Watch the Strumming & Accents online guitar lesson by Rich Maloof from Acoustic Guitar For Beginners
Shown in the video clip are examples of accents falling on downbeats and then on upbeats in an 8th-note strum. Downbeats are simply the numbered beats ( 1 2 3 4 ); upbeats are the "ands" that fall in between downbeats ( 1 and 2 and 3 and 4 and ). Click the PDF button to see what these accents look like on paper. The ">" sign indicates an accent.