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Rhythm and Guitar (Guitar Lesson)


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Mark Lincoln

Rhythm and Guitar

In the 27th episode in his basic guitar series, Mark provides exercises designed to make you a better rhythm player. He also adds a few new chords to your vocabulary.

Taught by Mark Lincoln in Basic Guitar with Mark Lincoln seriesLength: 0:00Difficulty: 2.0 of 5
Chapter 1: (00:24) Performance Please enjoy the introductory music that Mark Lincoln has provided for the lesson.
Chapter 2: (05:33) Introduction Review - Warm-up the hands.
- Stretch the wrists.
- Play the major and minor open chords.
- Warm up your strumming muscles by relaxing the wrists and letting the pick flow over the strings.
- Play the E major chord in the “new” way and play the type 1 barre chords.
- Play the A major chord in the “new” way and play the type 2 barre chords.
- Practice the “slanting A” technique.
- Practice the type 1 minor barre chords.
- Practice the type 2 minor barre chords.
- Play all of the type 1 mini-barre chords.
- Play all of the type 2 mini-barre chords.
- Review and practice quantitative and qualitative techniques.


Ready?
So we’ve thrown the word “rhythm” around extensively but haven’t really gone into any great detail about what it really means. In this week’s lesson we’ll discuss rhythm as well as some other concepts that are integral to music. Please note though that each of these terms can be used in a number of ways and are often disagreed upon by musical scholars. Hence we’ll not get into any serious depth with any of the terminology. If you wish to do further research you can access any of a number of books that will give you extensive information and insight into any and all of the terms at hand.

Rhythm
Merriam Webster defines rhythm as “the aspect of music comprising all the elements (as accent, meter, and tempo) that relate to forward movement.” (Websters Collegiate Dictionary, 10th edition. Springfield, Mass, 1999. pg.1006.) Since this definition contains other terms that should be defined here, we’ll do so before continuing our discussion of rhythm.

Accent
Again, going to Merriam Webster, accent is defined as “a greater stress given to one musical tone than to its neighbors.” (Websters Collegiate Dictionary, 10th edition. Springfield, Mass, 1999. pg. 6). This concept is particularly important to the concept of rhythm as accent creates a differential between different strums within the rhythm. An absence of accent within the process of strumming would create a monotone effect that would neither be pleasing to the player’s ear nor to the listener’s.
Chapter 3: (02:07) Meter Meter
Meter is defined as “the basic recurrent rhythmical pattern of note values, accents and beats per measure in music.” (Websters Collegiate Dictionary, 10th edition. Springfield, Mass, 1999. pg. 730). Meter is the measurement that tells you how many beats there are in a measure. Meter is also a measure of stressed and unstressed beats, or rather, accented and unaccented beats. It is often indicated at the beginning of a piece with a fraction that is known as the time signature.
Chapter 4: (01:41) Beat Beat
The speed of the underlying pulse of a particular piece of music called the tempo. Tempo is a particularly important part of rhythm as it determines the speed at which you will be strumming the guitar.
Chapter 5: (04:49) Rhythm Rhythm Continued
Again, because the concept of rhythm is fairly complex and can be defined and redefined based on the individual and/or the type of music (Eastern, Western, African, Atonal etc.) that is being played, we will try to keep our terminology as simple as possible. The main goal here is to clarify some of the terminology so that we have a common language in which to communicate about the process of playing rhythm guitar. Simply stated, rhythm is the process of strumming at a particular speed or tempo (indicated by the time signature), and accented at particular points. Really, that’s all there is to it! The key is to maintain a consistent tempo (unless you want and have planned on a tempo change within the song), and provide enough variation between stressed and unstressed strums. Of course, even within this simple plan there is almost an infinite number of possibilities and combinations that one can achieve within the confines of rhythm.
Chapter 6: (01:34) Rhythm Strumming Rhythms
Up to this point, we have utilized a number of rhythms that I’m sure you have become quite familiar with:

or the snap-strum.

or the ever-popular "down down-up down" with a snap strum in the middle of it.

or the more recently acquired "down down-up-down" (remember that the strums linked together by a hyphen need to be played in succession with no pause).
Chapter 7: (02:53) Rhythm Strumming Continued Shifting between strums to alternate and provide contrast:
or "down down down-up" (on the first chord) up up-down up-down (on the second chord). Watch me in the video for more clarification of these strums.

Also, practice making quantitative changes within your rhythms:
(leaving the last off).
Chapter 8: (03:17) Chording Exercise Chord Exercise
Okay, so you've done all this right and you're tired of reviewing. Well, how about some fresh new stuff to challenge you? You asked, so you shall receive! I will use many of the techniques that we've been discussing over the past few weeks, so if you need to review, now might be a great time to do it. We'll be switching between the strums and a quantitative change of that strum . We'l start with an Em chord and then progress to two derivatives of the Em. Ready? Here we go!

Em
E_0_
B_0_
G_0_
D_2_
A_2_
E_0_

B5
E_x_
B_x_
G_x_
D_4_
A_2_
E_x_

G/B(no 3rd)
E_x_
B_x_
G_x_
D_5_
A_2_
E_x_

Notice how the Em chord is changed simply by placing your third or ring finger on the D-string fourth fret (on the B5 chord) and your pinky on the D-string fifth fret on the G/B chord. This is a fairly simple qualitative way to change chords and liquidate them. So, strum the on the Em chord, then make the quantitative change by eliminating the last down stroke and play on the B5 chord. Now, play the first part of the strum with the G/B chord and then the second part of the strum with the B5 chord again. Do you notice that you are, in essence, walking up and down the D string? Pay attention to how you accent (or don't for that matter) particular strokes in your rhythm and how you are maintaining your time. Watch me in the video for extra help with this technique. This exercise will be continued next week.

*Playing rhythm guitar is a very delicate and subtle art form, perhaps even more so than playing lead guitar. It definitely takes time and patience, so relax and take your time with these exercises.

Video Subtitles / Captions


Member Comments about this Lesson

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


Southern CashSouthern Cash replied on October 19th, 2015

Mark, you are an awesome teacher. Hope you can do some more recorded lessons here!

mikeyeemikeyee replied on March 3rd, 2012

hey mark, these lessons are great! Is there something more I can do in helping the different dynamics? I have a tendency to do a heavy down and not enough up strumming.

mgapmgap replied on January 3rd, 2011

I am looking at the information about this lesson and the tabs you have for B5 and G/B have all the strings muted except or the D A strings. I am assuming that this is not correct. In the lesson Supplemental content the lesson exercises have all the strings being played.

Mark.LincolnMark.Lincoln replied on January 9th, 2011

Hey Mike! Sometimes you'll see small inconsistencies between what's being played and the sup content. Just stick to what I'm doing in the video and you'll be golden...see you soon! Mark

beeho15beeho15 replied on May 1st, 2010

thank mark your awesome

Mark.LincolnMark.Lincoln replied on May 3rd, 2010

Thanks Bee great to hear from you! Mark

scottkscottk replied on September 30th, 2012

Hi Mark I think your lessons are great! Are you still with jamplay?

zach454zach454 replied on February 14th, 2009

Hey Mark, your lessons are awesome, your doing great! The only problem I have is keeping my time...I bought a metronome and I try to keep the beat going with my strum, like down,down,up,down. and I'll go thru like a series of chords, but I often find myself loosing the beat. Im tapping my foot and even counting in my head like 1,2,3en,4...but its hard to do all that and try to sing? what can I do to overcome this frustrating thing?

Mark.LincolnMark.Lincoln replied on February 19th, 2009

Hey Zach thanks for writing in. Without seeing you play the main piece of advice I can give you is to simplify. Really try to just get the strumming part and developing your timing down before you start to sing over the top. I know you're ready to rock out with it but you may need to strengthen your playing before adding the complexities of singing into the mix. Good luck with it! Mark

nstebnernstebner replied on January 18th, 2009

As far as figuring out the spacing of a certain strum pattern, I've taken to writing it out like drum tablature: d d du u ud ud 1 + 2 + 3 + 4 + down, down, down-up, up, up-down, up-down...

Basic Guitar with Mark Lincoln

Found in our Beginner Lesson Sets

Learning the basics of the guitar, the building blocks if you will, is an extremely important step in learning and mastering the guitar. This series is all about the basics.



Lesson 1

Guitar Basics

This lesson is all about the basics. Mark explains guitar parts, holding the guitar, and more.

Length: 13:12 Difficulty: 0.5 Members Only
Lesson 2

Tuning, Gear, and Chords

Mark begins by discussing equipment every guitarist should own. Then, he introduces chords and proper tuning methods.

Length: 17:28 Difficulty: 0.5 Members Only
Lesson 3

Chords and Strumming

Mark finishes his discussion of the "open" chords. He applies these chords to basic rhythm and strumming concepts.

Length: 17:33 Difficulty: 1.0 Members Only
Lesson 4

Minor Chords and More

Mark reviews the major chords and introduces the minor chords. He also covers strumming techniques in greater depth.

Length: 25:48 Difficulty: 1.0 Members Only
Lesson 5

Expanding Chords

Mark introduces a few more minor chords. He also provides a monster chord exercise.

Length: 16:36 Difficulty: 1.5 Members Only
Lesson 6

Strumming Exercises

Mark Lincoln continues his discussion of chords and strumming. He introduces several new exercises in this lesson.

Length: 19:30 Difficulty: 1.5 Members Only
Lesson 7

Music Theory and Barre Chords

Mark covers several topics in this lesson. He explains scales and barre chords. He also demonstrates how to find notes on the fretboard.

Length: 21:45 Difficulty: 1.5 Members Only
Lesson 8

E Shape Barre Chords

Mark Lincoln covers E shaped barre chords in greater depth. Mark refers to these chords as "Type 1" barre chords.

Length: 15:12 Difficulty: 2.0 Members Only
Lesson 9

A Shape Barre Chords

Mark covers the A Shape / Type 2 barre chords in greater depth.

Length: 17:12 Difficulty: 2.0 Members Only
Lesson 10

Minor Barre Chords

Mark introduces minor barre chords that utilize the shape of the "open" Em chord.

Length: 13:10 Difficulty: 2.0 Members Only
Lesson 11

A Minor Shape Barre Chords

Mark introduces minor barre chords based on the shape of the "open" Am chord. He refers to these chords as "Type 2 Minor" barre chords.

Length: 12:36 Difficulty: 2.0 Members Only
Lesson 12

Mini Barre Chord

Mark demonstrates abbreviated versions of the "Type 1" and "Type 2" barre chords. He calls these "mini barre" chords.

Length: 17:43 Difficulty: 2.0 Members Only
Lesson 13

A Shape Mini Barre

Mark teaches the "mini barre" version of the A major shaped barre chord. He also explains dissonance.

Length: 20:29 Difficulty: 2.0 Members Only
Lesson 14

Minor Mini Barre Chords

Mark Lincoln applies mini-barre chord concepts to minor chords.

Length: 12:28 Difficulty: 2.0 Members Only
Lesson 15

Guitar Technique

Mark Lincoln explains essential components of guitar technique.

Length: 15:59 Difficulty: 2.0 Members Only
Lesson 16

Guitar Dynamics

Mark Lincoln explains how dynamics can enhance your playing. He covers topics such as volume, tempo, rests, and more.

Length: 27:48 Difficulty: 0.5 Members Only
Lesson 17

Transistion Strums

Mark Lincoln explains more about guitar technique. This time around he introduces "transition strums" and continues his discussion of liquid chords.

Length: 26:12 Difficulty: 2.0 Members Only
Lesson 18

Harmonic Technique

Mark Lincoln explains what harmonics are and how they are played.

Length: 15:31 Difficulty: 2.5 Members Only
Lesson 19

Expanding Liquid Chords

Mark Lincoln expands on the concept of liquid chords. He explains new chord variations and how they can be changed in mid-strum.

Length: 16:21 Difficulty: 2.0 Members Only
Lesson 20

Spicing up Chords

Mark demonstrates how chord progressions can be spiced up by adding hammer-ons and pull-offs.

Length: 12:21 Difficulty: 2.5 Members Only
Lesson 21

Chord Fingering

Mark explains how chord fingerings must be altered when applying "liquid chord" concepts. He also provides a few new "liquid chord" exercises.

Length: 11:10 Difficulty: 2.0 Members Only
Lesson 22

Precision Strumming

Mark returns to the land of chords. This time around, he provides an exercise that contains four variations on the A chord.

Length: 14:28 Difficulty: 2.5 Members Only
Lesson 23

D to D in Six Steps

Mark provides a chord progression that shifts from one D chord to another in six steps.

Length: 15:20 Difficulty: 2.0 Members Only
Lesson 24

Chord Voicings and Construction

Mark delves deeper into chord construction and alternate chord voicings.

Length: 13:36 Difficulty: 2.0 Members Only
Lesson 25

Quantitative and Qualitative Changes

Mark tests your guitar knowledge with a pop quiz. Then, he discusses quantitative and qualitative changes.

Length: 22:54 Difficulty: 2.5 Members Only
Lesson 26

Quantitative and Qualitative Review

In the 26th installment of his basic guitar series, Mark reviews the quantitative and qualitative changes he presented in lesson 25.

Length: 17:34 Difficulty: 2.5 Members Only
Lesson 27

Rhythm and Guitar

Mark provides exercises designed to make you a better rhythm player.

Length: 0:00 Difficulty: 2.0 Members Only
Lesson 28

Expanded Rhythm Exercise

Mark Lincoln expands on the rhythm exercise from lesson 27. This time around he incorporates several C based chords.

Length: 14:31 Difficulty: 2.5 Members Only
Lesson 29

Hand Structure

Mark discusses proper playing technique. He provides a few exercises that facilitate right hand mechanics.

Length: 17:02 Difficulty: 2.5 Members Only
Lesson 30

Cadd9 and Dsus2

Mark provides an exercise that features two new chords - Cadd9 and Dsus2.

Length: 0:00 Difficulty: 2.0 Members Only
Lesson 31

Finger Glue and Flexibility

In the 31st lesson, Mark discusses his "finger glue" technique. This technique improves speed and accuracy.

Length: 21:31 Difficulty: 2.0 Members Only
Lesson 32

Reviewing Chord Changes

Mark takes a step back in lesson 32 to explain how to make quick and accurate chord changes.

Length: 22:14 Difficulty: 1.5 Members Only
Lesson 33

Sliding

Mark explains how to use the slide technique between chords.

Length: 19:24 Difficulty: 2.0 Members Only
Lesson 34

Keeping Time While Playing

Mark reviews qualitative and quantitative changes. He explains how to keep time while performing these changes.

Length: 21:17 Difficulty: 2.0 Members Only
Lesson 35

A Minor Progression

Mark discusses qualitative and quantitative changes within an A minor progression.

Length: 19:56 Difficulty: 0.5 Members Only
Lesson 36

Chord Transistions

Mark Lincoln discusses several techniques that can be used when transitioning between chords.

Length: 21:43 Difficulty: 2.0 Members Only
Lesson 37

Chord Transistions Revisited

In this lesson, Mark once again covers the subject of chord transitions. This time around, he focuses on barre chords and includes several helpful exercises.

Length: 23:25 Difficulty: 2.5 Members Only
Lesson 38

Playing Individual Notes

In lesson 38, Mark discusses how playing single notes rather than chords can spice up your playing.

Length: 22:56 Difficulty: 2.0 Members Only
Lesson 39

Rocking Out

Lesson 39 is all about rocking out. Mark discusses some tips to take your playing to the next level.

Length: 18:08 Difficulty: 2.0 Members Only
Lesson 40

Slash Chords

Lesson 40 takes a deeper look at slash chords. Mark discusses why they're called slash chords, and how they are formed.

Length: 14:42 Difficulty: 2.0 FREE
Lesson 41

Strumming from the Wrist

In lesson 41, Mark reviews the warm-up section and provides new tips on playing adequately from the wrist.

Length: 22:09 Difficulty: 2.0 Members Only
Lesson 42

Raising the Barre

Mark builds further on barre chord techniques and liquid chords.

Length: 17:24 Difficulty: 2.5 Members Only
Lesson 43

Building on Your Chord Knowledge

In lesson 43, Mark discusses additional skills related to learning and playing chords, specifically "liquification" of chords.

Length: 20:42 Difficulty: 2.0 Members Only
Lesson 44

Experiment With Playing

Lesson 44 is all about trying new things. Mark discusses experimenting with your playing in order to take it to the next level.

Length: 17:20 Difficulty: 2.0 Members Only
Lesson 45

Diversifying

In this lesson, Mark once again talks about changing up chord derivatives to create a more unique sound.

Length: 20:56 Difficulty: 1.5 Members Only
Lesson 46

Shaping the Hands

In lesson 46, Mark explains how to maximize your options by maintaining chord shapes while playing.

Length: 21:44 Difficulty: 1.5 Members Only
Lesson 47

Precision Strumming

Today, Mark takes in depth look at strumming.

Length: 23:57 Difficulty: 1.0 Members Only
Lesson 48

Shine Like the Sun

Mark Lincoln teaches an original song entitled "Shine Like the Sun."

Length: 18:59 Difficulty: 2.0 Members Only
Lesson 49

Changing Chords : Accuracy and Speed

Mark teaches some useful information on how to mix postures, "finger glue," and techniques to make your chord changes speedy and more effective.

Length: 30:56 Difficulty: 2.5 Members Only
Lesson 50

Play Along with Mulitple Chord Voicings

In this lesson, Mark guides you through the world of alternate chord voicings. He teaches several shapes and shows how they can be used to enhance your playing.

Length: 23:06 Difficulty: 2.0 Members Only
Lesson 51

Understanding Liquified Chords

Mark brings us a very appealing aspect to better understand the guitar. With his explanation of "liquified" chords, mark will explain how to move up and down the guitar to create different chord voicing.

Length: 25:32 Difficulty: 2.0 Members Only

About Mark Lincoln View Full Biography Mark Lincoln was born in S. California but was raised near Portland Oregon in a town called Beaverton. When he was twelve years old, he began his journey into the realm of the creative by composing poetry and was later published in a journal called "In Dappled Sunlight." He wrote for four years until his older sister blessed him with his first guitar, an old beat-up nylon stringed classical guitar. Mark played that guitar for five years, continuing to compose his own lyrics and starting the process of matching his own words with chords that he was learning on the guitar. He learned to play chords from his friends and from music books that he both bought and borrowed. Mark cited his four biggest influences, at that point at least, as The Who, Led Zeppelin, Jethro Tull, The Rolling Stones.

Mark cites his most current influences as Radiohead, U2, older music by REM, and Peter Gabriel amongst others. He performs with two acoustic guitars, one being a six-string M-36 Martin with a three-pieced back for increased bass response, and a Guild Twelve-string which is his most recent acquisition. Mark is fond of saying that the twelve-string guitar is better because you get two guitars for the price of one, but he still plays his Martin equally as much and with the same passion.

Mark ended up in Fort Collins Colorado where he currently lives, works as a Marriage and Family Therapist, and continues to write, teach and perform music. He currently performs with a group called "Black Nelson" as well as with a number of other seasoned professional musicians including his cousin David, a virtuoso lead-guitar player. Mark has performed in many of the smaller venues in Denver and Boulder, as well as some of the larger ones including the Fox Theatre, The Boulder Theatre, Herman's Hideaway, and also at The Soiled Dove where he opened for Jefferson Starship as a soloist. Some of Mark's originals are also available for your listening pleasure on MySpace.

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