Rhythm On Guitar

Posted by Mike Schuck

Learning how to play guitar at the speed of music is an incredible way to get into the game! It’s also one of the most effective ways to learn how to read music, as you must be able to recognize notes and their sequences in order to do so.

There are many different methods for achieving this goal, with some being better than others depending on what style of playing you want to hone your skills towards.

In this article we will go over one such method that can easily be adapted into any genre or skill level. This technique was created by guitarist extraordinaire James Horner, and he dubbed it rhythm-tracing.

Join the JA team and grab a cool t-shirt!

Check out our Jam Addict attire and become a part of the team that has been training drummers and musicians for years!
Jam Addict Course

Rhythm tracing isn’t something new, but I believe it gets a bit overlooked when people are looking to improve their reading ability. Why not make it a focus then?

It may even help develop your sense of time slightly, which is very valuable if you ever need to know how long a note lasts.

Practice playing at the perfect tempo

rhythm on guitar

A good way to start practicing rhythm is by practicing playing at the correct speed. You can do this by thinking of a song that you know well, and then going one step faster than your normal pace for that song.

Your normal speed should be about half of what it is now! Keep up the pressure and see how quickly you can get through the music. This will help you develop muscle memory as well as timing.

Practice every part of the guitar rhythm independently before linking them together. For example, practice hitting each note separately first, before moving onto a pattern.

Create your own beat

rhythm on guitar

A way to create your own beats is by creating a rhythm pattern that you like and then changing the timing of each note or group of notes in the pattern.

You can do this easily using any instrument, not just guitar! You could use bass, piano, violin, cello, anything really.

By thinking about how the given rhythm pattern sounds, you’ll be able to figure out what notes fit with it and where they should go in the song.

It’s very easy to add some extra drum hits to match the rhythm pattern, which gives your song more depth. You can also take away or change parts to make the rhythm feel different.

Find the rhythm section

rhythm on guitar

The bass player is an integral part of your band! They play a very important role in supporting your lead guitarist by creating a steady rhythm for you to work with.

The bassist should be able to read music, know how to triplet down, and be able to sight-read simple pieces.
They must understand basic chords (such as G, Cm, or Am) and their respective tonalities.

Having a solid foundation in music theory will help them come up with cool rhythms and melodies that match your songs.

Interval training is one of the most fundamental concepts in music. This article has already discussed some basics about intervals, but let’s go into more detail and apply it to something practical.

Rhythm is defined as “the simultaneous beating of two different sounds or notes.” A perfect example is when your feet are tapping while you're listening to music. That's the same concept applied to music.

There are three main components to have a successful bass line. First, the note itself needs to sound good, second the timing between the notes needs to feel natural, and thirdly, the meter (how the notes are grouped together) needs to sync up with the rest of the song.

Learn to read chord charts

rhythm on guitar

Once you have learned how to play chords, what about reading them? This is one of the most important things for any guitarist to learn!

Reading music means knowing which notes make up each song, as well as their order in relation to each other. It also means being able to recognize songs by just hearing a few fragments of them.

Many people can listen to a minute or two of a song and be able to determine at least part of the artist’s name, but they are unable to tell you exactly what chords were used in the song.

This is very limiting for someone who wants to learn guitar because it cuts off parts that really help you develop your sound.

But it isn’t impossible! You can still learn some valuable tips that will help you become a better reader of music.

Sit down and practice

There is no way to truly know how to play guitar unless you sit down and practice, consistently. When you start playing, you should feel relaxed and able to play anything! This can be tough if you’re not used to practicing regularly, or if you’ve never played before.

Luckily, it's easy to get started. Many beginner lessons include both theory (learning music concepts) and technique (playing notes and chords).

You may also learn basic rhythm patterns, such as the one mentioned above. By mixing and matching all three components, you will quickly find yourself developing your skills.

envelope linkedin facebook pinterest youtube rss twitter instagram facebook-blank rss-blank linkedin-blank pinterest youtube twitter instagram