Guitar Techniques - - USER GUIDE -

Rhythm gui­tar

One of the most im­por­tant as­pects of play­ing good rhythm gui­tar is to keep the strum­ming hand mov­ing: up and down, in time, re­gard­less of whether it is needed to hit the strings or not. If you keep the strum­ming hand mov­ing it works very much like a pen­du­lum. It is very dif­fi­cult to nail a groove con­sis­tently by guess­ing with sin­gle strums here and there. Us­ing the strum­ming hand to ‘ghost’ the rhyth­mic sub-di­vi­sion is a far more me­chan­i­cal way of mak­ing sure your time-keep­ing is sound. Check out the funky, Em7 verse groove in our Mi­nor jam.The rhythm part is a re­peat­ing, two-bar pat­tern that is played with a 16th note (semi­qua­ver) feel. This means that all the eighth notes are played with a down stroke and the 16th notes that fall out­side of this are played with up stokes. The funky rhythm also starts on beat two; this may throw you if you are used to play­ing mu­sic that pre­dom­i­nantly starts on beat one. The length of the chords is also a fac­tor and can be con­trolled with the pres­sure you ap­ply with the fret­ting-hand fin­gers. If you re­lease the pres­sure of the fret­ting hand but leave the fin­gers in con­tact with the strings, the chord will be cut short and the strings will be muted. The last two strums of the Em7 part are stac­cato (played short) so as soon as you press down to fin­ger the chord it will be time to lift off.

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