert friends! But maybe don’t have them review what I have just yet, because I know it’s not all that good. It’s more of a “proof of concept” to show how a different rhythm pattern can be more suitable for Celtic tunes… but the rhythm pattern itself needs some work. Part of the problem is that I’m not a very experienced rhythm player myself when it comes to Celtic music! So I don’t have a clear understanding of all the nuances, let alone how to put them into code.

Very soon I plan to dive into an online course or two about Irish guitar playing and study it in depth for a bit, then redo and expand the strumming patterns for Celtic style based on what I’ve learned, and then continue to tweak based on feedback from Celtic players such as your friends. (Plus I need to get more Celtic songs in the library at some point!)

And yes, mandolin chop has no place in (most) Celtic music. I’ll likely offer some more strummy options in the future. My ultimate goal is to add bouzouki, if only as an excuse to get myself one of those rad instruments. :smile:


fyi Luke, I started with a John Doyle instructional video. It was very helpful. (Mostly drop D). He plays at least somewhat in the style of Arty McGlynn.

and another fyi, there’s a mandolin player named Marla Fibish who does a lot of teaching. She might be interested in helping. She does a lot of teaching (I think) and contributes to Peghead Nation.

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Just updated the beta site with the latest development version. I put a lot of work into the UI (user interface) for the “band settings” menu, addressing some issues with the last version and paving the way for more instrument-specific options in the future:

Plus, Strum Machine now remembers all of your band-related settings between sessions, just like BPM, key, Auto-Speedup, etc. You can also add/remove any instrument from any style; the bass and mandolin don’t yet fit will all of the styles available, but that will change in the future.

With that out of the way, I now turn my attention toward improving and expanding the actual strumming patterns being offered.

Let me know if you run into any friction while using the new interface!

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Accomplishes the mission. Had no trouble getting the backup I wanted. One question. The new interface controls the instruments chosen regardless of what the mixer says. It appears the mixer still determines how loud each instrument is. So each song will come up with the correct instruments but going song to song the user will manually adjust the mix. For home use that would never be a big deal for me. Using Strum Machine in front of an audience it would give me a bit of time to have something to do while I prepare for the next song (I’d also need to touch the iPad to move to the next song). Might others want the mix to be preset as well?

The new interface controls the instruments chosen regardless of what the mixer says. It appears the mixer still determines how loud each instrument is. So each song will come up with the correct instruments but going song to song the user will manually adjust the mix.

Good point, @JohnStevens. I’m thinking of adding a volume control for each instrument to the band menu. So then the question is, what to do with the Mixer panel? It seems redundant…

…except the one advantage of the Mixer panel is that it applies to all songs. That could be useful for someone who, say, plays multiple instruments and wants to be able to quickly mute the guitar while they’re practicing guitar, then turn it back on when they’re practicing banjo, for example. Whether they’d also need to adjust the volumes, I’m not sure.

Having settings that apply to each song separately, while also having the possibility of a global override, is tricky territory. I’m still not sure the best way to navigate it.

At the very least, though, I can have the Mixer only show instruments that are currently enabled, and change the on/off button to a “Mute” button to make it more clear that its an override…

Oh, and regarding this:

I’d also need to touch the iPad to move to the next song

Perhaps Auto-Advance could be of use to you…

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OK, just updated the beta to add per-song instrument volume controls. :loud_sound:

I removed the global Mixer for now as I’m unsure how to implement it or what’s necessary there, but I will revisit it based on the feedback I get.

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Looks like an elegant solution. Easy to use and see exactly what each instrument is doing. Once I’ve chosen the presets they will probably stay in place for each song for quite some time or until inspiration suggests a change. These improvements are amazing and we know there’s lots more coming!

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The volume control idea is a good way to do it.
These strum patterns are really waking up my songs!

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Love it!!! Great work, the first was great but this one is like going to heaven, jesus said I have to go back, I said no I have some fiddling to do:)


Awesome stuff! Love being able to store the instrumentation with each song. And, songs sound way better with the new strum patterns.

Hey, just started using the celtic strum pattern on some pipe jigs I’m playing on fiddle. Very nice!!!

The simple feet instrument found in bluegrass guitar makes for a good metronome on its own. With a bit of guitar added my metronome practice helps keep the chords in my head.
However, the single foot tap at this development stage has a tone that comes across on my speaker as too metallic to be something I’d choose as an instrument in my songs.

Hi Luke:
I’ve just returned from Scotland where I spent a week with my fiddle studying/learning/playing at sessions with a renown highland fiddler in Dunkeld (Perth). OMG, Great week.
I live in SoCal and play with a big’ish Scottish fiddle group and have been practicing for a performance this weekend at the Scottish Games (I think we are more scottish here than the Scots themselves).
Last night I created to my library a few tunes we are performing and was delighted to see your new celtic strum! It worked quite well for the pipe jigs I added.
Of note, those of us who play “celtic” music are getting away from lumping everything into a celtic category, as “celtic” music is very distinctive by country of origin, e.g., Irish tunes are very different (although there is cross-over) than Scottish (with the distinctive tunes from the Shetland Isles (with a Scandi cross over), and the Galician “celtic” tunes of the Spanish region of Galicia. I think for your strum purposes, however, a “celtic” category works fine!
If you are interested in using my increasingly large library of celtic tunes, you are welcome to them. I have them broken down into Scottish, Irish and Shetland (Scottish).
I am really getting a lot out of strum machine! It’s helping me play by ear (my super power being note reading from my classical background) as I am listening for the chord changes with help my melody line. You’ve created something super useful!
Thanks much!
Diana McMc


100% agreed. I need to re-record it.

Knowing how to lump/split these “genres” has been quite a challenge! I’m trying to lump anything with enough overlap in the rhythm, so that I don’t end up with a giant list of 57 genres to choose from. Hence, “Celtic”. But if/when I add tagging to the library I’m sure I’ll break things apart a bit more.

Thanks for offering your collection of tunes. Once this current project is wrapped up – and I get to take a brief vacation :wink: – I will be turning my attention to growing the library!

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Strum machine is already awesome, and the new addition will make it an invaluable teaching tool. One style I’d like to see added is a 6/8 ballad (ala “Blue Hawaii or numerous love songs from the 50s & 60s. Also, keep it affordable for starving students and impoverished music teachers. Thank you, I can’t wait to try out the new rhythms!

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My suggestion, the single foot tap needs a big more bass to it. I’d suggest wearing a cowboy boot or hiking boot on a wood floor or a solid wood plank under you foot to get that Old Time wood floor stop sound. :wink:


And idea when you’ll move what you already have to the app? Enjoying the new stuff a bunch!