Guitar Lesson 13 – Working On Guitar Rhythm

Greetings, World once again! Finally we’ve passed this major course of guitar basics and now it’s time for one more point that is essential. Today we’ll cover tips working on guitar rhythm. We’ll talk how to do that and I’ll share some easy lessons with you so you can work on your right hand strumming technique.

I’ve included this lesson in basics, because I think that this is as important as any previous one. You need to work not only on your left hand, but also on right hand strumming.

You see, if you specialize only on your left hand, then right hand will lag behind. That will cause some problems while playing. If your strumming is week then your playing mates and audience will not like that. Do you want to look like fool to them?

I also had some problems with my right hand in early practice years, so I started to so some guitar rhythm lessons.


Can you play and sing Metallica’s “Nothing else matters” song? I have no doubt that you can play it. But can you play and sing it? It’s quite simple song, but the rhythm is unusual and not everybody can sing and play it at the same time. It requires thinking about right hand playing, singing and staying in the rhythm. If you can do it, then do it with Metronome to stay in timing.

To me, it took about 3 years of practice. I wasn’t doing that everyday, but it took a while to combine singing, strumming and timing all in one.

What I’m saying here is that “Nothing else matters” guitar rhythm isn’t quite simple as it might be, so it requires a lot of work. If you can sing and play at the same time this wonderful song, then you’ll be able to do that on any song in the World.

So, let’s do some pattern lessons.

Easy rhythm guitar lessons

It’s quite hard to explain these fundamentals in text, but I’ll try to do that as simple as possible. The best way to get familiar with is to get private lessons with guitar teacher or do it yourself using YouTube’s guide.

First what you need to do is to understand it by recognizing the beat or count in music. This is musical rhythm. Tap your foot along with any favorite song and count:

1,2,3,4 | 1,2,3,4 | 1,2,3,4 | 1,2,3,4 (most songs are written in 4’s).

That’s the basic that is very popular. There’re other more interesting and complicated, but we’ll not cover them here. Here’re some rhythms for guitar:

Example #1. Reggae rhythm

Reggae is built on 4 beat basis but it counts using half beats. It goes like:

1 + 2 + 3 + 4 | 1 + 2 + 3 + 4 | 1 + 2 + 3 + 4 | 1 + 2 + 3 + 4 |

I like to count it:

1 n 2 n 3 n 4 | 1 n 2 n 3 n 4 | 1 n 2 n 3 n 4 | 1 n 2 n 3 n 4 |

Try to count and tap your foot on numbers (don’t count on “n”. “n” are accents). Tap on the numbers only and clap on numbers and “n”.

Reggae rhythm is accented on “n” to highlight half beats and give music such a Jamaican groove. Try to play Dm and C chords from A string and accent on “n”.

The strumming will go like this:

Down n Down n Down n Down

Strum stronger on “n” and less on “down”. Do it slowly and feel the groove. Use Metronome in tempo of 50 or 40 and enjoy groove.

Example #2. Popular guitar rhythm in lot of songs

This is one is used a lot in many songs. Jimi Hendrix used it in his works. It’s quite simple and it’s on 4 beat basis.

It goes like:

Down | Down | Down Up | Down Up | Down | Down | Down Up | Down Up

For better understanding, it goes like this:

Down(1) | Down(2) | Down(3) Up(n) | Down(4) Up(n) | Down(1) | Down(2) | Down(3) Up(n) | Down(4) Up(n)

“Down” means that you strum down and on the “n” you strum up. Keep in mind that 1 (down), 2 (down) goes in 1 beat, but 3 (down) and “n” (up) also goes in one beat. That’s first 2 beats are single down strums and second 2 beats are double strums which goes down and up. Try count first until that rhythm goes automatically.

If it sounds really complicated, then try to count and clap this rhythm and only then play on guitar. It’s quite easy, but it’s really tough to explain in text.

Conclusion about the guitar rhythm

Well, here we’ve covered just two interesting strumming lessons that are quite popular nowadays. There’re thousands of them in the internet. The best way to learn them is to take some private lessons with teacher and watch Youtube.

When you do a rhythm practice, sing along with the chord like “Naah or Dooh”. It will help in developing your guitar ear and strumming at the same time. It’s very good example in guitar warm up or in practice. Do simple strums then try to do more advanced ones and don’t forget to sing along.

When it comes to learning the guitar it can be very tough to understand everything. But keep practicing and developing your skills and keep working on your rhythm guitar practice. In time all this will be pieces of dust.

Ok, now we’ve gone thru many lessons, there’s left one more that covers great summary about guitar basics right here.

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