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Guitar Lessons (855) EZ-GUITAR

  • Guitar Glossary


Rhythm

The steady, repeating beat of a piece of music. You can usually pick up the rhythm of a piece of music by listening to the drumming, but in some cases it will inevitably be more difficult.

Lessons for: Rhythm

1: Introduction to Rhythm Embellishments

  • Focus: Rhythm Guitar
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Earlier we looked at some ways to spice up or "embellish" the sound of our basic open chords by adding and removing a single note. In this tutorial we'll explore a similar concept, but now we'll use different rhythmic tricks to spice up the sound of our basic rhythm guitar playing. Let's get started!





2: Introduction: The Importance of Rhythm

  • Focus: Rhythm Guitar
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When many new guitar players first start out with a whole new style of music, they often focus purely on the notes, chords, and scales and forget about the secret ingredient that makes all these notes sound the way they do: rhythm! Rhythm is one of the most important elements in rock, and that's something most guitar players realize way too late. Because if you have a good understanding of the rhythms used in rock and a solid rhythmic feel, you can play world class rock guitar without really knowing that much about the notes. Ideally you'll know a lot about the notes as ...

3: Metal Rhythm Workout II: Intro

  • Focus: Rhythm Guitar
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In this tutorial I will give you 9 more rhythms that will help develop your metal rhythm playing. Just like in Metal Rhythm Workout I, I will just use an E power chord for all of the examples in this tutorial, but I really recommend that you take these rhythms and apply to your riffs, scales and chords as well. In this tutorial we will focus on syncopated rhythms and 8th note triplets.



4: Metal Rhythm Workout: Intro

  • Focus: Rhythm Guitar
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In this tutorial I will show you 9 example rhythms that are really good for developing your metal rhythm playing. For simplicity's sake, I will just use an E power chord for all of the examples in this tutorial, but I really recommend that you take these rhythms and apply to your riffs as well.





5: Upbeat Rhythm Embellishments

  • Focus: Rhythm Guitar
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Now it's time to check out what it sounds like if you only play every other eighth note, meaning the eighth notes in between the quarter notes. These are called "upbeats", and they have a very strong rhythmic effect that's mostly associated with a reggae sound, but often used in rock as well.





6: Rhythm Embellishments Practice Tune 1

  • Focus: Rhythm Guitar
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Now it's time to break down and play through a practice tune that uses all of these different rhythmic embellishments. First we'll break down the different sections, then we'll practice each of them slowly with the metronome, and finally play through the whole form with the backing track.





7: Rhythm Embellishments Practice Tune 2

  • Focus: Rhythm Guitar
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Now let's break down and play through another practice tune, but this time we're going to change up the form a bit. Not all songs have a separate section that works as a "chorus"; some songs just have the lyric "hook" built in to the end of the verse. So for this practice tune the form will be intro - verse - verse - outro (same as intro). I hope you've had fun with this tutorial on the rhythmic embellishments. It's always great to have several different ways to approach the variation in your playing, and the rhythmic approach to fills and variations is a very valuable t...

8: Metal Rhythm Workout III: Intro

  • Focus: Rhythm Guitar
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In this tutorial we will increase the difficulty, and add a lot more picking and and fretboard movement to our workout. I will teach you these rhythms and techniques: - The Gallop - The Reverse Gallop - Power Chord Slides Let's do this!





9: Syncopated Rhythm #1: Two Hits

  • Focus: Rhythm Guitar
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In this first example, we will play the first and the fourth 16th note in the bar.







10: 8th Note Rhythm #1: Starting Simple

  • Focus: Rhythm Guitar
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We'll start simple. Two 8th note hits starting on beat 1, and two 8th note hits starting on beat 3.







11: 8th Note Rhythm #2: Add One More

  • Focus: Rhythm Guitar
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Here we add another 8th note before the downbeat.







12: 8th Note Rhythm #3: Three Twos

  • Focus: Rhythm Guitar
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In this example we'll play three groups of two 8th notes. After the first and the second group, we rest one 8th note. After the last ones there's no more room in the bar, so we don't rest before looping it.





13: 8th Note Rhythm #4: Fill The Bar

  • Focus: Rhythm Guitar
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No rests here! Really try to focus to get even spacing between all the 8th notes. You don't want to speed up or slow down. This is harder than you might think!





14: 16th Note Rhythm #1: Groups of Two

  • Focus: Rhythm Guitar
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Now it gets trickier, because we will play 16th notes at the same tempo as before (90 bpm), meaning we have to pick twice as fast. A slower version (70 bpm) of the backing track for this lesson can be found here.





15: 16th Note Rhythm #2: Groups of Three

  • Focus: Rhythm Guitar
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Here we replace the first 16th note rest with another 16th note hit. So we play 3, rest 3, play 3, rest 3, play 3, and rest 1. 3+3+3+3+3+1=16. A slower version (70 bpm) of the backing track for this lesson can be found here.





16: 16th Note Rhythm #3: Groups of Four

  • Focus: Rhythm Guitar
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Again we remove one rest, and replace it with a 16th note hit. When we loop this bar, there's no rest in between, and we end up playing eight 16th notes without any rest, which can be a bit tricky at this tempo. A slower version (70 bpm) of the backing track for this lesson can be found here.





17: 16th Note Rhythm #4: Two Fives & a Four

  • Focus: Rhythm Guitar
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Here we will remove yet another rest, so we'll play five 16th notes, rest one, play five, rest one and then play four 16th notes to complete the bar. 5+1+5+1+4=16. A slower version (70 bpm) of the backing track for this lesson can be found here.





18: 16th Note Rhythm #5: Fill The Bar

  • Focus: Rhythm Guitar
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No rest here! This time we will play non-stop 16th notes, which is pretty hard if you're sticking with downstrokes. If it's too hard, lower the tempo. A slower version (70 bpm) of the backing track for this lesson can be found here.





19: Bluegrass Rhythm Strum 16th Notes With Fills # 1

  • Focus: Rhythm Guitar
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This is the same strumming pattern, but we are adding the fills in between chords. If you're not familiar with the strumming pattern, check out Driving Bluegrass Rhythm: Strumming 16th Notes Starting in the G chord here, and again I'm adding the D note in the 3rd fret on the 2nd string. I got this from Tony Rice, but I'm sure others have used this too. Play almost two measures of the G chord, and then you'll walk into the C chord, or the 4 chord in the key of G. Walk back to the G chord, and play the last measure in G. ...

20: Bluegrass Rhythm Strum 16th Notes With Fills # 2

  • Focus: Rhythm Guitar
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In this one I'm going to the 5 chord, and again adding fills in between the chords. If you don't know the strum yet, check out Driving Bluegrass Rhythm: Strumming 16th Notes I started with the G chord for this one too, and again I'm adding the D note in the 3rd fret on the 2nd string. I picked this up from Tony Rice, but sometimes I use the basic G chord too. Play almost two measures of the G chord, and then walk into the D chord, or the 5 chord in the key of G. Walk back to the G chord, and play the last measure. I'm...

21: Bluegrass Rhythm Strum 16th Notes With Fills # 3

  • Focus: Rhythm Guitar
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In this lesson we put all this together, and play the full 1, 4, 5 progression in the key of G Start out in the G chord for almost two measures, and walk into the 4 chord. Go back to the 1, and then to the 5 chord. Go back to the 1 chord, and play the last measure. Use up, and downstrokes with the pick, but remember to play the fills with downstrokes. You should also be able to recognize all these strumming patterns, when you hear them used. The next tutorial will cover ways to use these strumming patterns, to drive the rhythm of a song. If you...

22: Bluegrass Rhythm Strum 16th Notes #1

  • Focus: Rhythm Guitar
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Driving Bluegrass Rhythm Strumming 16th Notes This is another boom chick strumming pattern, that can also be used in medium tempo bluegrass songs. I'm using the G chord for this, and again adding the D note in the 3rd fret on the 2nd string. I'm using downstrokes, and upstrokes with the pick. This is also a 16th note strumming pattern, but there's no ghost strum in this one. If you don't know what this is, check out Driving Bluegrass Rhythm At A Medium Tempo Play the 6th string with the pick, and then an upstroke o...

23: Bluegrass Rhythm Strum 16th Notes #2

  • Focus: Rhythm Guitar
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This is the same strumming pattern, but here I used the basic C chord. This is also referred to quite often, as the 4 chord in the key of G. I'm also alternating the bass notes in this one, using the ring finger to move from the 5th to the 6th string. I'm using downstrokes, and upstrokes with the pick here too. There's no ghost strum in this one either, and If you don't know what this is check out Driving Bluegrass Rhythm At A Medium Tempo Play the 5th string with the pick, and then an upstroke on the bottom 3 or 4 str...

24: Bluegrass Rhythm Strum 16th Notes #3

  • Focus: Rhythm Guitar
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Again this is the same strumming pattern, but here I used the D chord. This is also referred to quite often, as the 5 chord in the key of G. I'm using downstrokes, and upstrokes with the pick here too. Again there's no ghost strum in this one, and If you don't know what this is check out Driving Bluegrass Rhythm At A Medium Tempo Play the 4th string with the pick, and then an upstroke on the bottom 3 or 4 strings. Strum the same strings with a downstroke, and then another upstroke. Then play the 5th string, and strum the str...

25: Bluegrass Rhythm with Fills #1

  • Focus: Rhythm Guitar
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I'm sure you know the strumming pattern by now, but we are adding some fills in between chords. If you don't know the strum yet, check out Driving Bluegrass Rhythm At A Medium Tempo I started with the G chord for this, and I'm adding the D note in the 3rd fret on the 2nd string. I got this from Tony Rice, but I'm sure others have used this too. Play almost two measures of the G chord, and then you'll walk into the C chord, or the 4 chord in the key of G. Walk back to the G chord, and play the last measure. When you go ...

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