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Rhythm Exercises For Guitar To Get You Going
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Rhythm Exercises for Guitar to Get You Going

At this point in your musical career I’m sure, or at least hope you’ve heard of the mass amount of benefits of practicing guitar with a metronome. Many guitarists face the problem of having poor rhythm or timing in their playing. It is an all too common problem. The majority of books or teachers out there will tell you without thinking twice that using a metronome while practicing is an excellent way to improve the timing in your playing. This lesson will teach you rhythm exercises for guitar that will improve your timing, coordination and overall playing ability.

First, what is a metronome? A metronome is a device that’s been in use for far longer than any of us have been alive. You set the beats per minute, or BPM, on the metronome and the timing and the clicks give you the time. For example, if set to 120 BPM on 4/4 time, the metronome will click at 120 BPM and will click on every quarter note. So you will be counting 1, 2, 3, 4, 1, 2, 3, 4, etc.. Let’s say your metronome will only count on the quarter note but you want to play eight notes. No problem. You would just count 1-and, 2-and, 3-and, 4-and, 1... Fitting the “ands” just in between the two clicks. Practicing this way is one of the best rhythm exercises for guitar you can get in the habit of doing.

The Power of Progression

Using a metronome allows you to learn any of the exercises that will be discussed at your own pace. This is very important for the beginning guitarist. Being able to see your constant improvement and hear it is critical for motivations sake. The metronome allows you to gradually but noticeably increase tempo so you can be sure you’re playing clearly, with good form and at tempo. Let’s say for example you want to learn a rock guitar lick or finger exercise that is called to be played at 200 BPM but your fingers just get all jumbled together in a mess at 130 BPM. What you could do then is start at 100 BPM, master the lick there, then increase to 105 BPM, master it. Make sure each note is sounding clearly, there is no hesitation in your fretting and you aren’t feeling like you’re frantically playing catch-up. Continue this pattern until you can comfortably play the exercise at 200 BPM.

Listening Skills for Developing Rhythm

Another excellent benefit of using a metronome is that it builds the guitar players listening skills. What I mean by this is that in many genre’s of music now a large emphasis is put on improvisation and playing solos. When you're practicing playing guitar with a metronome you are training yourself to listen closely while you play your own riff; multitasking in a sense. Listening exercises are rhythm exercises for guitar that are often forgotten. They are all too important in music now. This is because if you stop listening to the metronome and drift off you could very quickly find yourself playing out of time or on the wrong guitar riff altogether. Or let’s say your improvising with a buddy and you stop listening to his riff or the drums you’ll stick out like a sore thumb.

There you have it. Hopefully this lesson has cleared up a few questions for you about using a metronome. Hey, maybe it’s even inspired you to clean yours off and take it out or go pick one up. Who knows? Anyway, if there are any grey areas or if you have any questions or comments on metronomes or rhythm exercises for guitar please feel free to leave them below. I’m always happy to help out.


Street Talk

I have bought these for my guitar players in the past. One thing that frustrates me is a player who never learned how to count! Good advice.

Reply
  about 5 years ago
  

Thanks Shawn! I agree, it can be rather frustrating trying to improvise in time with another musician who can't keep it for (..you know).. It throws the rest of the group off! I appreciate your comment, bud.

Reply
  about 4 years ago
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