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Thread: Developing really good Rhythm?

  1. #1
    Registered User
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    Nov 2006

    Developing really good Rhythm?

    Can someone give me some good advice on developing my rhythm? I was told by some really good musicians the best way to learn rhythm and get a good feel and groove for music is to learn funk music especially and only by ear? I've also heard just learning drums is a great help? Would one of the best ways to develop a good feel and groove for guitar be by learning lots of styles which are rhythmically complicated?

  2. #2
    Registered User Malcolm's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2004
    Deep East Texas Piney Woods
    IMHO you develop rhythm by listening -- and strumming -- to a lot of songs. Best way is with fellow musicians in a band setting, next would be jamming a chord progression to your CD's. I'd stick with the type of music you like first and not go venturing off into other styles right at first.

    Once you get a pattern you like turn it into muscle memory by; deaden the strings by holding the neck say at the 7th fret and strum the pattern while watching TV. You will get a dead thump sound. After an hour's show that pattern will be in muscle memory and belong to you.

    Most backup guys/gals I play with have their three to four basic strums and then they mix and match them to the song being played. It's a feel thing IMHO. Shoot for your four basic patterns first then pick the one that fits the song being played. .
    Last edited by Malcolm; 11-26-2006 at 01:12 AM.

  3. #3
    Wordgirl: Jaded Musician jade_bodhi's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
    Southern USA

    listening to others

    Quote Originally Posted by Malcolm
    IMHO you develop rhythm by listening -- and strumming -- to a lot of songs. Best way is with fellow musicians in a band setting,
    I agree with Malcolm. Playing with records is good training (long venerated, too) but the best is playing with other people. One thing I've noticed is that the best rhythm players and the best fellow musicians are those who focus on what others are doing and try to fit in with that sound. Just as in conversation, the biggest bores in music are those who don't listen to what is going on and only play to hear themselves. Listening is the most important quality in a band member. Some players, it seems to me, just don't have the ability to focus on others.

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  4. #4
    Did I say that out loud ? joeyd929's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2006


    The more you play, the more you learn.... Just as an example of rhythm, check out this little "jam" I recorded that is just rhythm guitar part of 4 chords and I put some lead over it...

    I NEVER use a click track or metronome when I record. It is entirely off of my inner "whatever" that you tap into in order to keep time. Give a listen if you like....

    Rhythm comes from within......you gotta feel it in your body when you play...

    I just hit the record button and started playing the chords with a beat in mind...

    However, I do agree with you Jade....totally....I have played with band members and others that were clueless, what a difference it makes when they pay attention...
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    Last edited by joeyd929; 11-26-2006 at 06:13 PM.

  5. #5
    Artistically Bankrupt
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    I am the world's worst rythym guitarist. There, I have said it. Your youngest sister with the broken hand? She is better. Your great-grandmother who lost an arm in that garden tiller accident? She is better. Having said that, I have improved. How I do it is by recording myself with some digitally-accurate rythym source.

    Not a metronome, since it is too sparse for infertile soil such as myself. Rather, I fire up some percussion pattern on my keyboard, and record a drums + simple keyboard track. By simple, I mean a simple chord progression in something as light as 2/4 time. Hell, your grandaddy can nod accurately to that, right?

    Then, I record myself playing along with it. Not the hours of soloing fun we all like, but the minutes of trying to compete with the accuracy of a digital device. I'll simply match the keyboard. Even after years of playing in bands and recording, you will be shocked at how frequently you're off. At least I get shocked. But I believe I mentioned how badly I suck at meter, right?

    The embarrassment of such obvious errors will cause one to endeavor to clean up their sloppiness.

  6. #6
    Hacked Account widdly widdly's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    There are lots of exercises you can create with a metronome to improve your timing. Here are some that can be tricky but will help your sense of rhythm..

    1) Setting the metronome really slow, to play one click a bar or one click every two bars. This is a lot harder than it sounds

    2.) Treating the metronome as an off beat. For example if you are playing 16th notes, treat the metronome as the e. 1-E-and-a 2-E-and-a 3-E-and-a etc.

    3.) Playing scales in groupings different to the meter. For example play 16th notes but play a scale in goups of three ( a b c-b c d-c d e-d e f-..etc).

    4.) Repeat exercise three but don't start it on first beat, for example start it on the E.

    5.) Learn lots of bossa nova patterns, especially those that anticipate beats and have ties across the bar lines. Bossa Nova patterns usually have independent rhythms for the bass and chords and interesting syncopations...plus they sound great

    Also it is a good idea to tape yourself playing this stuff so you can check your groove. Sometimes it sounds ok while your playing but listening to a recording highlights all the slips
    Last edited by widdly widdly; 01-26-2015 at 05:11 AM.

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