1. Rhythm Awareness

1. Rhythm Introduction: Awareness of the beat

This video starts off with an insight that has helped me a lot in my sense of timing & groove, and that is:

To always have a physical pulse going on while playing. Preferably as much as possible, but at least while practicing.

A physical pulse can be:

  • Tapping along to the beat with your foot.
  • Counting out loud.
  • Banging your head to the beat.

It’s about synchronising your body to the groove, which always helps you to feel the rhythm much more. Of course it’s not possible to always apply this; while playing live, you want to walk freely, and you don’t want to think about moving your legs to the beat. But for practicing it’s a cool extra thing to apply, and you will see it really helps for your basic sense of timing. From there, you can build it up, and you’ll be able to do it while playing more complex stuff. With disciplined training, it gets to be an automatic movement which you don’t have to think about anymore: That’s where the fun starts!

Rhythm Exercises: Rhythm Pyramid

For an overview on the rhythms that I talk about in my lessons, I have created an exercise to get a good view on quarter notes, eighth notes and sixteenth notes, and their respective triplets.

It are simple exercises, but be sure to be able to play them, slowly and also fast. Practice each exercise separately, and if that goes well: do the whole exercise in one go: Exercise 1.5 combines all the switches (from eighth notes to triplets etc.) !

Guitar Pro Exercises:

  • Exercise 1.1: quarter notes, 8th notes and 16th notes.
  • Exercise 1.2: quarter note triplets
  • Exercise 1.3: 8th note triplets
  • Exercise 1.4: 16th note triplets
  • Exercise 1.5: mixing quarter notes, 8th and 16th notes, and their respective triplets.
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