Can't follow the beats
I am learning guitar from 9 months and know all about the basic open and barre chords. But playing with beats in not making any sense to me. I don't know how to practise with beats or how fast or slow should I play strumming pattern to match with the beats. Need a starting point to practise. Please help anyone.
Start by listening to the beats, and then play your chords one downstroke per beat. It gets easier from there
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I actually recommend finding the chords in a simple tune like Sublime or Bob Marley. Play those chords in the right order 1 chord per 4 beats (measure) then 1 chord per 2 beats (half notes) then 1 chord per beat. Then finally play along with the song.
Hope it helps!
How about using a metronome? I used to hate using one but now I simply love it and it doesn't help me very naturally get into keeping the beat.
I written something about playing rhythm guitar on my blog https://playgoodguitar.com/playing-good-rhythm-guitar and generally my whole site touches a lot of playing guitar as a percussion instrument as much as a stringed instrument.
HT, Founder of https://PlayGoodGuitar.com
I’ve only been learning for a few months but I’ve found the Justin Guitar app really useful. One of the things it has is an exercise for playing on the beats and a whole lot of songs you can strum along to on the beats as well. It gives you the strum pattern and tells you when to play the chord on the screen. I’m following the course and only have a few chords that I’m currently practising but the beat exercises/strumming songs are great. I already find I hardly need to look at the screen while I’m strumming to some of the songs. Must stress I am very much a beginner and I am talking about one strum for every four beats, but it does work and I can see how it will progress.
This is a common problem for a lot of guitarists, so you are not alone.
I'll explain my answer with reference to a metronome - this is a tool you can easily find and download by searching "free metronome" in the app store of your phone or tablet, or even on your desktop.
When playing with the beats (on a metronome), you are either playing on the beat (playing at the same time as a click), or off the beat (playing in the space between the clicks). Practising playing on the beat and off the beat separately will help your rhythm and timing when playing the guitar immensely.
As for how fast or slow you should play strumming patterns, I recommend playing them at a tempo (on the metronome) you can manage. Try a tempo of 70bpm to start with. If this feels too easy, then add 10bpm (giving you 90bpm). If this feels too slow, then minus 10bpm (giving you 60bpm).
For more information, you can visit my blog post on this very subject, by clicking the link below:
I hope this helps! If you want to find out more about guitar playing, I recommend visiting my website, by clicking the link below:
You need metronome. Check these
I'd advise you play something very simple over and over to work on this with perhaps just two or three chords, but something that is an actual song so there is some reward at the end. Off the top of my head, say a simple I,IV,V Blues. Before even touching the guitar, listen to the original song and count the bars (a bar is the duration of a single '1','2','3','4' count) all the way through to make sure you feel the beat in the correct place, and with an emphasis on the downbeat (i.e. the '1'). That 1 is your locking in point when you eventually pick up the guitar. Once you're happy just begin by strumming down the correct chord once per bar and just on each '1' of your 1,2,3,4 count.
Once this is second nature to you only then progress to strumming on any of the other beats in the bar, and ALWAYS be aware of the '1' coming round again and make sure that whatever happens you get the timing of that strum bang on.
If your 'feel' is good you may not have to worry about counting the other beats of the bar and checking that you strum perfectly on or between them. Otherwise maybe try strumming on the 3 too but with less emphasis than the 1. Gradually speed up over the days you practice and it'll fall in to place eventually to the point you just don't think about it any more.
Advanced high speed picking and fancy rhythm players subconciously use this same technique - so you are developing your long term ability here. Speed pickers call it chunking or grouping - the idea is that if you practice an intricate pattern over and over but emphasizing one point within it (the downbeat '1' most often), then your muscle memory completes the intricate bits automatically in between the emphasized points (mm is a term used to describe the feeling you get when you automatically play something without consciously having to think what it is (e.g. like how when you sing a song from the start you remember all the words, but if someone asks you to start from beginning of verse 2 you have to think really hard)).
Metronome might help you to solve the problem, and by the way: very nice blog about guitar lessons, will use it too!Thanks
Great post! Appreciate the advice here.