Strumming II | Will Edwards | Skillshare
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15 Lessons (54m)
    • 1. Introduction

    • 2. Strumming Overview

    • 3. Tapping & Counting

    • 4. Note Values

    • 5. Finding Beat "1"

    • 6. Measuring Time

    • 7. Subdivision Breakdown

    • 8. Upstrokes & Downstrokes

    • 9. Mixing 2's and 3's

    • 10. Feel & Groove

    • 11. Better Practice Time

    • 12. Emphasizing Subdivisions

    • 13. How to Practice

    • 14. Counting Tips

    • 15. Wrap-Up

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About This Class

If you're a guitarist trying to improve your strumming - timing, consistency, upstrokes, etc. - then this course will show you how.

I've taught hundreds of thousands of students (in person and online) how to tighten up their strumming and develop an intuitive (fun) capacity to strum without having to think too much.  This course is the training and if you practice the material included then you'll also develop the ability to strum with better timing, the right down/up strokes and general have more fun and less frustration strumming your guitar!

In this class I'll cover the following crucial elements:

  • How to keep time, finding the "1" and understanding 'groove'
  • Note values (1/4, 1/8 and triplets)
  • Tips for consistency and better timing
  • Practicing and counting a beat with a metronome
  • Method for practicing and really getting better

If you've tried to improve your strumming and come up short, don't worry :). That's happened to a lot of players.  The key to overcoming strumming problems is knowing what to practice and then doing it every day.  Most students see considerable improvement within a few practice sessions and certainly within a week.

Part of the challenge is knowing what to practice, but another part of the challenge is understanding musical time, beats and note values.  This course will explain all of that with easy to follow demos and graphics.  Thanks for checking out my course - I look forward to having you take my course!

Meet Your Teacher

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Will Edwards

Artist. Creative Problem Solver. Musician


I am a full-time professional musician who has broad teaching experience with guitar & bass students in rock, blues, jazz and many other genres. I perform live on bass, guitar and keyboards.  In addition, I perform live electronic music improvisation.  I've devoted over 26 years to my own well-rounded musical education, focusing on a mastery of all aspects of modern music - from music theory to ear training; from live performance to composition and practice routines.

I specialize in bridging the gap between music and technology, focusing on using modern tools to demonstrate all aspects of music.  I compose and perform with Ableton and Push 2 and I have experience with Cubase, ProTools and Logic.  I'm extremely comfortable using web-based to... See full profile

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1. Introduction: Hi, my name is Will. I had been playing guitar long, long time and I've been a teacher for a long, long time. One of the things that we talk a lot about in my private lessons, strumming, right? Because a lot of people want to learn guitar so that they can basically play around the campfire, right? Play their favorite songs with their friends, or to play music for their friends or family. And strumming chords. Although maybe grabbing the chords with your fretting hand might be something you can do. A lot of guitarists, even at the intermediate level, are struggling with timing, consistency, good groove, good rhythm. So we're going to talk about some of those things in the upcoming lessons, feel and groove. We're going to talk about mixing 2s and 3s. So when are things broken down into eighths and sixteenths, and what are they broken into triplets. And what does that sound like when you mix those will kind of emotion, does it convey? And how to, how to think about and work with these intellectual principles of rhythm. But all of this is to serve a good practice habit, right? So that when you're done with these lessons, it's not just going to be some facts and figures that you've been introduced to. But it's actually framing up a method and a paradigm and outlook, a mental picture of what good practice is, how to approach practicing and how to approach rhythm so that you're always, constantly getting better. So that's all coming up in the upcoming lessons and let's get started. 2. Strumming Overview: In the next several lessons, we're going to die pretty deep into the concepts that allow you to develop good rhythm. Rhythm is one of the very, very, very most fundamental aspects of music and the most non negotiable if you don't have good rhythm, nothing else, you know, no other techniques, no other advanced skills are going to save your music. I'm afraid to say rhythm is absolutely key. Now if you play the wrong notes, play it with a good groove, I can tell you that more people will find that acceptable. Then if you are playing the right notes with lousy or sloppy rhythm. Okay, So the focus of the next several lessons is to help you understand. First of all, the rhythm is very, very, very important. But arm you with the tools to develop good rhythm because to just say will you need good rhythm really isn't that helpful. So the next several lessons are going to break down step-by-step and targets specific things you can do, show you how to practice them so that you can develop better rhythm. And I promise you if you follow the steps that I lie, layout here for you, you will develop better rhythm, okay? You don't have to have perfect rhythm. You don't have to be the best on the block. You just have to have good constant rhythm. You have to be used to taking an external input like a drummer or another player or a metronome in the case of practice routines. And internalize that information and play in sync, in synchronization with it. Okay? But I'm going to show you how to do all of this so you just follow the next several lessons. And you'll see for yourself what practice and you'll see yourself getting better. 3. Tapping & Counting: The first thing you wanna do when you're trying to establish good rhythm is keep time. Now, those may sound like the same thing, but we're gonna talk about tapping our foot specifically. Okay. So there's the thing is that if let's say you're in the car, you're driving, you're listening music, and you start tapping your hand on the steering wheel. Okay, most people will do that intuitively. It doesn't mean they have musical training. The point here is that our bodies can grasp of rhythm and can repeat it in sync with it with a remarkably accurate level of attention, right? You can, you'll find that if you can just surrender your attention to your body, that you'll start sinking a rhythm right away. Okay, So it's really important to understand. You don't necessarily have to think about all of this in your mind. You can just go straight to your body and get that pulse. But keeping time starts with tapping your foot. Okay. And I'm going to be very insistent and as I've been with all of my private students that you tap your foot on the pulse. I'm going to talk about that with the pulse is and finding the one and a little while. But you want to tap your foot all the time. Now let's continue on. 4. Note Values: All right, so when we're trying to keep time, the first thing we need to identify as basic node values, okay? Now let's say we're using a metronome at 60 beats per minute. In this example, I'm going to start my metronome and just have you follow along. So I've got a basic metronome here, ticking along at 60 beats per minute. Okay? But you want to do is tap your foot right on the clicks. This is what I was talking about. When you drive in a car, you're listening to a song on the radio, you'll maybe tap out your hand on the steering wheel. Just let your body kind of give you direction here. You want a channel in a tapping your foot. You don't want to tap your heels so much because you don't want to bring your legs up as you're playing guitar, It's kind of disconcerting to tap your toe so that your foot goes down. Every time there's a click, Okay. We're going to call these quarter notes in terms of note values. These are quarter note. And if you listen to my metronome, one of the clicks sounds different from the other cliques and probably your metronome is going to be the same. So we've got our foot tapping down on the clicks. These are quarter notes. We're going to introduce the idea of eighth notes. So an eighth note is when your foot comes up. All right, so we got and, and, and, and, right, that's where eighth notes are. So you don't want to tap eighth notes because your photo get pretty tired and it'll be difficult also disconcerting. Well, I'm just tap the quarters but be aware of where the eights are. And, and, and, and 1234. And those are eighth notes. And maybe practice actually counting along with the metronome, okay? So those are your essential note values that you want to know to get started with your quarter notes in your eighth notes. And if you're tapping your foot, they're very easy to find because the downbeat is the onclick when your foot goes down and the upbeat is when your foot comes up in-between the beats. Okay? So practice that just set the metronome is 60. Try to actually get a high level of accuracy tapping your foot before you move forward. Okay, with, in terms of rhythm instrument, quarter notes and eighth notes are absolutely essential. 5. Finding Beat "1": Now, when you are playing real music, one of the most important things to do once you can keep time and you're tapping your foot along with the beat, whether it's a metronome or a drum machine, or an actual drummer, or even another instrumentalists. It doesn't necessarily have to be percussion in music for there to be rhythm. But the next thing you wanna do is find the one. Okay, what do I mean by this? Well, when we're listening to my metronome, there is a different click right there, 2, 3, 4. One. We call it the one because it's basically indicating the beginning of each measure. We're listening to music right now, our rhythm rather in 44 time, meaning there's four beats, 1, 2, 3, 4 before they repeat. 2341234. And you want to get used to this idea of only counting up to four and then starting again when you're dealing with for, for music, we're going to be using 404 here because by far it's the most common that you'll encounter. And it makes kinda starting to learn this stuff very easy. But there are other time signatures like 34, in which case you'd count 123123123. In other words, the one would come around. Every group of three beats are here we're talking about for, for the one comes around every four beats, okay? There's another way to find the one. If you don't have a metronome, obviously making a different sound on the one beat. And that is when you playing guitar or you play music with people, we playing along with a recording or something. Typically when the chords change will be a one. So what you'll hear for example, is the chords will too, the four chain 2, 3, 4, and change to the fore and change even if there is complicated or rhythm. One, One, One, right? So even if the strumming patterns kind of interesting and a little more complicated than just playing like a metronome. Chords typically change on the one. Okay, so that's another way you can find the one that's continue on with other lessons. 6. Measuring Time: Now it's time to introduce a concept called duple and another concept called triple. What are duple and triple? These are kind of academic terms, but they really help us understand the mechanics of keeping time and that's going to come in handy when we're trying to strum more complex patterns, right? So basically, when we're listening to our metronome, we talked about in the last lesson. Using those upbeat and, and, and that's eighth notes where we're taking every beat and we're dividing it into two subdivisions. So we're taking 12341234, n, and so on. We're actually taking the beats. We're dividing them into two smaller parts, right? And then we're playing evenly and we call those eighth notes. That's duple because we are dividing things into two, but we can divide things into threes. So if we were to do that, the easiest way to vocalize this is triplet with the word triplet, which is what a triplets called, but it also can be pronounced as a triplet. So this isn't how that would sound to triplet, triplet, triplet, triplet, triplet, triplet, triplet, dot-dot, dot-dot, dot-dot, dot-dot, dot-dot, dot-dot, dot-dot, dot-dot, dot-dot, right? So we are dividing each beat now into three parts. Now the most important thing to realize about duple and triple is that every conceivable rhythm can be broken down into duple and triple concepts. Either you're taking beats and you're dividing them into some number divisible by two. Or you're dividing them by some number divisible by 3, one or the other. Those are the only two options. Now, there are some variations, like for example, if you're playing some styles of music, you might be dividing things into fives or even seven's. Generally that's very advanced. So we're not going to be covering that here. But also that's not common enough for it to really have its own academic term like duple and triple. Dividing beats into twos and threes is so common and so ubiquitous. That duple and triple are something that everybody talks about. Okay, So now we're gonna move forward in the next lesson and talk about subdivisions, duple and triple subdivisions a little more in depth and start to understand how these concepts start to make music and can relate to our strumming and developing good rhythm. 7. Subdivision Breakdown: So now we're going to review basics of subdivisions. Okay, So we talked a little bit about downbeats and upbeat. Your foot going down and up. So one of the reasons you want to tap your foot. We also talked about duple and triple, so dividing beats in twos and threes. Now I want to give you some examples of how these subdivisions actually work in music before we get started with some strumming rhythms. Okay, so let's take again my basic metronome here at 60 beats per minute, and I find the 112341234. And I, let's say that I wanted to divide this sub-divide these beads into twos and using duple. And I'm going to play. What I'm playing isn't important here. What's important is that you can hear the sound of aids. I've taken what amounts to four clicks. But I'm creating eight different attacks. Attack is aware that we use to describe when we actually sound. And node 12341234123412341234. And hope that my demonstration there gives you a foundation for understand what I'm talking about in terms of subdividing into twos. Another word for the rhythm that I just played is an eighth based rhythm. Now I'm gonna do it based on triplets. Okay? So if we've got one trip, that T2 chip, that three triplet for chip, but one chip that, to check that three triplet, triplet, one term blend to jab blend, three triplet, forger blood. You kinda know, this swung be. Or this rhythm rather is kind of a bluesy sounding, lilting beat. That's triplets. One chair, blood to drip lead, lead, lead 1, lead 2, lead 3 Chaplin had for triplets, so on, so forth. So by using duple and triple, I created two rhythmic contexts. But all that I'm doing is I'm taking the strict beat at 60. That's never changing. And I'm subdividing it into duple and triple subdivisions. Okay, you want to get used to that? I'd encourage you to practice what I did just now, which is just set the metronome at 61 and just count the and 2341 and tap your foot up. And 2341 triplet, triplet three chip that for chip, but switch off between duple in triplet, even playing one note at a time like this. 3412341234123412341234 down quarters, 12341234. Now another thing that you can do is you can actually do what I had done with that sort of bluesy vibe, which is when you're counting triplets, try to practice skipping the, the trip and playing the left, right. So we'd have one trip lead to triplet, triplet, triplet, one trip lead to trap lead three trip lit for that. Try to count it down. Just rely on the fact that you can feel the rhythm because probably you've heard that so many times. You can just reproduce it. But you want to try and recognize that it's part of a triplet viable one trip lead to lead, three trip, lead for tap your foot on the numbers. One trip lead to triplet. Three, trip, lead for, tap your foot on the downbeats, right? There's not really an upbeat when you're dealing with triplets. There's only end up being when you're dealing with aids, practice those elements get comfortable with duple and triple. Use a metronome. Definitely don't try to do this. You won't be able to do this work effectively without a metronome. So definitely use a metronome. Set it at a low number like 60. Once you're subdividing this into eighths, you're really working with the tempo that's equivalent to a 120 beats per minute. So don't be discouraged that oh 60s, so slow. If you're dividing, if you're doing subdivisions in triplets, you're really monitoring a rhythm pace of a 180 beats per minute, which is pretty fast for most beginners. Okay? Now if you have any questions or you are looking for maybe some more in-depth instruction on this checkout, my guitar for basics, for total beginners lessons that covers a little bit more of subdivisions as well. So that's another resource that I have available for students that are interested in that. But if you do have specific questions that aren't addressed, there aren't addressed here, or you just want to ask, by all means, get in touch with me as we please let me know. I'm always happy to make more materials, make some jam tracks if that's helpful. Give you tips on where you can get good metronomes, whatever you need. Just reach out to me. I'm happy to help. Okay? But now we're going to continue on with the course. 8. Upstrokes & Downstrokes: Now when you're actually strumming, one of the first things that muddles a lot of beginner guitar players and even intermediate guitar players are downstrokes and upstrokes. Okay, there's a sense that you want to use both, but there's not really a framework or our basis for knowing exactly when to use one or the other. So I'm going to give you that framework right now, clear that up so that it's no longer a mystery. If we're using our metronome at 60 here, we're going to just like our foot was playing down beats and upbeats as our foot comes up, we're going to be doing downstrokes on the clicks and on the sort of in-between where I've foot would come up is an upstroke. So what I'm going to suggest is start tapping your foot to be for synchronize your hand with your foot. Down, up, down, up, down, up, down, up, right? You don't even have to play a chord. You can just kinda mute the strings. That's what I'm gonna do here. 234, down, up, down, up, down, up, down. Right? So I'm playing downstrokes and upstrokes based on the metronome. Always a downstroke on the click. Always an upstroke in-between the cliques. 123412341234. And you can try that with a chord. Once you get comfortable, I'd encourage you to do it, just muting the strings to begin with. Then you can try playing a chord. Let's grab a G chord, for example, one man, 2341234, and now try and just do downstrokes and then just do upstrokes. Downstrokes. Right on the legs. Down, down, down, down, up, up, down, down, down, down, down, down, down, down. As you're doing that, your foot should never stop tapping, right? Because you're tapping of the downbeats and upbeats with your toes should also make it really easy for you to synchronize your hand with downstrokes and upstrokes. Okay, so that's all really important. Just work on this for a long time. I know that this is generally pretty dull. It's not the part of playing music that most people get excited about. But it really, really, really helps this kind of work. As simple as it is. Is actually training. It's kinda like rewiring your brain and training your body to play with good rhythm. And I guarantee you that other people, other players, other musicians, a very, very, very much appreciate playing with you once your rhythm improves. Okay, so this is time well-spent learning to break it down in your mind, just like I have here. Count out loud, count 1234, and be very consistent about tapping your foot. Be very consistent about the downstrokes, upstrokes. All of these aspects of good rhythm are never, you never gonna regret having spent time on them, okay? So really focus on it. Let me know if you have any questions. I'm glad to help. And the main tool obviously here is the metronomes and get yourself one of these practice. You can play along with this video a 100 times if that's what it takes, they'll worry about how long it takes. Realize that this is a foundation that your musicianship we'll be building on forever. Okay, and good rhythm is absolutely non-negotiable. Let's move on. 9. Mixing 2's and 3's: Now let's talk a little bit about mixing duple and triple. Okay, so you can actually mix these to make cooler rhythms. I'm gonna do a finger picking kind of thing here because I actually have in my good guitar habits course, a whole section on finger picking, where I talk specifically about using duple and triple together. And it's going to bring together some of the things we've talked about with subdivision, but in a really musical way. So I'm going to mix duple and triple like this. Now what's happening here is that I'm mixing hates, but downbeats and triplets, right? So the notes that I'm playing with my thumb, our counts 12 in my measure, so I have 1, 2, 12. Now what I'm doing with my index finger is I'm playing at a triplet, the last, the last of the three triplets on beat 1. So I'm playing one, let 21212. And then so in that way, I'm, I'm, I'm using a triplet rhythm. One led to the notes that I'm talking here are eighth notes. I'm counting 1, 2, and 3, 4, 1 lead 2 and 3, 4. So by mixing triple with duple, I get kind of a cool. Now we're going to talk about groove a little bit more in the next lesson. And if you want to get into the depth of the finger picking out was just doing, and you want a deeper explanation of it, then check out my course, good guitar habits where I talk about, there's a whole section on finger picking and specifically using duple and triple together to do that. Okay, But now we're gonna talk about groove, because what makes this kind of sound good is the way that we groove with it, the way the kind of feel that it created. And I want to talk about that a little bit more in the next lesson. 10. Feel & Groove: In this lesson, we're going to talk about some sort of ethereal concepts, feel, and grids. So people generally talk about music having a group, or it has a kind of feel, it doesn't feel right. And what does that really mean? For a lot of beginner is that can be just too vague. So I want to give you a sense of what that means. Okay? So feel is a little bit different than groove. Groove has to do with how the, how the music is cohesive, how the rhythm is cohesive with the other elements, the rhythm and the melody, with the harmony and that sort of thing. So from the last lesson, this kinda has a groove because each of the notes I'm playing is a different voice. And different picture your set of pitches. And they're not happening in just this sort of robotic way. They're not happening like in which starts to sound more repetitive. I mean, obviously this is a repetitive groove. But because we're dedicating beats 34 to rest and we're mixing triplet with duple. We're getting something that's got a little bit better groove to it, okay? There's cohesion between the harmony I'm playing and the rhythm. And they're complementing each other and they're working really well. So that's something that you want to try and do. If you're playing with other people, you want to try and get into a, what's the essential beat here? Is it duple is a triplet? Is it a mixture of duple and triple? And then make what you play, lock-in with that and reinforce that and feed off of that. And then you'll be playing with good groove. Now feel, contend to Br, into the realm of style and genre a little bit more, right? So there's a bluesy feel or there is Iraq feel, you know, there's a shred metal feel, there's a Latin feel, there's jazz feel. Okay, so that's a little different. Something can have both groove and feel. But what we've got here doesn't really sound, doesn't really sound heavy metal. It does sound pretty bluesy. And that's because a lot of traditional blues music based on triple. So when we, whenever we do something that's based on triple, like this and it's in a pretty slow tempo, it can start to sound more bluesy. There are maybe other kinds of rhythms that we could use to make things sound more Latin. A lot of Latin rhythms are based on 5s actually. And I've mentioned a few lessons ago that you can divide beats into fives. You can divide measures into fives as well. We don't do that enough to warrant having its own term like duple and triple. But you can do that. And if you were to do that, you'd find that the music started to take on sort of a more Latin, or maybe it's sort of a more Spanish, more ash kind of vibe, right? The field. So in that way, feel and vibe are almost synonyms. So you want to be aware of what group is, how you can do it. And you want to be aware of what feel is so that when you're communicating with other musicians, you can kind of have that terminology be something that you can use to describe either which you'd like to hear from them, or how you, how you think the music's kinda coalescing around certain artistic directions. But these are also quite subjective. So there's not that things have necessarily an inherently good feel. They certainly, there's a good feel for Latin music. There's a good feel for blues. But it's not to say that, you know, Latin or blues or rock feel are better than one another. So the feel and the groove are both somewhat subjective. What sounds cohesive can change from genre and style one to the next. But what groove really is is elements that make music cohesive. Whereas what feel is really has to do with what makes music sound stylistic. Okay, let's continue on with the course and see what else we can do to start practicing and developing good rhythm skills and look at how we can develop practice routine that'll help me get there. 11. Better Practice Time: Now when you start practicing your start trying to develop good rhythm. A metronome is absolutely key to this endeavor, and I've been using a metronome through some of these lessons. But here I wanted to talk to you specifically about how to use it, what you should be doing with it. A metronome is made to help you keep steady. And unfortunately, that also means it's totally unforgiving. Do not be surprised if when you start practicing with the metronome that you find a discouraging and really stressful or hectic, that's totally normal. Let's take a very basic 60 beats per minute metronome setting. Now, your metronome, just to be clear, is generally going to have a couple of different numeric settings you can set, you can set what it'll look like a fraction like four over four, that means 44 time or 34 times 6, 8 time. Those are all options. You might see. That's a time signature. Top number in that fraction means how many beats there are in a measure or a grouping of beats. And the bottom number is which note value represents a beat. So in 6, 8, you'd have 6 eighth notes in a measure in 44, you'd have four quarter notes in a measure into two, you'd have 2.5 notes in a measure. Okay, so that's what the numbers mean. Generally, n to get started is only necessary that you really work on 44 time. And you want to have your metronome set to 44, just leave it there. And then you use the BPM setting which 1680, a hundred and twenty, two hundred whatever it is. The BPM stands for beats per minute. And you want to use that to kind of gauge your speed and see how you're progressing. You want to start with 60. It's hard to do much slower than 60 because the beats can be so far apart from each other. It's actually harder, it's not a help. 60 is kinda like the baseline. If you can't do it at 60, you might be able to drop it down to 50 depending on how comfortable you are with that. Give it a try. Some people find 50 is just to slow anything below 50, the vast majority of people will find two of them. Okay, So we'll set the metronome at 61st step is find that one 234 and start vocalizing 1, 2, 3. Start tapping your foot. 12341234. Okay, this is the basics for practicing with a metronome, how to use it. You want to just follow it with your ear. Don't try to look at the metronome. Your eyes are not the right tool for this job. You want and just listen. Doesn't matter where the metronome is, but it is important as loud enough that you can hear it. Down, down, down, down, down, up, down, up, down, up. This is what your foot should be doing. Up. You want to keep your foot always moving with the pulse of your matching them. Now, because I haven't set to 404, we have groups of 1234 before the same high pitch sound comes up again, right? For one to the x because I'm in 441234. Okay, That's the basics of using the metronome. Set it at 60 to get started. Tap your foot. When you find the one. Make sure that you're tapping your foot on the clicks. And start challenging yourself and kind of quizzing yourself to identify between the downbeats and the upbeat. The next step is to do triple, where you're counting to three chip, the chip, that, one chip to chip, but tapping your foot, one chip to chip, that three chip, that T4a, that one triplet, triplet, three, vocalizing the triplets, one trip that two triplets, so on so forth. That's the process to follow. And triplets will be a little more challenging. But depending on what kind of music you've listened to, it might be easier. Okay, so It's important to just go through this process of vocalizing. Always tapping your foot and start with a metronome setting that slow. Don't worry about speeding up. It really doesn't matter how fast you can do this stuff. All that matters is you can do it accurately, that you can track that. That's the most essential thing in the metronome. It's not going to wait for you if you miss something is going to keep you right on track, which, which can be a bit hectic, a very unforgiving. But the upside of that is that you're also, you're really getting an honest assessment of where you're at with this. You can't do this at all. This is the first thing you got to resolve. You've gotta get right on this. You gotta just practices a few minutes a day, I promise you. If you sat and did this a few minutes a day, within a few days, you'd notice that things were a lot easier, the rhythm was a lot better and you'll never be sorry that you did this work. It's absolutely crucial. Let's move forward and look at what we can actually do to practice on the guitar now that we know how to use the metronome. 12. Emphasizing Subdivisions: So now that we know how to use the metronome, we want to actually have some exercises for doing that. Okay? Now what I'm gonna do is I'm gonna start with a duple based metronome example, where we're going to count 1, 3. And so we're not going to be omitting beats 2 and beat four, beats 2 and 4 or rather, we're also only playing 1 eighth note here, one upbeat, and that's the end of three. We say it's the end of three because of the third beat, which we've subdivided into two parts, we're just going to be playing the second of it. Okay, so we're going to be playing 13. And so it's going to sound like this, 1, 2, 3. And remember, you're going to use downstrokes for your numbers and upstrokes for your upbeats right in-between the numbers without the match. Now I'm going to walk you through this very slowly. If our tempo is going 1234, then we were to add an eighth note subdividing and duple. We'd have 1234. And now we're going to be playing on 13 and the end of three. So I'm going to count 1234. And what I'm going to play 12341234. And tapping my foot the whole time. I'm playing 13 and that's what I'm doing. So I'm going to bring the speed up a little bit so that we can start playing it with a metronome, 12341234123412341. And I'm picking up the pace, 3412341241234123412. And for n, Now I'm going to do that with a metronome set at 60. But now hopefully you have a very clear idea in your head of what we're doing in playing the one, the three. And in this way, we're practicing using downstrokes, upstrokes on the appropriate subdivisions. We're going to be tracking time with the metronome. We keeping track of whether one is because we reset our numbers every time there's a one and we're following an external input. Imagine I'm okay, so there's a lot going on here, but we've talked about all of these elements. This is the beginning of our practice, our real practice. It's going to start developing real skills, okay? 34123412341234123123412341234. And in that way, you keep doing that. You keep practicing at the beginning. That might be totally impossible and you just feel like this is too much to do to keep track of the metronome play in time with it. To use the downstrokes, upstrokes the appropriate time, be counting those ands and having them be evenly spaced. It's a lot. But the main thing is that it's showing you the difference between where you're at now and where you need to get to, to start really taking credit for having good rhythm. But this is not as hard as it may look. Okay, this is probably just the first time for a lot of people that they've really tried to review, what's their standing in terms of good rhythm. And most people who haven't trained themselves, no matter how much music they played, no matter what kind of musical background they have. A lot of people haven't trained themselves specifically on rhythm with a metronome, they're going to find this difficult to k. So this is not something that's just a problem for total beginners. Intermediate and advanced players have never really taken this seriously. If you're in that camp, I encourage you to please take it really seriously, dive into it now and you'll be happy that you did. This is something that pays off big time over time. Let's continue on and dive a little deeper. 13. How to Practice: Now I've prepared a cheat sheet with a few different rhythms on it. Okay. So I've got them written out with numbers underneath them. I don't expect you necessarily to correctly interpret. The actual notation is just the rhythm of the notation. I want to go through a couple of those examples with you here. The purpose here is that I've created a few rhythms that are duple or triple, or a combination of those. And I've written them out for you so that you can track them. And I want you to practice playing those rhythms with a metronome. Okay? So here's the first one. Very basic what we did in the last lesson, 1, 3 and using downstrokes. Upstrokes. Okay, so let's take a look at that. This is what we did in the last lesson, 3, 4, we find the one that's the first step. 4, one to the next step is that we tap our foot, 1234123. Next step is that we count 8234123. For now we're going to play 133 and with downstrokes and upstrokes, 3412341234123434123. And I'm going to keep doing that. Okay, That's one example. Now the reason I'm giving you a few different examples here, you said that you can challenge yourself to make sense of a variety of rhythms based on the subdivision structure that we've laid out. Duple and triple. Okay, Let's look at a simple triple example. We're just going to play one note here, and we're going to play actual triplets with 60. So first thing we do is set, I mentioned them at 60. You're going to find that 1, 2, 3, 4. Start tapping our foot with the B three. And we can count triplets, one chip, that T2 chip that three trips that torture, that. One trip that now I'm going to play the notes, just one note. So this shouldn't be over a really taxing if you're a real beginner with picking or on the fret board, that's okay. We're just playing one note, one trip that T2 chip than three triplet for chip that in to the orange, one triplet, triplet, triplet for a trip like this. Just like that. I'd recommend you do alternate picking. Because if you're always doing downstrokes, which is the tendency for beginners, it actually will make playing the triplets and a lot more difficult. So now what we're going to be doing is just playing the one led to let three lip for that. And you'll find that has that kind of lilting waltz, see kinda swung groove, right. For 1, 1 lead 2, 3, 4, lead 1 lead, 2, 3, 4, 1, 2, 3, 4, 1, 2, 3, lead. For now, I'm just admitting that trip, right. So I'm saying one, not saying trip. Lead 1, lead 2, that is what I'm doing. So you want to get used to the idea of counting the triplets. Once you're tapping your foot, you know what one is, and then omit the trip. So you wind up just playing the one-letter three, lead for lead 12, then three, then four, then 123, like that. Okay. And in so far as you can do that, you're dividing, you're doing triple subdivisions, and you're playing a rhythm in sync with a metronome. You want to try and develop that skill. Okay? Now, again, with just one note so that you aren't overwhelmed with playing. Scales are moving around, strings, skipping that sort of thing. Just playing that one note, same, same amount again, G on the third fret of the sixth string. We're going to play 12121212. Okay, let's see how that sounds. 3, 4, we find the 1234, then we start counting the triplets. 341 chip, that T2 chip, that three chip, that forward chip that tapping our foot 2, 3 trip for that, for chip that one chip, chip, chip that for chip that one. Right? This is what we were doing last one, that we're going to mix our triple with our duple. 1, 2 and 4, 1, 2 and 3, 4, 1, 2 and 3. 4, 1, 2 and 3. And 3, 4, 1, 2 and 3, 4, 1, 2 and 3, four. You get the idea and hopefully you can take these three rhythmic examples and you can digest them off of the rhythmic cheat sheet that I made for you and which have the numbers in them so you know what to count. And you can follow this lesson again and again to train yourself to play these rhythms in sync with a metronome. Okay? So those are really important step. So really take your rhythm playing pretty far. And in the neck last couple of lessons here, I wanted to talk about the importance of counting and then wrap things up for you as well. 14. Counting Tips: So let's review some of the stuff that we've talked about. We talked about finding the one we talked about tapping our foot. We talked about understanding that all rhythms can basically be understood in terms of duple or triple subdivisions. Now why is all this stuff important and why is counting some important? When you can just play, you can rock out. You see people on stage, famous rock bands, they're obviously not counting. Why do I need to do this? Well, the main thing is, first of all, a lot of rock bands, they've played on stage three hours a night for say, 40 years. Well, in that context, you're going to develop good rhythm, but many of us don't have the opportunity to do that. So this is kinda like an accelerated path to developing good rhythm for those of us who don't have the privilege of playing music for hours and hours and hours every single day in a super fun environment, right? So counting is actually an accelerated path to becoming a good musician and developing good musicianship. The other thing is that for a lot of players when they start joining jam sessions, or they start playing with friends, or they just want to strum their favorite songs. Once they get core vocabulary developed, they get frustrated and they don't know what to do. And it can be real common boundary that people can't move beyond, right? It can actually stop you from really growing as a musician, as a guitarist. But counting an understanding that all of the rhythmic challenges you're going to face just come down to familiarity with counting. This is just a habit. It's like walking or it's like using a knife and fork. It's just you gotta do it a lot. And then it becomes second nature, right? This is not something that's only reserved for those folks that just have some kind of magical talent. This is something that can be absolutely trained and learned and it's not as hard as you think about counting alleviates that anxiety and stress can come from feeling like your rhythm just isn't that good and you don't know how to fix it. So learning to count, yeah, On the one hand, it's nice academic knowledge. Certainly very powerful as an expedited kind of rapid development technique for those of us who can't play in rock bands. But it also is the thing that frees us up to move forward, to grow, to play more challenging music, to jam with other people and start having a collaborative experience through music. Okay, so counting is really important. It will, I promise it'll improve your musicianship. And as I've said before, it's not necessary that you practice this stuff for 1000 hours. Okay, of course that's going to be great and you'll see benefits from them. But you'll notice that if you do what I'm suggesting here in these lessons, for a few minutes a day, after a week, after even a few days, you'll start to feel more comfortable after a month. You'll be very comfortable with this. If you do this for a half hour a day, Let's say you really got a lot of time and you can commit to this and you're really into it. I promise you'll see very rapid development. This isn't going to take years for you to develop and as tedious as this is, is nothing compared to how much fun it is to be able to rocked out and play with people. And just have good groove, have good feel, and have these things be innately developed into your musicianship okay, baked in. So if you have any questions, let me know, reach out to me, please. If there's any kinds of supplements that would be helpful. More downloads, I'm happy to prepare them for you. And he topics related to this that you'd like to see a little more explanation on, let me know. Of course I come back to rhythm again and again in many of my courses and in many of my lessons. So also check out the other lessons besides the ones that I have suggested in the lectures here. There's other topics, obviously that I'm going to touch on this because rhythm is so essential. In the next lesson, I'm going to wrap things up, talking a little bit about next steps and what to practice. 15. Wrap-Up: All right, So here we are at the end, we have learned a lot about rhythm. You've learned about duple and triple. You've developed some awareness of why counting is so important, how to do it, how to break it down into a methodology, right? So we're using a metronome all the time. We're counting the one, we finding that one and then counting from that 1234, we're using our foot to tap all the time. We're doing downbeats and upbeats with tracking that with our foot. Because the downbeat, so when our foot goes down, up between our foot comes up, we talked about down-strokes and upstrokes and synchronizing that with the downbeat and the upbeat. And then, uh, you had some practice examples as well to follow. Where we looked at triple based rhythms are very simple triple based rhythms, very simple mixture of duple and triple. Also just basic duple based rhythm with a 13 and okay, and of course, there's lots and lots of variations that you can find. Two, I'd encourage you to use the worksheet that I made available. Has the all the eighth notes or all the triplets written out and you just circle random ones. Okay, So that's, that's, that would be a great exercise. It's as an exercise worksheet. And you can download that and you'll see on the first line, It's all eighth notes, so duple and the second lines all triplets, so triple. And what you wanna do is you want to realize that as the eighth notes and triplets are joined by a bar, each group of eighth notes or triplets represents a beat. And they get used to counting them 1234. And in the case of duple or one triplet, three chip that for triplet in the case of triple. Now, I want you to try and just circle some random eighth notes and then play those eighth notes. So you're emphasizing the ones you circled and you're omitting, I'm not playing the ones that you didn't circle. Do the same thing with triplets, right? This way you can give yourself any number of random variations and practice counting, practice turning that count into an execution on your instrument. Okay, that's what that worksheet is four. So that's an important tip for practice. I highly recommend you try and sit down with this every day because you'll see the best return on that. If you have any questions about any of this lesson material, you'd like to see lessons on other topics or some of the topics in this course expanded on, please let me know. I'm totally open and available to constructive criticism where my lessons are concerned. I'm happy to help. I really do want you to feel comfortable learning and to be making good progress, okay, so just reach out to me, I'm totally available to help. And so that's it for this section. And I wish you good luck working on this material.