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Focus on the Rhythm (Guitar Lesson)


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Bumblefoot

Focus on the Rhythm

Now try taking the concepts learned in the last lesson and apply them to chords and strumming. The physical differences between playing chords and single notes provide an interesting challenge when staying continually behind the beat.

Taught by Bumblefoot in Bumblefoot's Artist Series seriesLength: 13:58Difficulty: 3.5 of 5


Video Subtitles / Captions


Scene 1

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Before we were doing some single note stuff to a very slow rhythm just working on developing a pocket

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and a discipline and not rushing ahead of the beat even the beat is very dragging.

00:14.733 --> 00:18.355
So let's do the same thing with chords now.
Just a little bit of strummings.

00:18.355 --> 00:31.473
So we've got our forty BPM's and we're just going to play one strum per beat and you're just going to lag behind that beat.

00:31.473 --> 00:41.643
If the beat is so slow that you're not feeling the internal pulse of when it's coming then divide it in your head to something, just double it up.

00:41.643 --> 00:49.468
Just go instead of bump, bump, bump, just go bump, bump, bump, bump

00:49.468 --> 00:57.409
or if you have to go bump, bump, bump, bump, bump, bump, bump, bump or whatever it is play to that.

00:57.409 --> 01:08.775
You want to stay behind the beat.

01:08.775 --> 01:29.535
Alright let's move this chords around how about G, C.
Want to do two G's.

01:29.535 --> 01:33.255
Two C's.

01:33.255 --> 01:41.464
G,C,D,C.

01:41.464 --> 01:55.857
What we're doing here now is just focusing on staying behind that beat.

01:55.857 --> 02:14.040
Let's do two chords per beat.

02:14.040 --> 02:26.344
Still making sure that the ones on the metronome hit behind it.
You don't want to do this.

02:26.344 --> 02:45.360
You want to stay behind it.
Wait for it, wait for it, wait for it.

02:45.360 --> 02:56.129
I'm getting sick of these chords, let's change them and let's do three per beat.

02:56.129 --> 03:21.035
One triplet, two triplet and let's change up these chords.
Let's do A minor, F, C, G, incredible.

03:21.035 --> 03:29.750
Let me tighten up the strum to so it's more percussive and it's right on it.

03:29.750 --> 03:46.517
Slow it down, pull back.

03:46.517 --> 04:01.077
Let's do a little two ahead, pull it back more.

04:01.077 --> 04:06.542
I'm still acting like a guitarist and I'm jumping ahead just a little hair so pull it back more.

04:06.542 --> 04:35.264
One, two, three, one, two, three.
One, two, three, one, two, three.

04:35.264 --> 04:38.004
It's tricky it is, it's really tricky.

04:38.004 --> 04:43.274
You want to get just right on it and then you start jumping ahead of it and it's very hard to stay behind it.

04:43.274 --> 04:45.852
That's what we are practicing here. Staying behind the beat.

04:45.852 --> 04:49.474
We're going to try four per click, ok.

04:49.474 --> 05:04.971
Click. Let's try A minor, D minor, G, C.

05:04.971 --> 05:13.626
I'm still too on it, I want to get behind it.

05:13.626 --> 05:29.972
There it is.

05:29.972 --> 05:42.719
Not bad.

05:42.719 --> 05:55.257
It's always just a little behind it.

05:55.257 --> 05:57.410
That one was good, that was good.

05:57.410 --> 06:00.707
My triplets stank but that was good.

06:00.707 --> 06:04.051
So yeah we can keep on going, we can do five.

06:04.051 --> 06:09.528
Which for that either you can do just a bunch of downs and do them like that.

06:09.528 --> 06:17.636
Let's see one, two, three, four, five, one, two, three, four, five, one, two, three, four, five.

06:17.636 --> 07:10.041
Yeah see I'm rushing already.
Guitarist.

07:10.041 --> 07:12.340
Rushing a little bit, but better.

07:12.340 --> 07:14.824
Six per beat.

07:14.824 --> 07:24.055
One, two, three, four, five, six.
One, two, three, four, five, six.

07:24.055 --> 08:16.019
Let's go down, up.

08:16.019 --> 08:22.790
Yeah, tricky. Just finding that sweet spot, not quite on the beat, not too far behind it.

08:22.790 --> 08:27.782
You're definitely not jumping in front and once you get into that area it's pretty good.

08:27.782 --> 08:31.521
It's good stuff, good pocket but it takes practice.

08:31.521 --> 08:32.705
It's not easy to do.

08:32.705 --> 08:35.212
So something to work on.


Scene 2

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What I'm going to do now is I'm going to record myself playing and then I'm going to listen back and see how it sounds because it's one thing

00:08.022 --> 00:12.829
to play it and how it feels and another thing to listen back when you're not feeling it and you're just listening.

00:12.829 --> 00:18.912
So I'm going to play it and then we're going to listen and them I'm going to critique and see if I'm in the pocket

00:18.912 --> 00:21.280
and how I'm doing and what I need to work on.

00:21.280 --> 00:22.418
Alright.

00:22.418 --> 00:49.346
I'm just going to play some tight chords just some little A minor to a G and I'm going to start off with just one, one and one, one, tight.

00:49.346 --> 00:58.457
Nice.

00:58.457 --> 01:11.883
What I'm listening to is not the actual beat, I am but I'm breaking it up into quarters in my head.

01:11.883 --> 01:22.514
Two, three, four and it's helping me stay on it.

01:22.514 --> 01:59.844
Let's try two.

01:59.844 --> 02:22.594
Three.

02:22.594 --> 02:43.228
Four.

02:43.228 --> 02:52.957
As you're practicing this you'll notice that as you're focusing on, you're landing on the beat but just a hair behind it.

02:52.957 --> 02:57.461
You might find yourself chasing the beat a little bit where you're speeding up and slowing down and that kind of stuff.

02:57.461 --> 03:03.637
It's ok if that happens at first.
After a while it'll go away, it'll get better.

03:03.637 --> 03:20.262
Alright, I want to take a listen back and see just how that was vibing out there yeah.

03:20.262 --> 03:45.826
It's definitely not in front and that's the goal we are working on not being in front.

03:45.826 --> 03:49.565
It doesn't have to be perfect, it doesn't have to be exactly precise every time.

03:49.565 --> 03:55.067
It just has to be behind, I know it's a strange exercise.

03:55.067 --> 04:14.246
Nah. You could hear the thinking. You could hear the thinking in there.

04:14.246 --> 04:22.652
So that's when you need to just tell yourself relax, relax, that's when you tell yourself to stop thinking.

04:22.652 --> 04:26.735
Use a different part of your brain to focus on it because you can do that.

04:26.735 --> 04:32.145
There's multiple parts of your mind, it's sort of like think about it like the front of your mind and the back of your mind.

04:32.145 --> 04:37.648
When the front of your mind is thinking about it that is when it gets very tense.

04:37.648 --> 04:41.758
When the back of your mind is taking care of it that's when it's free.

04:41.758 --> 04:47.957
So you want to just put things in the back of your head and not really focus on it and it just sort of happens.

04:47.957 --> 04:53.809
That's another thing that in some other lessons that I'm going to work on with you all so yeah.

04:53.809 --> 04:54.969
Cool.
Alright.

04:54.969 --> 04:57.477
So until then just practice this.

04:57.477 --> 05:01.471
Behind the beat, just a little behind the beat and get comfortable doing that

05:01.471 --> 05:07.299
and it will help you stay in the pocket
when you're playing with a drummer or whatever you're playing to

05:07.299 --> 05:13.823
but keep in mind that you are always playing to something whether it's the beat in your head, whether it's an external beat

05:13.823 --> 05:18.421
There's something and you just want to stay in the pocket of that and not jump in front of it.

05:18.421 --> 05:20.603
Cool.
Thank you very much.


Member Comments about this Lesson

Discussions with our instructors are just one of the many benefits of becoming a member of JamPlay.


adamtenadamten replied on May 15th, 2016

ok...I am using the 60 bpm setting on jamplay at 4 beats. it gives a visual as to the beat. so if you wait until you see the beat count ( 1 2 3 4) you can play behind it. i.e., see the number, then play the note or chord immediately.

adamtenadamten replied on May 15th, 2016

s the jamplay metronome chill to 2 forty bpm?

dvaneyldvaneyl replied on May 24th, 2014

This is great. The key point here along with the first lesson, then, is that the context and structure of what you are playing (beat & rhythm( (playing to "something") is critical and that the guitar's contribution must respect that context and structure and harmonize with it, right? Does this make sense?

Bumblefoot's Artist Series

Found in our Beginner Lesson Sets

Unconventional... Diabolical... Just plain crazy! Learn a fresh, quirky and MUSICAL approach to extreme guitar playing!



Lesson 1

Series Introduction

Guns N' Roses guitarist Ron "Bumblefoot" Thal pulls out all the stops in his blistering artist series. Dive into the intense, yet seemingly effortless, playing style of a true legend in our time. Learn...

Length: 4:21 Difficulty: 0.5 FREE
Lesson 2

The Drummer Is King!

Of all the crazy antics and skills you'll learn in this series, learning your place in the rhythm section may be the most important and arguably the most difficult! Learn the importance of playing behind...

Length: 19:07 Difficulty: 3.5 Members Only
Lesson 3

Focus on the Rhythm

Now try taking the concepts learned in the last lesson and apply them to chords and strumming. The physical differences between playing chords and single notes provide an interesting challenge when staying...

Length: 13:58 Difficulty: 3.5 Members Only
Lesson 4

Do You Have an Accent?

Make sure you're thinking and playing behind the beat...Check! Now Bumblefoot makes sure you are thinking about each note and each beat you play. Just like the spoken word, good guitar playing is punctuated....

Length: 9:54 Difficulty: 3.0 Members Only
Lesson 5

Why...Yes I Do!

Now that you've practiced playing with accents at a basic level, learn this blazing sequence in C major and put your chops to the test!

Length: 9:38 Difficulty: 4.0 Members Only
Lesson 6

Sweeping Sensation

Done much sweep picking? Whether you are experienced in this technique or brand new, this exercise will dramatically improve your coordination and hand synchronization while sweeping. This isn't your average...

Length: 7:48 Difficulty: 4.5 Members Only
Lesson 7

Sweep it under the Rug

Take the same ascending drill from the last lesson, move it around a bit more, and reverse it. It's even harder going down! Take it slow!

Length: 10:43 Difficulty: 4.5 Members Only
Lesson 8

Sweep Up More Stuff!

Slackers beware! Bumblefoot introduces another picking variation and connects the ascending and descending sweeping patterns for one mind and finger boggling exercise. Whatever you do, DON'T CHEAT! Practice...

Length: 11:59 Difficulty: 5.0 Members Only
Lesson 9

Mental Multitasking

A seasoned guitar player can have multiple active channels going in his mind at once. That's what helps the masters play a rhythm and a melody line at the same time. That's what makes singing complex melodies...

Length: 8:14 Difficulty: 3.5 Members Only
Lesson 10

Huh? Two Scales at Once?

Put mental multitasking to work with your hands. Practice playing a simple C major scale, but play it in a round. Start it, and then while continuing to play it in sequence, start it again!

Length: 4:07 Difficulty: 3.5 Members Only
Lesson 11

One Step Ahead of Your Hands!

Sharpen your mind like a samurai sword with this exercise! While playing one note, think and speak the next note you will play. Practice this to a metronome with different note values...EEK!

Length: 12:17 Difficulty: 4.0 Members Only
Lesson 12

Does Your Left Know What Your Right Is Doing?

Here's one more brain tearing exercise! Practice playing different rhythmic groupings with each hand at the same time. Then, try to talk while you're doing it! Make these mental multitasking lessons part...

Length: 7:01 Difficulty: 4.0 Members Only
Lesson 13

What Do You Have on Tap?

Get a brief tutorial on proper tapping technique. Then, it's off to Bumbleland! Dive into 2 finger right hand tapping phrases, string skipping, and more!

Length: 10:06 Difficulty: 4.0 Members Only
Lesson 14

I'll Take Two of What She's Having!

Take 2 hand and 2 right hand finger tapping to the next level. Don't forget rhythm! Rhythm is still important when notes are flying by!

Length: 6:36 Difficulty: 4.0 Members Only
Lesson 15

Now Let's Go Tap Dancing

Take the last two crazy lessons on tapping, and make them a bit more musical. As with the sweeps, DON'T CHEAT! Make sure your playing is clean and calculated at whatever speed you are playing.

Length: 14:56 Difficulty: 4.0 Members Only
Lesson 16

Be a Bit Abnormal

With this lesson, Bumblefoot delivers the first of a handful of ways to take what you may already be comfortable with and add some quirkiness. This segment focuses on changing the harmony in the major...

Length: 10:20 Difficulty: 3.0 Members Only
Lesson 17

Blues it Up!

Bumblefoot alters the major scale a little further and roasts it over a simple blues shuffle. Dive in and see what's cookin'!

Length: 5:23 Difficulty: 3.0 Members Only
Lesson 18

The Note Before the Note

Do you like the pentatonic scale? Are you maybe a little tired of being limited by it? If so, this lesson is for you! Learn a VERY simple way to spice it up!

Length: 6:47 Difficulty: 3.0 Members Only
Lesson 19

Read Between the Frets

Join Bumblefoot for another great way to disguise and spruce up your standard pentatonic ideas!

Length: 4:43 Difficulty: 3.5 Members Only
Lesson 20

I'm All In!

Before...Between...Now you can add a note after each note played on each string in your pentatonic scale. Practice all three options over the track and work on adding some other embellishments such as...

Length: 7:09 Difficulty: 3.0 Members Only

About Bumblefoot View Full Biography "Making music has a greater purpose - anything I can do to help others, I try to do."

-Ron "Bumblefoot" Thal

I love spicy food - working on recipes for my own line of hot sauces. Been upping my tolerance - currently at 7,100,000 Scoville Units (that's 3x stronger than commercial-grade pepper spray weapon) If anyone asks me about Scoville Units, I'll bore them for a half-hour talking about capsaicin molecules, habaneros and heat measurements.

One time in Japan, I stayed up 43 hours straight doing gigs, interviews, instructional videos and going to clubs.

I take oral hygiene and fire safety seriously.

As a kid, I'd lay the guitar on the ground and play Bach pieces with two hands and one foot. Been a while since I tried that.

When I can, I like to do home improvement stuff - mostly drywall and electrical, some simple plumbing. Last thing I did at my house was install recessed lights in the ceiling going to a dimmer, and put in a new bathroom sink and faucet.

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