Develop the Rhythmical Exercises!
The first 15 exercises are identical to the exercises you did at Beginner level, now we just use different chords.
When you can play an exercise, don’t forget to push the BPM!
Strumming Pattern 1-5
In the video below the chords played are G and C, but why stop there?
Try the same exercise but change the chords to D and A instead, does it feel different?
A great skill to develop is to become independent between rhythm and chord playing, so do experiment with changing the chords further than in the video exercise.
Strumming Pattern 6-10
Again, it’s the same rhythm as in beginner rhythm, but the chords have changed.
It’s now G D and C. In your own time, try other chords as well.
Strumming Pattern 11-15
The last basic strumming patterns and it should now be evident what a difference it makes to start changing the chords around.
The act of writing and playing your own patterns is unbeatable for improving your rhythmical understanding.
Don’t think too much about it, just write a random rhythm, try different chords, who knows, you might come up with something you could develop into a song!
16th note pace VS 8th note pace
As you can see in the image below, 8th notes can be played using either up or down strokes.
To play this well you have to decide what pace you are strumming at in order to get it right.
Never shall you switch between two different paces when practicing.
In bar one you can see how the back beat is played with an upstroke for the 8th notes. This is not gonna be easy to keep up.
In bar two you can see how by playing the 8th notes with only down strokes you keep the 16th note pace through out, this way enables you to always stay in time.
Let’s try this over a few rhythmical exercises.
16th note Pattern 1-5
These exercises are a sight reading, hand synchronisation and technical exercise all in one.
One of the best things you can do to further develop is to write your own 16th note patterns. Learn how in the Intermediate Guitar Course.
The more you get involved and put into rhythm practice, the more you will get out of it.
16th Notes Pattern 6-10
If the first 5 was easy, these next five exercises are a bit more tricky.
As long as you understand what the rhythmical symbols means in up and down strokes you should be OK.
Take your time, work out the pattern by playing along, compare your up and down strokes to the symbols. Once you can play these well, push the BPM!
16th note Pattern 11-15
The final rhythm exercises are definitely not as easy as they look!
Expect to spend some time on these before they start to sound natural and can achieve high BPM settings.
The final pattern use a grouping of three: Play a 16th, wait two 16th and then loops this formula.
The consequence of such a pattern is that we get the feeling of moving across the beat, this is called a cross rhythm.
To further get yourself into this concept; try grouping 16th notes in five and seven as well.
Taken to its extreme, rhythmical grouping becomes a new tempo. In Jazz this is exploited a lot, sometimes even disguised as a secondary tempo.
Learn more about rhythm in the Intermediate Guitar Course.
Conclusion Intermediate Rhythmical Exercises
These exercises were only the beginning.
To become great at playing rhythms you have to start writing your own exercises, honing in on whatever rhythm or combination of rhythms you struggle with.
To change the chords around when playing such a rhythm is vital for maximum development.
You also need real song examples so you can see how certain pattern loop better than others, how a Verse builds to a Bridge or how you get a sense of release in a Chorous.
The Intermediate Guitar Course give you plenty of this!