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Unread 04-16-2013, 04:43 PM   #1
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Things to learn -Rhythm

So, been working on learning rhytm guitar, I know a few songs now, but I think I am lacking certain knowledge. I know several different chords (12-15 or so), I know a few strumming patterns, dduud, dddd, base-strum ect, kinda know the triplet one, for blues. I'm self teaching and can't figure out something to learn next. Learning new songs require a massive amount of work, dont take that wrong, I know guitar is hard work, I fully expected it. But it seems I'm missing some important point, there's gotta be something extremely important that I am missing on how to make it more fullfilling/easier for me to learn new songs. I'm not talking quite about power chords or more chords, just something, dunno. Maybe a few ideas? Been 4 months since i started

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Unread 04-16-2013, 04:48 PM   #2
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firszt thing first, do you play with a metronome?
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Unread 04-16-2013, 05:41 PM   #3
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No, I know I should, tried, but since switching between chords is still a little slow, I get thrown off by it. I'm gonna try practice with metronome during tonights session, been a while since I tried. However, I seem to be really on the beat when I sing amazing grace while playing, I think I tend to stay on beat pretty well when singing along. But gonna try metronome anyways, see if I'm getting better.

Why do you ask?
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Unread 04-16-2013, 06:27 PM   #4
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Cause I did not and it took me two or three years to fix it and I still have problems cause of it

want to save you as much pain as possible

Singing is okay... for now
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I honestly would have guessed the actual Kentl was mulletman and vice versa...
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Apparently, he gave you persistence by the truckload.
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Ok, the fact you spelled that right proves it.
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Unread 04-16-2013, 06:41 PM   #5
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I think a lot of your rhythm issues are probably connected to your chord transition issues.

That being said, I know a lot of people definitely advocate metronome practice. I've never done it, but it makes sense why it would be beneficial.
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Unread 04-16-2013, 06:41 PM   #6
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Get those chord changes down. There's that lull where you feel like you're not progressing, but you will. Throw in some-dare I say secular-songs that you know well to help. In the beginning, my secular to worship lead sheets were 3 to 1. Now they're 5:1 the other way. Get those chord changes down blind-folded, in the dark. And most importantly, practice how you plan on performing. I knew I'd be leading, so I've always practiced standing, with a mic in front of me, plugged in. Good luck.
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Unread 04-16-2013, 08:13 PM   #7
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Lol, VERY basic advice, and not complaining. I was thinking certain theory is what I needed.

Good news, I used my metronome during tonights session, doing pretty well staying on beat while during my chord changes, tend to go slightly fast every now and then. I'll be using it from now on if only just to keep steady. I'm getting pretty good at the changes, miss a beat or two on the majority of the changes, but I do know how important it is to not miss a bit, that'll come with practice. I am pleased with my progress since janurary though. I tried tapping my foot to the beat, but was instantly thrown off during my upstrum

Mathminick- I feel like I been in a lull for the past 2 months thought getting electric and dinking around would help, didnt. Doesn't help i can only get in good practice session at work; at home my kids clamber all over me. And as for the part Ill be performing? Either around a campfire or up on stage as backup, perferably with 1 arm raised, surrendering myself to the spirit... kinda hard to do that without 3 hands though. Problem I have with new songs, even ones I know by heart, I have trouble with strum patterns and changing, which I'm sure practice will help. Specifically, when I should be strumming, which words require a strum, which ones are ringing out, etc. Maybe my ears just don't percieve the guitar part well enough to hear it. Stuff like Amazing grace was rather easy to learn for me cause it was just guitar playing.

Sorry for being long winded, wished I could afford a tutor, so, thank you all for your advice.
Advice to myself-- Practice daily

P.S. Another problem, is trying to figure out the beat to songs, cause if I get the wrong beat and try to sing along it'll sound so weird to me...
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Unread 04-17-2013, 07:07 PM   #8
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Work on transitioning between the chords. Don't worry about songs for the moment, just start the metronome and go back and forth between, say, C and G chords until you can do it and keep the beat. Then throw in another chord. Go C-F-G-C and work until you stay on the beat. And so forth. Make up combinations and work on changing between them.

Now, for something to work on next. You say you've learned 12-15 chords, but you don't say what they are. If you haven't learned barre chords yet, that should be your next step. Learning the basic barre chords and how they work will open up the fretboard to you.

Also, as soon as you can start playing with other people. You'll learn much faster by playing with other musicians.
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Unread 04-17-2013, 07:38 PM   #9
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Ditto the playing with other people. That's how I GREATLY improved my strumming (technique and patterns). As for the worship during practice, as a leader I am "on the clock" during service, so often my practice sessions serve as my worship time. Stick with it. God is good. Glorifying Him is (and will be better) music to His ears. God bless.
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Unread 04-18-2013, 06:15 AM   #10
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I’ve often wondered how to teach rhythm, especially lately as I’ve been trying to teach my oldest son (7) how to play. For me, it has always been about “feel” rather than a certain strumming pattern or counting beats or whatever (never used a metronome). I can almost always pick up on the rhythm of a song before I even figure out the chord progression.

Anyways, before I start rambling here.
To the OP: definitely practice your chord changes and get them down. You don’t necessarily have to be able to change chords with lightning speed but you do need to be able to do it smoothly and cleanly. A little music theory could possibly help with this as it’ll help you be proactive as opposed to reactive in chord changes. What I mean is, you’ll know ahead of time what the next chord will most likely be, even if you don’t know the song well (most songs follow a certain pattern) and you will already be mentally ready for the next chord as opposes to “reading” the next chord on a sheet or whatever and then trying to process in your head where to put your fingers all the while trying to stay in time.

Also, listen to the song you’re learning and try to “feel” it; try to pick up on whether it has a smooth somber feel, an upbeat “happy” feel, a rockin’ vibe, whatever. Don’t over-analyze the strum patterns and beats. You don’t read a book by checking the grammatical structure of the sentences; if you do you’ll miss out on the story. I believe the same thing about music. It comes from the heart and soul, not the head (though “head” knowledge is definitely important). I might suggest that the reason you have an easy time with “Amazing Grace” is that it’s a song your intimately familiar with; you know the “feel” of the song.

Anyway, hopefully I’m not just muddying the waters here with my rambling. As a rhythm player I just wanted to add my observations on things.

Oh, and don’t fret (pun intended) about the work. I’ve been playing for 10+ years and have just recently been trying to really expand my skillset beyond rhythm playing. It takes a CRAP-TON of work for me to figure out lead parts to songs our lead guy just picks up on the fly . I completely understand the work aspect of it and as the father of 2 boys (7 and 4) I REALLY understand the “kids mugging you” problem! If you’re not blessed with an extraordinary amount of natural talent (I’m NOT!) then there are 3 things you’ll need to play well: practice, practice and practice. Keep at it: in my experience progress seems to come in waves.
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Unread 05-17-2013, 04:40 PM   #11
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thanks all for your information, answers, encouragement. I've kind of quit, but with the encouragement was really needed. Been trying to get back into practicing, but I working very little now and at-home there is no encouragement there. My wife's pregnant, and I'm very sympathetic, always tired Thank you for encouragment

A,C,D,E,G major. A,D,E minor. A, B,C, G 7. Few others, No barre chords. Any idea's on beginner barre chords or what popular ones I should pick up? Is Fmajor can be a barre chord? if so, working on that one, what a stretch (pun intended )
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Unread 05-17-2013, 05:27 PM   #12
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I sat down to practice a little and I thought of another exercise. Trying to switch chords in the middle of the measure or other points. You know with DDUUD, switching after the first U. Cause songs switch chords once, or even twice, during 1 measure, right? I think that might be useful, and never thought of to do by me. Cause the song I was trying to learn, I couldn't understant how 1 word was taking up the entire measure (whole pattern), then I realized that it's switching in the middle, the song seems to be flowing better now.

Thats not to say that 1 word will never take up an entire measure, I think "Tom Dooley" might be an example
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Unread 08-31-2013, 08:42 PM   #13
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Playing with a metronome will help you maintain tempo. What usually happens to bands is that they speed up when there is build-up. It happens to us a lot, since our drummer is kinda new. So maintaining tempo is very important.

Once you get that down, then start to feel the music that you play. Different songs will give you different strumming patterns, or maybe you won't strum, just pick, that totally depends.

Long story short: learn to change chords fast, learn to maintain tempo, then feel the music and play with your heart.
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Unread 10-16-2013, 04:12 AM   #14
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I know that this is an older post, but...

get this book - Rhythm Guitar: The Complete Guide, by Bruce Buckingham and Eric Paschal.

It's very thorough and easy to follow. I've used it with several students and had great results.

And has already been said...USE A METRONOME
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