How to Play the Island Strum

Have you heard of the Island Strum? It's a popular and versatile ukulele strum, but it can be a bit of a challenge for beginners. I've created a short video tutorial to help break it down and make it a bit easier to master:

Do you have a favorite strum pattern, or a strum you find yourself defaulting to over and over again? I'd love to hear about it! 

Learn to Play Ukulele with

Let's Play! The Ukulele Handbook for Beginners

The Essential How-to Guide for Beginning Ukulele Players 

Let’s Play! makes learning to play the ukulele simple and fun. It’s written in a friendly, straightforward style and is full of uncomplicated instructions and easy-to-understand diagrams. When you purchase Let’s Play!, you’ll also receive access to dozens of videos to guide you through each new concept, song, and skill so you can see and hear exactly how things should look and sound. With Let’s Play!, you will learn:

  • The basics: how to tune, hold, and play your uke

  • How to strum several fun folk songs: Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star; Oh, Susanna; Frère Jacques; Down by the Bay; and more!

  • Popular chords and strum patterns

  • Fundamentals of rhythm and time signatures

  • How to transpose songs into different keys

  • How to play melodies


I’m Melissa Stevenson, a music-maker, ukulele teacher, and author of Let’s Play! The Ukulele Handbook for Beginners. On the Musical Mama blog, I post practical and inspiring tips for beginning ukulele players, free music-themed downloads, and video tutorials to make learning to play the ukulele as straightforward and fun as possible. Let’s play!


The content I post is free and available to all, without advertising or paywalls. If you’d like to show your support for what I do, please buy my ukulele handbook! :)