How To Become A Tight Rhythm Guitar Player Quickly And Easily

by Tom Hess

You improve your rhythm guitar playing fast by practicing the skill of keeping time in your head. The following exercise makes your rhythm guitar playing tight by specifically focusing on improving this skill:

Step 1 - Create a drum track using musical recording software. Use the following restrictions:

  • Keep the music in 4/4
  • Make your drum track 16 measures long
  • Every other measure should be totally silent (Example: Measure one contains a drum beat, measure two is silent, the beat returns in measure three, measure four is silent, etc.)

Step 2 - Start the track and play a simple rhythm, such as 4 quarter notes (1 note per beat) or 8 eighth notes (2 notes per beat). Continue playing the notes while staying in time as perfectly as possible over the silent measures.

This forces you to keep time in your head when the beat is gone during the silent measures. Continue with this step until you are able to play perfectly in time for the entire 16 measures.

Step 3 – Arrange the track from step one so that the first measure contains the beat and the next two measures are silent. Then repeat this pattern for the whole track.

Step 4 – Repeat step two by playing over the newly arranged track.

Step 5 – Arrange the track from step one so that silent measures are inserted in a random manner.

Step 6 – Repeat step two by playing over the newly arranged track.

Step 7 – Go back to steps one and two to change the restrictions to include any of the following:

  • A new meter
  • A new amount of measures
  • Silence over different measures
  • A new rhythm to play on guitar (as simple or complex as you want)

Repeating this process continually makes your feel like a badass rhythm guitarist because you learn how to improve your timing in many rhythmic situations. This is really fun and you become more and more motivated to get better at it as you see yourself improving.

Want to play rhythm guitar like a pro? Read this rhythm guitar playing article and learn the main mistakes you need to correct in your playing.

Tom HessAbout Tom Hess: Tom Hess is a guitar teacher, music career mentor and guitar teacher trainer. He teaches rock guitar lessons online to students from all over the world and conducts instructional live guitar training events attended by musicians from over 50 countries.
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