Much Ado About Rhythm: Part 3 [Beginner & Intermediate/All Styles/Technique]

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Much Ado About Rhythm: Part 3

This lesson is a branch from Area 3 from the Playbook for Beginners and Beyond main lesson. Visit the main lesson to see my philosophy on the five different areas of learning to play.


So we've talked about the basics of counting, pick and hand control and about basic strumming patterns. Your homework for this lesson is to put these three basic things together and practice the strumming patterns layed out in this lesson.

Next, find different songs that you know or are aware of that use each type of strumming patterns mentioned in Part 2. Plan on learning how to play some of those songs.

As an advanced homework assignment for intermediate players, learn to play the 16th note strumming pattern.


You'll be seeing songs using this basic pattern from me in future lessons here.


Now look at the lesson Form Chords and Switch Between Them Quickly found here at GfB&B. Select two or three different strumming patterns and complete the exercise found in that lesson. Remember, always learn to play cleanly, and don't settle for second best!


It's important that you take each basic and be comfortable with it and only then move forward to putting it together with the next basic. At this point I would say that Pick and Hand Control is something that's going to have to come only with time. Just be as comfortable as you can and then move forward with the rest of the examples. I want to see you playing the guitar right away. Not perfectly, just playing it and having a good time. You can see the three pieces of this puzzle (counting, pick and hand control, patterns), and you'll be able to put it together in the way that your mind operates.

Ahhh...You've made it to the end of this lesson! Congratulations! It's not that this lesson is tough, but believe me, it's one of the more important ones. Why? Because rhythm guitar is a trip that many guitarists miss when they learn. In order to be a great lead player, you must become a great rhythm player. If that's not enough, look at it this way: the rhythm guitar playing in a band is what I consider to be the most important driving force (I'm sure a drummer or a bass player might disagree!). The band looks to the rhythm player to set the style of the song. I am a strong rhythm player, so the band looks to me. A good drummer recognizes this. It's not that a good rhythm player takes over the band, no. It's that the good rhythm player knows when it's the right time to drive the beat and style, and when it's the right time to pull back and let other instruments shine.

If you're not up to the challenge of becoming the best and most steady rhythm guitarist you can be, you will most likely not succeed in becoming a great lead player.

Have fun with this!


For a great beginning look at strumming patterns, check out Neilsonite's lesson on Strumming.

Kirk also has a lesson on the basics of Strumming/Rhythm Guitar here at the site.

All the best today,


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