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Thread: My rhythm sucks, help!

  1. #1
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    My rhythm sucks, help!

    I must have the worst rhythm in the world. I have trouble keeping a good rhythm playing songs with friends and by myself. I desperately need to get better if I hope to ever play in my friends' band. Does anyone have any tips that would help me improve my rhythm? Any advice would be greatly appreciated.

  2. #2
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    My best advice is to use a metronome. As well as playing the songs in time, try counting the beats, i:e for 16th notes, between each beat try get an even subdivison into four notes, so click(1) 2 3 4 click(1) 2 3 4. Try this with different notes in different subdivisons. And dont try go faster if you cant get timing right- but when you do, try speeding it up, although you will probably find, extremely slow is hard to divide to!

  3. #3
    Registered User Mike7771's Avatar
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    when I was starting out I had the same problem. Using a metronome really does help. You can find a metronome at my site if you don't have one. Also if you go into the Lesson Zone you will find 16 basic rhythm patterns that might help you out too.

  4. #4
    Registered User Gandalv's Avatar
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    Just make sure you think actively about playing every note in its right place when using the metronome. I improved quickly when I did this.

  5. #5
    Caffeine (ab)user Tenebrae's Avatar
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    Yup..that's what metronomes are good for. In portuguese we have a saying that goes something like "To be on top of the potato"...dunno a similar expression in english but it pretty much sums up the usefulness of the metronome when acquiring rythmic concepts.
    I myself feel a lot more at ease dividing rythms, feeling the rythm and so on since I bought a metronome...
    Buy one...fast...

  6. #6
    Registered User Gandalv's Avatar
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    It makes it possible to push your limits regarding speed as well, since you can make incremental increases in tempo, which you couldn't do when using your sense of rhythm alone. Also, you get a clear measure of how fast you are able to play different passages. Nice, huh?

  7. #7
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    I like using the metronome but also tapping my foot. Maybe have the metronome click four times per bar and tap my foot 4 times per metronome beat (in 4/4 time). Of course you could always just set the metronome to click 16 times per bar, but besides being unpleasant to listen to such frantic clicking, it makes you pay more attention to the beat when your foot is counting it out. I know, I always thought tapping your foot was something that only old codgers do when they play folk tunes or something, but it really does help, even with heavy metal. A lot of stuff sounds really cool if you hit it on the precise subdivision of the beat, and just sort of "yeah, whatever" if you're not accurate with it.

  8. #8
    Skeletor's gots da funk. Skeletor's Avatar
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    I started playing the drums, my rythym has improved on the guitar.
    Moi.

  9. #9
    /TheDarkSideOfTheGroove\ ROGUE_T's Avatar
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    try recording yourself?

    Metronome or drum machine definitely, but it is also a cool idea to record yourself and you can listen back work and out exactly where u lose it. May help u to figure out if particular chord changes or techniques are hindering u, then you'll know what may need more practice to help your rhythm. For me there is a direct link between technique and rhythm. The better able I am to pull off a particular technique, the less I have to concentrate on getting the techniques right and can concentrate on the groove.

  10. #10
    I love Guitar. UltimaRage's Avatar
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    Don't try to think about the rhythm, try feeling it instead. That's what helped me. Metronomes are very, very helpful also.
    Last edited by UltimaRage; 09-30-2004 at 05:35 AM.
    ~UltimaRage~

  11. #11
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    you can download metronomes on the internet to which play midi drums for the beat, and if you buy it ( the one i have at least ) you can change alot of settings like the sounds etc. Although you have to have the pc in the same room that you practice in and the monitor makes an annoying hum through your pickups.

  12. #12
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    There is a good way to practice rhythm. Turn on the metronome, put your guitar away and stand up. Start walking at one place to the speed of the metronome, one click one step.

    Then start clapping 8th notes.

    PHP Code:
       Count1  2  1  2  1  2  1  2      (countingloud or at least in your mind)
      
    Handsx  x  x  x  x  x  x  x       (clapping)
      
    Feet L     R     L     R   (walking)
     
     
    // After a while switch to 'offbeats' and leave out the first 8th:
      
       
    Count1  2  1  2  1  2  1  2
       Hands
    :    x     x     x     x
       Feet 
    L     R     L     R
      
     
    // Another pattern:
      
       
    Count1  2  1  2  1  2  1  2
       Hands
    x     x  x  x     x  x
       Feet 
    L     R     L     R
      
      
     
    // Or triplets:
      
       
    Count1 2 3 1 2 3 1 2 3 1 2 3 
       Hands
    x x x x x x x x x x x x
       Feet 
    L     R     L     R
      
       Count
    1 2 3 1 2 3 1 2 3 1 2 3 
       Hands
    x   x x   x x   x x   x
       Feet 
    L     R     L     R
      
       Count
    1 2 3 1 2 3 1 2 3 1 2 3 
       Hands
    x   x   x   x   x   x
       Feet 
    L     R     L     R 
    PHP Code:
      // 16th:
      
      
    Count1 2 3 4 1 2 3 4 1 2 3 4 1 2 3 4
      Hands
    x  x x x x  x x x x  x x x x  x x x 
      Feet 
    L       R       L       R
      
      
    // '3 against 4'
      
      
    Count1 2 3 4 1 2 3 4 1 2 3 4 1 2 3 4 1 2 3 4 1 2 3 4
     Hands
    x     x     x     x         x     x     x     x         
     Feet 
    L     R     L     R     L     R     
      
      
      
    // or ...
      
    Count1 2 3 4 1 2 3 4 1 2 3 4 1 2 3 4 
      Hands
    x     x     x     x     x   x
      Feet 
    L       R       L       R 


    At first this way to practice might sound silly (hey, I am a guitarist not a cheerleader), but it's a VERY good way to develope a good time feel, and to learn how to hear and feel different rhythm patterns. Memorizing, feeling and recognizing different patterns will help your guitar playing a lot.

    Sorry for the PHP-Codestyle, but that seemed to be the only way to keep the format of the posting

  13. #13
    iBreatheMusic Modthor phantom's Avatar
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    wahoo.. great first post piazza!

    i can see some people dancing buckethead licks

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by phantom
    i can see some people dancing buckethead licks
    Now that would be something I'd pay for to see

  15. #15
    iBreatheMusic Modthor phantom's Avatar
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    hmm.. i'd rather pay for cheerleaders playing guitar....

    ... they was a guitarplaying cheerleaderband called "phantom blue" back in the 80's 90's..
    oh dear.. i am not related ;-)

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