Guitar (again): Direction of strumming

Via Shift-P I can input “strum up” and “strum down”. When I do that, e.g. strum down, I get an arrow pointing south. Shouldn’t it rather point north, since the strumming down is done from the low pitched to the high strings, hence in the notation from the low to the high notes – upwards?

I’m used to seeing it that way in my literature…

I know there’s something cooking reg. Dorico 3 and guitar notation (maybe), but I’d also like to hear from others. Or is this command not intended for use with guitar notation at all?

I would read an arrow pointing south as “strum down” (and I write it that way - no guitarist yet complained), but as always conventions differ a lot.

In classical guitar notation the upward pointing arrow indicates a strum from low note to high note, just as if the notation included the notes (strum down). The opposite for a downward pointing arrow.

The strum indication, like an arpeggio indication is always read in the direction in which the pitches will sound. It just happen (as a coincidence) that on the guitar, the strumming is - geographically speaking - an up and down motion. However, an up arrow means low to high, in terms of pitch, and vice versa. Otherwise, if we were being consistent, then arpeggios on the keyboard would be horizontal, with an arrow to indicate if the roll is up or down; but we don’t do that. Thankfully.

The use of the word “always” in your sentence is just plain wrong, as a simple Google Image Search for “guitar strum up down” will show…

Should there be a different notation for left handed guitar players? It’s not politically correct to discriminate against them by marking all the strums in the wrong direction :unamused:

I thought left handed guitarists string the instrument backwards so the low string is still on the top… but with all the variant ways these instruments can be tuned, how could there be a standard outside of absolute pitch movement ?

Yes, perhaps “always” is the wrong word; I should never use it… I was referring to classical guitar, and should have indicated it as such.

“Real” left handed guitars are built with the bracing and the nut reversed (mirrored) so that the bass strings are still the uppermost strings. There are, however guitarist that play right handed guitars left handed, where the strings are reversed. If interested, look at the amazing guitar work of Elizabeth Cotton playing “Freight Train”