What To Do With A Rhythm GuitarPosted by Mike Schuck
“Rhythm” guitar is defined as playing with licks or patterns that contain short notes, long notes, dotted notes, etc., all within a set time frame. These rhythm licks can be done quickly or slowly, and some are even quasi-verses/refrains.
Some famous examples of rhythmic guitar licks include:
The Power Chord – repeated twice as quick as the rest of the chord
– repeated twice as fast as the rest of the chord The Circle Of Life - this one goes back and forth between slow and fast
– this one goes back and forth between slow and fast All Good Things - this one comes in groups of eight notes (octave)
These types of licks can be played either by yourself or as part of a more complex piece. Some musicians learn how to play them instinctively, but most have to work hard on it.
It is very important to know what key your song is in when learning these rhythms.
I practiced everyday
It is very important to understand that not every song you want to learn has a main rhythm pattern. There are some songs with only one or two short rythym patterns, but still have lots of music in them!
Most musicians count off during a piece either using the same number sequence as the main riff or using a new set of numbers.
By learning how to play these basic rhythmic patterns quickly, you will be able to start counting out rhythms for many different songs!
There are several ways to learn this. You can pick one that works best for you. Some people organize their notes by position, while others use the fretboard.
I built my own guitar practice space
When I first started playing music, there were very few resources available to help beginner musicians. Most gave lessons in a room with other students or private teachers that you had to pay for!
There are some great online courses and YouTube videos that can be helpful but nothing beats having your own personal practice space where you can focus completely on learning how to play your instrument.
I got this idea when I was around eight years old. My brother took up bass and he would tell me all of the cool tricks he knew how to do on his bass. He showed me one thing in particular which stuck with me forever.
He would hold his bass upright and then hit it hard with the pick as if it were a drum stick. Then he would put his index finger over the open string and press down firmly with his thumb while rolling his wrist upward – creating a percussive tone.
This technique is called tapping and it’s a really powerful way to learn how to play the bass. You can use a regular picked chord (where you pluck individual strings) or a tremolo bar (a lever that slides across the top of the fretboard to increase tension).
I have used both types in different songs and genres so it doesn’t matter what music you want to play, there are ways to apply these concepts to get familiar with the instruments.
I used a tutor
As mentioned before, there are many ways to learn guitar. You can take lessons at a music store or school, purchase an instructor-based curriculum, or find someone online via uTube, YouTube, and Facebook teaching courses or sharing tips and tricks with you.
Finding a good teacher is like finding a good friend – you have to look for things that work for you. For me, what worked was working one-on-one with an experienced guitarist.
I got my rhythm guitar from Amazon (yes, this made sense). I found Daniel through Music123, his site, and Instagram. He’s been teaching professionally since 2012 so he has some resources himself!
He’s very friendly and approachable, which makes it easy to connect with him. Plus, he works hard to make sure his students understand the material.
I learned to read music
When I was in high school, my friend Ryan asked me if I wanted to learn how to play guitar. At the time, I had no clue what he was talking about but something inside of me said “yes!”
So, we went out to buy a beginner pack of guitar strings (actually, two because you need both steel and nylon for starting off) and lesson books and software so you can practice without having access to someone who knows guitar.
We also bought a cheap pick that looks cool enough. And then we started practicing every day. It wasn’t much, I know, but it made a difference.
I picked up some basics- chords, rhythm, bass, melody- and now I can add some licks here and there and put together some songs. Who would have thought that buying a bunch of stuff could turn into an activity?
Guitar has changed my life. Not only is it one of the most satisfying activities you can do alone, but it teaches you about music and yourself.
It opens up new doors and experiences for you. It makes you feel good when you are able to play something you've practiced hundreds of times.
And not many things make you feel happy and relaxed… except maybe singing or playing an instrument.
Now, I don't consider myself a pro guitarist yet, but I'm working hard to get there.
I learned to sing along with recordings
My next skill was learning how to get rhythm! I got this idea from watching YouTube videos about getting into music as a beginner singer. What I noticed is that most people learn singing by listening to songs and using those lyrics to voice note patterns or song structures.
A lot of beginners also use tempo as their source of inspiration for practicing their vocals. What I realized later in my life is that you can simply learn how to get rhythm through studying music!
You will learn how to count, where each number goes, what time signature it is, and how to identify which notes are metronome beats and which ones aren’t.
I practiced playing to my own recording
A lot of people start learning how to play guitar by listening to music that someone else has created, then copying what they do. This is a good way to learn theory (harmony and musical structure), but it isn’t enough to truly master the instrument.
After all, you can copy something for your whole life without really understanding why you did what you did. You might be able to replicate the effects, but you won’t know why those effects were used in the first place.
I got rid of this mentality when I started teaching myself how to play. My inspiration was coming from the other side – I wanted to listen to as many songs as possible and figure out how to play them.
By doing this, I learned how to pick up new pieces of music quickly, which gave me another advantage over students who may not be as motivated to study.
I began to take my guitar to go with me
When I was in elementary school, I would spend hours every week practicing by myself outside or in our classroom. My parents would leave me alone so that I could focus fully on music.
I loved listening to songs and learning new chords and licks. It helped me feel more confident as a musician and gave me some inspiration for writing my own music.
As I grew older, I kept taking lessons but eventually I needed an easier way to learn how to play the guitar. So I invented something called the iGuruAcoustic method!
The iGuruAcoustic method is designed to be easy to follow for anyone who has beginner level skills on the instrument. I have taught this method to many people of all ages and levels.
It’s great because you don’t need any special equipment other than your own device (phone, laptop, tablet).
I got a good instrument
My current guitar is an inexpensive, plastic, stringed wonder that cost around $100. It has five strings with two bass strings and three treble strings. The first few times I played it, I was shocked by how easy it was to play!
My friend gave me this little guitar for my birthday last year (I am twenty years old). He said he wanted something cheap that would help me start playing music, so I picked out this one for myself.
Since then, I have learned many songs on this little guy! It helped me get into rhythm guitar because you can use any position of your hand or finger as a note. You do not need to know what notes are or which positions they go in order to play the guitar.
This article will talk more about the different types of guitars and some reasons why each type is important to learn.
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.
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