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Introduction to rhythm guitar

What is rhythm on guitar?

Hello everyone, today we're going to talk about rhythm on the guitar! No, don't go, you'll see, rhythmic music theory can be really fun and it's not that complicated!
Wondering what to play? At what moment ? How long ? We explain to you what you are playing and when you should play it. But also what is the pulse and the tempo. What are the measurements for? How do we place times in measurements?

Topics Covered in Guitar Rhythm

In order to answer this question, in this course we will cover the following topics:
1-What is this music theory guitar rhythm?
2-What is pulse
3-What is tempo
4-What are the measurements?
5-What are times?
6-What are symbols in rhythmic music theory?
7-What is the metronome?
To begin to approach the subject of rhythmic music theory on the guitar, you can look at the music in the following way.

Rhythm guitar: On the one hand you have “what am I playing?”

These are the notes and the chords.
Basically it comes down to asking everything or should I put my fingers on the guitar neck or on my instrument whether it's guitar, bass or piano. Also what note should I sing if my instrument is my voice.

Rhythm guitar: Then you have “when do I play it?”

Those are the rhythm values played. For example, as a guitarist, you may have spent hours on your left hand. Well when do I play it comes back to wondering what should I do with my right hand?
At what rate do I agree?
In the same way that we have ways of writing how you should place your fingers on the fretboard we also have ways of writing when you should play.
we in rhythmic guitar music theory are only interested in the question when do I play.
the goal is to learn to read this writing so that it becomes as natural as reading the pages of a book. Or a tweet if you prefer! Everyone has their own type of reading. Before embarking on deciphering this obscure language, we will take two minutes to explain how we find our way in time in music and the vocabulary we use.

Rhythm on the guitar: Concept of pulse

The notion of pulsation or pulse is not really that abstract. We've all nodded our heads when we listen to a song we like. When you do this, it supports the feeling of the beat of the song you are listening to.
So if you already have that, you are already familiar with what we call pulse in music!
Now you will have noticed that the pulse is more or less rapid from one piece to another.

Rhythm on the guitar: The tempo

What determines the speed of the pulse is the tempo.
It is expressed in bpm. Which means beats per minute. The higher the number, the more beats per minute and the faster the pulsation. So to mark our piece we have a beat at a certain speed. Previously we talked about measurements.

Rhythm on the guitar: Measure

A measure is a bunch of three or four beats. Whether it's three, four or five beats depends on what we call the time signature. We'll talk about it later in another lesson! For now we will admit that we are working on measures of four beats.
Because yes, now that we are starting to organize and count the pulsations we can start talking about time.

Rhythm on the guitar: Measure

Before you can say this is when I play, you agree that we already have to find a way to find our way in our piece. In fact, if you want to get your bearings in the month to come, you will count the days and collect them during the week.
In music, we count pulsations and group them into measures.

Rhythm on the guitar: The times

When we are within a measure we will rather talk about the first and second of the third or the fourth beat. The pulse is more of a sensation.
So to return to our basic subject we now know that our piece is a sequence of measures. They each contain a certain amount of time. And that we can more easily find our way in the piece by counting the measures.
So now that we are able to position ourselves correctly in our song we will be able to start looking for where we should place our chords.

Rhythm on the guitar: Reading and rhythm symbols

In rhythm guitar music theory we will learn to read the symbols which are written in the measures and which will allow us to know which beat should be played or not. On the other hand, you don't necessarily have someone available all the time to beat you while you work on an exercise. To do this, we invented a long time ago this instrument, much more precise and regular than man, for beating time. I named: the metronome.

Guitar rhythm: Metronome

the metronome is your friend. Metronomes are not complicated to use. There are relatively few possible errors in handling. In fact, you just have to enter the tempo, the speed at which you are working and the number of beats in your measure. The first time is marked by an audible and visual signal. It allows you to identify when you need to start a new measurement.
For more details, check out our free online metronome course.