Tuesday, March 15, 2005

Getting Rhythm - Three Tips for Guitar Beginners

By: Darren Power

If you are just starting out learning guitar one of the hardestthings can be getting a good rhythm and keeping that rhythmgoing while you change chords with your left hand.When I first started learning guitar I would strum along happilyuntil the chord change and then my right hand would stop while Ichanged the position of the left.This makes your playing sound terrible. In fact if you can keepthat right hand strumming or picking the sequence, you willsound good. If you are a bit slow with your chord changes andstrum some open strings in between you will still sound good.But lose that rhythm and everybody knows that you are messing up.Here are my top three tips for getting past this learning stage.#1 Play open strings for the last beat in the bar so you havetime to change chord shape. For example if your are to play GG G G D D D D C C C C instead play G G G O D D D O CC C O where O is a strum of the open strings. Listen carefullyand you will notice a lot of guitar players do this. And itsounds just fine.#2 Move your body to the rhythm. When I started out I was toldto tap my foot to the rhythm. 1 2 3 4 1 2 3 4 1 2 3 4 I justcouldn't do it. It seemed like one more thing to remember andoverloaded my system. Then I learned to move my head to therhythm and immediately my timing improved. I would nod to thebeat and move side to side a bit as well. I guess it's justhorses for courses. You need to find what works best for you butif you can't tap your foot try nodding your head or evenbouncing the whole of the top half of your body. Get the beatrattling through your bones!*** Increase your tempo gradually one beat at a time. You canuse a metronome to keep time but I prefer a drum machine. I needto really hear that beat in order to know that I'm with it. Youcan get Metronomes and Drum Machines to download to your PC. Foran excellent free drum machine visit www.just-jammin.com . Onceyou have your drum machine, set it up so that there is a heavierbeat on the first beat in the bar. Then set a nice easy tempo.If need be start as low as 70 beats per minute. When you canplay your piece smoothly at this speed play it again at 71, then72 etc. You'll be surprised at just how quickly you can get upto full speed. About the author:Darren Power is your host at www.just-jammin.com where you willfind the best price on your new guitar along with reviews, news,competitions & articles.


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