Read, Write and play rhythms on the guitar
Play along exercises and guitar lessons
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Rhythmical exercises in the course
Learn how to read rhythms with simple video lessons
Playing rhythms on the guitar is easy to understand. All you need to do is pair the rhythms with up and down strokes. As long as you do this you can always work out how to play any strumming pattern.
Before we dive into playing some beginner rhythmical exercises using easy to follow video lessons, let’s first ensure we understand the basics of notated rhythm.
These are the basic rules.
- All rhythms are named after being in the time signature of 4/4
- When a note lasts a whole bar of 4/4 is called a whole note as it lasts for all 4 beats.
- A note that lasts half a bar of 4/4, or two beats, it is called a half note.
- When a note lasts one beat it is called a quarter note since there are four of these in one bar of 4/4.
- A note that lasts half a beat is called an eight-note since there are eight of these in a bar of 4/4.
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Strumming exercises 1-5
The pendulum movement
If you play rhythms that contain whole notes, half notes, quarter notes, and 8th notes then your strumming hand/arm needs to work as a pendulum at 8th note pace.
No matter what length of notes you are playing, as long as the shortest is the 8th note, move at an 8th note pace.
When you start seeing the connection between rhythmical symbols and up and down strokes you are learning how to read music.
As well as learning how to read rhythms, the pendulum movement will keep you in time so make sure your right hand never stops moving, like this:
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Strumming exercises 6-10
When you can play the super basic rhythms in example 1-5, you need to start adding rests. As you play along with example 6-10, make sure the pendulum movement is never interrupted.
Do not mute the chord with the strumming hand. Mute with the fretting hand.
Here are the final five exercises.
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Strumming exercises 11-15
The last exercises shown here contain more rests and some ties. Simply play along with each video to understand the notation.
Do not, under any circumstances, interrupt the pendulum movement. Keeping it going is what will keep you in time as well as reading this correctly.
When you feel comfortable playing all these, try another 30 at intermediate rhythmical exercises.
Remember, these are simple reading exercises, designed to get you to understand how to play using rhythmical symbols.
To get good at playing rhythm guitar, you must learn songs and whatever rhythmical lessons that comes with the song.
For the beginner, there is lots to cover, below you find some lessons from the beginner course where this is discussed in more depth.
Strumming a G chord
In the video lesson, I’ll reveal that there is more than one way to fret this simple chord.
Go to Strumming a G chord.
Muting When Strumming
Use the chords G, Em, Am, C, and D over each example as demonstrated in the video lesson.
Go to Muting when strumming.
Strumming At Different Paces
Being able to read rhythms is an essential skill. Ensure you fully understand everything in this step.
Go to Strumming at different paces.
16th note Strumming Exercises
This is something you will do a lot of when playing the guitar so learning how to read and play them well is imperative.
More 16th Note Exercises
These are not very musical, but they’re great for your strumming technique.
Go to More 16th note exercises.
Practice 16th note rhythmical exercises
Practice these and you will find strumming much easier.
What exercises should you practice to warm-up and improve your technique? How do you understand and change the key of a song?
Go to Beginner Guitar Exercises.
Not only will learning songs help you with switching between chords and improve your rhythm playing. Songs also hold the key to how music works theoretically.
Go to Beginner Guitar Course.
Beginner Acoustic Songs
Go to Beginner Acoustic Songs.
Including detailed, but bite-sized explanations on how the music theory of each song is applied to the neck.
Go to Monthly Subscription.