How To Master Rhythm On GuitarPosted by Mike Schuck
Learning how to play rhythm guitar is one of the most fundamental things you can do as a guitarist. You will learn how to sync your hands together, make some simple patterns, and eventually create songs!
There are many ways to approach learning rhythm guitar. Some people start by practicing basic licks and chord sequences with their left hand while playing using their right hand to hit notes. Others begin by studying rhythms first and then link those rhythms into melodies and chords.
Either way works, but what matters most is that you enjoy what you are doing. If you ever feel like giving up, take a break and revisit this article later!
This article will go more in depth about another method for approaching rhythmic study. The concept comes from an instrument that uses similar techniques, the piano. When starting out on the piano, students are taught the white key column or octave-the middle row of black and white keys.
The white key column divides the keyboard into two parts; the lower part is called the treble clef and the higher part is called the bass clef. These terms refer to the notes in each area. For example, the treble clef has A B C D E F, whereas the bass clef has G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z.
By moving around the treble clef row, we can find note positions for any song pattern we want.
It is impossible to improve upon something you do not practice regularly, so make sure that you have consistent rhythm guitar training times every day!
Practice should be around 10 minutes long and you want to focus on practicing one song or piece twice a week. This way you will be able to get more out of your music in the long run!
And don’t just stick to songs, play short pieces, learn some basic licks, and work on them until you feel you mastered them. Then add another element to it and keep going!
You can also try taking lessons at a local school or community center where everyone else is trying to achieve their goal too.
Create a practice space
Now that you have learned some basics, it is time to create your own rhythm guitar practice space!
You can do this easily by using a table or desk as your bench. This will work just fine unless you happen to have a wall in the room with a microphone attached to it. Then you would need to find another place to put your amp!
Either way, your practice space should be set up for an amplifier, music stand, picks, extra guitars, etc. You want to make sure there are enough resources to fully equip yourself for lessons and tours!
Once everything is organized and situated, then you can start practicing! The best tip I have is to pick a song you know well and play along with the rhythm track.
Practice at a slow tempo first so you can get the hang of timing the notes correctly before picking up the speed.
Learning the basics
The first thing you need to do is learn how to play some simple rhythm guitar patterns! These can be done using either a chord or a bass technique.
The easiest way to start is by learning two chords that go together in a easy pattern. Once these are learned, it’s time to add music notes onto the chords.
You should spend at least 30 minutes per day working on your rhythm skills. When practicing, try playing through a song or sequence of songs with these chords.
Once this is mastered, you can move on to more difficult rhythms and sequences.
Learning to read chord charts
Chord diagrams are one of the most fundamental concepts for guitarists. They show you which notes make up a specific chord, but they do more than that! You can use them to learn some basic rhythm patterns and how to play along with songs!
In this article we will go over some easy ways to improve your chord reading skills by learning how to recognize chords from their roots alone.
Chords have three parts: root, second (or middle) note, and third (outside) note. The first two belong together as a unit and are sometimes called an inner part or body of the chord. The third note belongs exclusively to the chord without being included in the union. This is why there is a different name for each chord: its tone/third.
The term “root” refers to the natural position of the bass string when all three notes of a chord are played simultaneously. Since the bass usually does not fluctuate much, it is considered the base or anchor for the chord. For example, the first chord we learned was A major. Its root is the A natural minor sixth interval, which is also known as the A-string 1st fret.
The next fundamental element in guitar rhythm playing is chord progressions. A chord progression is any sequence of chords that repeats itself within a song.
A lot of people start playing guitar by learning how to play some chord patterns or some licks. But what few realize is that it’s not enough just to know those pieces well, you have to be able to sequence them together into songs as well!
Music is made up of notes and chords mixed in with rhythm. The rhythm part comes first and then the rest works around it.
Most beginner musicians forget about music theory which helps us connect the notes and melodies together. Some may learn some basics like major and minor scales but very few study note numbers and where each note goes within a scale.
It’s easy to pick up the piano or violin and there are many great resources for beginners who want to pursue those instruments seriously. However, if you’re looking to take your song writing skills to the next level, consider adding some fundamentals of music theory to your repertoire.
You can read more about this here: What Is Music Theory? | The Art Of Composing Songs.
Mixing your guitar with other instruments
Another way to learn how to play rhythm is by mixing it! This can be done by playing an instrument that has rhythmic patterns, such as bass or violin. You could also take up another instrument that uses a familiar pattern, like singing or percussion.
There are many ways to mix music; you can use headphones and earbuds to listen to one instrument while recording the others, you can use computer software to layer the music together, or you can even just slap each note onto the next sequentially!
The trick is to feel the rhythms of those songs and apply them to your own music! It will help you get very creative with your songwriting and lead to more unique melodies and riffs.
Recording your guitar
When recording your own music, you will need to choose between two different settings for the microphone. Either use direct mode where you can hear what you are playing more clearly, or phantom mode where what you play is mixed with sounds from other instruments and voices.
In direct mode, you should always turn off any effects such as re-verb before recording so that you get better quality sound. Make sure to also turn down the volume of the instrument being recorded unless it is very soft!
When in phantom mode, make sure to turn off the effect device first (usually an equalizer) then turn up the recorder’s volume enough to completely drown out whatever else is already there. You want to totally erase all traces of the original tone!
The best way to learn how to record yourself singing or playing guitar is by doing it outside or in a room without too many distractions.
The Jam Addict team is a revolving door of writers who care about music, its effects on culture, and giving aspiring artists tools and knowledge to be inspired and keep on creating.
If you have any questions or concerns or just want to drop us a line, don't hesitate to contact us! We always appreciate the feedback.