Rhythm (Guitar Lesson)


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Matt Brown

Rhythm

Lesson 14 is all about rhythm. Matt Brown discusses its importance and provides several exercises.

Taught by Matt Brown in Reading Music and Rhythm seriesLength: 20:17Difficulty: 2.0 of 5
Chapter 1: (01:14) Introduction Welcome back to the Reading Music and Rhythm Series with Matt Brown! Matt returns in this lesson with some brand new rhythm exercises. These exercises are applied to the second patterns of the C, F, and G major scales. However, they can be applied with any vertical scale pattern. On your own time, practice these exercises along with other scale patterns that Matt has explained in the series. A list of all the scales discussed up to this point is listed below.

1st Position

C Major
G Major
F Major
A Dorian
A Natural Minor
E Natural Minor
D Natural Minor

2nd Position

C Major
G Major
F Major

Creating a Practice Schedule

At this point in the series, Matt has demonstrated several important scales and rhythm exercises. For most people, it will be impossible to fit all of these exercises into each daily warm-up session. For this reason, it is necessary to lay out a weekly practice schedule. Allot a specific amount of time for each exercise. Practice a few exercises each day. Make sure that all important exercises are practiced at least once within the span of the week. For additional information on creating a practice schedule, refer to Matt's 1st Rock lesson as well as the 7th and 8th lessons from his Phase 2 Jazz Series.
Chapter 2: (03:12) Rhythm Syncopation

The first exercise in this exercise is heavily syncopated. Syncopated rhythms place an emphasis on metrically weak beats or "off-beats." Within this exercise, notes are struck more frequently on the "and" beats than the downbeats.

Syncopated rhythms are frequently used in funk, jazz, and Latin music. These types of rhythms are highly conducive to dancing.

Exercise 1

Note:
Open "Rhythm" listed under the "Supplemental Content" tab. This document features standard notation to the rhythm exercises taught in the lesson.

Counting

When playing a syncopated rhythm that involves eighth notes and quarter notes, continue to count "1 + 2 + 3 + 4 +" for each measure of 4/4 time. Although a note may not be played on a specific counting syllable, counting in this manner will help you keep the overall pulse steady. In the lesson exercises, Matt has indicated when a note is picked and when a note is simply held over or tied. Picked notes are written with numerals and "+" symbols. When notes are held over or tied, they are written in parenthesis. Whenever you encounter a difficult rhythm in a piece of music, write in the appropriate counting syllables below the measure. This will help you play the rhythm correctly when the measure is encountered in a practice session or performance.

Practicing the Exercise

Follow along with Matt in the lesson video as he explains how the rhythm of the exercise should be performed. Clap the rhythm while counting out loud before attempting to transfer the exercise to the guitar.
Chapter 3: (00:58) Exercise Once you can clap the rhythm, apply it to the second position pattern of the C major scale. Play each note in the scale for a full measure using this rhythm. Practice with a metronome to make sure that you are playing in time. Begin at a slow tempo such as 60-70 beats per minute. Gradually increase the speed of the metronome as you become more comfortable with the exercise.
Chapter 4: (02:20) Performance Return to the lesson video and play along with Matt when you can successfully play the exercise at 80 beats per minute.

When practicing rhythm exercises, always begin and end the scale on the lowest root note in the pattern. Otherwise, you will get off track with Matt. Begin with the C note played at the 3rd fret of the fifth string. Then, ascend to the highest note in the pattern (A). Next, descend down to the lowest note available in the pattern (F). Finally, ascend back up to the root note that you started with.
Chapter 5: (03:55) Exercise Exercise 2

Note:
Open "Rhythm" listed under the "Supplemental Content" tab.

The first two beats of this exercise are played in the same rhythm as the previous exercise. However, the last two beats are different. On beat 3, an eighth note is played. Then, a dotted quarter note is struck on the "and" of 3. This note is held for the rest of the measure. Remember that a dot adds half of the written value to the note that precedes it. For example, half of a quarter note is an eighth note. Consequently, a dotted quarter note is held for one and a half beats in 4/4 time.

Practicing the Exercise

Follow the guidelines listed under the previous exercise as you practice Exercise 2. Clap the rhythm while counting out loud before attempting to transfer the exercise to the guitar. Once you can clap the rhythm, apply it to the second position pattern of the G major scale. Play each note in the scale for a full measure using this rhythm. Practice with a metronome to make sure that you are playing in time. Begin at a slow tempo such as 60-70 beats per minute. Gradually increase the speed of the metronome as you become more comfortable with the exercise. Return to the lesson video and play along with Matt when you can successfully play the exercise at 112 beats per minute.

It may take you a few days or even weeks before you can play comfortably at this tempo. This is perfectly acceptable! Strive for accuracy and steady rhythm. Speed will come in due time if you practice consistently each day.
Chapter 6: (07:04) Exercise Triplet Difficulties

Many beginning musicians struggle when first trying to play triplet rhythms. Triplets pose several specific difficulties. They may seem strange to count at first since three notes are played to each beat. Playing three notes per beat will feel quite awkward if you only have experience with eighth notes and quarter notes.

Triplets are difficult from a technical standpoint as well. When performing eighth notes with alternate picking, the downstroke is always played on each downbeat. This is not the case with triplets. Since an odd number of notes are played to each beat, the picking direction will alternate from one beat to the next. Watch closely at 00:44 as Matt demonstrates the proper way to pick triplets.

Counting Triplets

Many musicians prefer to count "1 trip-let, 2 trip-let, 3 trip-let, 4 trip-let" for a measure consisting of triplets. Matt prefers to count "1 and ah, 2 and ah, 3 and ah, 4 and ah." Both methods are perfectly acceptable. Use whichever method works best for you.

Triplet Exercise

Clap the rhythm while counting out loud before attempting to transfer the exercise to the guitar. Count the rhythm out loud while clapping. Once you can clap the rhythm, apply it to the second position pattern of the F major scale. Unlike the previous two exercises, each note in the scale is only played in triplets for one beat instead of an entire measure. Practice with a metronome to make sure that you are playing in time. Begin at a slow tempo such as 60-70 beats per minute. Gradually increase the speed of the metronome as you become more comfortable with the exercise. Return to the lesson video and play along with Matt when you can successfully play the exercise at 80 beats per minute.

For additional practice, Matt repeats the exercise at 100 beats per minute at 05:03. The exercise is repeated once again at 06:00. This time around, the exercise is performed at 120 beats per minute.
Chapter 7: (01:27) Wrap-Up In the next three lessons, Matt switches gears and returns to reading practice. In these lessons, he provides a quick crash on reading melodies in second position. Familiar melodies from first position are transferred to second position in order to practice the keys of C, F, and G major.

In future rhythm lessons, Matt explains how to count and play various strumming patterns. He also demonstrates syncopated patterns involving triplets. Sixteenth note rhythms are introduced as well. Stay tuned for more reading and rhythm action!

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.


camsell94camsell94 replied on June 15th, 2012

What makes those notes triplet EIGHTH notes?

mattbrownmattbrown replied on June 18th, 2012

The term "eighth note triplets" is sometimes used to differentiate between "sextuplets" or what some people refer to as "sixteenth note triplets". The most common terms used though are just "triplets" for three notes to a single beat and "sextuplets" for six notes to a beat.

charlie636charlie636 replied on September 23rd, 2011

Matt, Having these rythems explained, and playing along with you is really fantastic. Rythem has been a real stickler for me, and now I am really getting it right. Thanks.

mattbrownmattbrown replied on September 30th, 2011

Hooray! Keep up the good work. Don't hesitate to ask if you ever have questions...I check my comments about once a week or so.

wayne66wayne66 replied on April 11th, 2010

So looking triplet up on the googles, I see that "three triplet eighth notes are equal in duration to one quarter note." This may have been mentioned in the lesson and I just missed it. Anyway, so would exercise 3 still be considered 4/4 time? Could this exercise also be considered 12/8 time?

mattbrownmattbrown replied on April 15th, 2010

Yes, that particular measure could also be notated in 12/8, and it would sound exactly the same. 12/8 is used when the three notes per pulse feel is maintained over at least several measures. 4/4 is used when the three notes to a pulse rhythm only shows up occasionally in a song. Once you start playing more songs in these time signatures, you'll begin to see what I mean.

gilbert714gilbert714 replied on March 14th, 2010

Where are the tabs I don't read music sorry.

jboothjbooth replied on March 15th, 2010

This series is meant exclusively for learning to read standard notation, so there will be no accompanying tablature with these lessons.

burford0714burford0714 replied on May 4th, 2009

when you are playing scales,how does it applies to music ? a lot of songs are in c that I play in. and can you still play it in the 5th fret ? but in a different key ?

Reading Music and Rhythm

Found in our Beginner Lesson Sets

Matt brings all of his years of education right to you with this fantastic series on how to read music. You will start with the very basics and work up to some very advanced concepts.



Lesson 1

Intro to Reading Music

This introductory lesson will walk you through the basics of reading music and reading rhythm.

Length: 15:07 Difficulty: 1.5 Members Only
Lesson 2

Reading Music

Learn how to identify notes, the key signature, and the staff. Implement your reading skills by playing a few simple tunes.

Length: 43:32 Difficulty: 1.5 FREE
Lesson 3

Rhythm and Time Signatures

Learn the basics of notation and time signatures. Practice these concepts with a few timing exercises.

Length: 22:01 Difficulty: 1.5 Members Only
Lesson 4

3/4 Time Signatures

Now that you've learned a bit about 4/4 time, it's on to 3/4 time.

Length: 22:20 Difficulty: 2.0 Members Only
Lesson 5

Reading Music Practice

Now that you know the basics of reading music, it's time to put that knowledge to work with some exercises.

Length: 25:43 Difficulty: 2.0 Members Only
Lesson 6

On Top of Old Smokey

Get some more practice reading music and rhythms during your rock fest rendition of "On Top of Old Smokey".

Length: 15:54 Difficulty: 2.0 Members Only
Lesson 7

He's Got the Whole World

Matt Brown reviews the G major scale and teaches "He's Got the Whole World".

Length: 13:18 Difficulty: 2.0 Members Only
Lesson 8

Amazing Grace

Matt Brown explains how to read music in the key of F major. He uses the song "Amazing Grace" as an example.

Length: 15:22 Difficulty: 2.0 Members Only
Lesson 9

Shoo, Fly

Matt Brown teaches the song "Shoo, Fly" as another excellent rhythm and reading example. This song is in the key of G.

Length: 14:46 Difficulty: 2.0 Members Only
Lesson 10

Scales and Key Signatures

Matt Brown returns with the 10th installment in his Reading and Rhythm series. In this lesson, Matt discusses key signatures.

Length: 14:09 Difficulty: 1.5 Members Only
Lesson 11

Minor Key and Aura Lee

In this lesson Matt Brown covers the first minor key song in this series, "Aura Lee".

Length: 12:11 Difficulty: 2.0 Members Only
Lesson 12

Scarborough Fair

In this lesson, Matt introduces the A Dorian mode. He applies it to the song "Scarborough Fair".

Length: 16:29 Difficulty: 2.5 Members Only
Lesson 13

Second Position

In lesson 13, Matt Brown discusses and demonstrates second position.

Length: 29:52 Difficulty: 1.5 Members Only
Lesson 14

Rhythm

Lesson 14 is all about rhythm. Matt Brown discusses its importance and provides several exercises.

Length: 20:17 Difficulty: 2.0 Members Only
Lesson 15

On Top of Old Smokey Review

Matt Brown reviews "On Top of Old Smokey". This time around, the melody is played in second position.

Length: 7:56 Difficulty: 2.0 Members Only
Lesson 16

Reviewing Angels We Have Heard On High

For lesson 14, Matt Brown reviews "Angels We Have Heard On High". The melody is now played in second position.

Length: 12:02 Difficulty: 2.0 Members Only
Lesson 17

Shoo, Fly Review

Matt Brown reviews the song "Shoo, Fly" in second position.

Length: 8:56 Difficulty: 2.0 Members Only
Lesson 18

Rhythm Strumming

This lesson covers right hand rhythm technique. Matt introduces syncopated strumming patterns.

Length: 25:38 Difficulty: 2.5 Members Only
Lesson 19

Down by the Riverside

Matt teaches the melody to "Down by the Riverside". This tune is used as preparation for learning accompaniment techniques.

Length: 15:02 Difficulty: 1.5 Members Only
Lesson 20

Accompaniment

Matt uses the song "Down by the Riverside" to teach accompaniment techniques for rhythm backing.

Length: 12:31 Difficulty: 1.5 Members Only
Lesson 21

Fur Elise Pt. 1

Matt teaches the classic tune "Fur Elise" in a two part series. For Part 1, Matt demonstrates the melody section.

Length: 24:03 Difficulty: 2.5 Members Only
Lesson 22

Fur Elise Pt. 2

In lesson 22, Matt teaches the accompaniment sections to Beethoven's "Fur Elise".

Length: 13:12 Difficulty: 1.5 Members Only
Lesson 23

The Entertainer Pt. 1

Lesson 23 starts a 2 part series on the classic tune "The Entertainer".

Length: 16:30 Difficulty: 2.0 Members Only
Lesson 24

The Entertainer Pt. 2

Lesson 24 completes the two part series on "The Entertainer". You will learn the accompaniment in this lesson.

Length: 14:06 Difficulty: 2.0 Members Only
Lesson 25

Sea to Sea Pt. 1

Matt starts another 2 part lesson, this time on the tune "Sea to Sea" by William G. Leavitt.

Length: 20:36 Difficulty: 2.5 Members Only
Lesson 26

Sea to Sea Pt. 2

Lesson 26 completes Matt's 2 part series on "Sea to Sea".

Length: 10:17 Difficulty: 2.5 Members Only
Lesson 27

Stars and Stripes Forever Pt. 1

Matt introduces the B flat major scale and teaches the song "Stars and Stripes Forever".

Length: 21:31 Difficulty: 2.5 Members Only
Lesson 28

Stars and Stripes Forever Pt. 2

Matt completes his two part series on "Stars and Stripes Forever" by teaching the accompaniment.

Length: 7:39 Difficulty: 2.0 Members Only
Lesson 29

D Major in First and Second Position

Matt Brown teaches the D Major scale in both first and second positions.

Length: 17:55 Difficulty: 1.5 Members Only
Lesson 30

Danny Boy Pt. 1

Matt Brown demonstrates "Danny Boy" in both first and second positions.

Length: 16:28 Difficulty: 2.5 Members Only
Lesson 31

Danny Boy Pt. 2

Matt Brown teaches the accompaniment to the "Danny Boy" melody.

Length: 12:03 Difficulty: 2.5 Members Only
Lesson 32

Silent Night Pt. 1

Matt teaches the Christmas classic "Silent Night."

Length: 18:17 Difficulty: 2.5 Members Only
Lesson 33

Silent Night Pt. 2

Matt teaches the accompaniment to the "Silent Night" melody.

Length: 4:55 Difficulty: 1.5 Members Only
Lesson 34

Funiculi Funicula Pt. 1

Matt Brown teaches "Funiculi Funicula" as an exercise in reading and playing in 6/8 time.

Length: 14:39 Difficulty: 2.5 Members Only
Lesson 35

Funiculi Funicula Pt. 2

Matt Brown teaches the accompaniment to "Funiculi Funicula".

Length: 16:40 Difficulty: 1.5 Members Only
Lesson 36

Strumming Triplets

In lesson 36, Matt provides exercises to help you strum triplet patterns.

Length: 23:30 Difficulty: 2.0 Members Only
Lesson 37

Strumming Sixteenth Note Rhythms

In lesson 37, Matt Brown demonstrates how to strum sixteenth note rhythms.

Length: 17:28 Difficulty: 2.0 Members Only
Lesson 38

Song of the Volga Boatmen

Matt Brown demonstrates the melody and tips for playing the Russian folk tune "Song of the Volga Boatmen".

Length: 11:33 Difficulty: 0.5 Members Only
Lesson 39

Song of the Volga Boatmen Pt. 2

In lesson 39, Matt teaches the accompaniment to "Song of the Volga Boatmen".

Length: 8:35 Difficulty: 1.5 Members Only
Lesson 40

Dance of the Ukraine

Matt Brown teaches and demonstrates "Dance of the Ukraine."

Length: 15:37 Difficulty: 2.0 Members Only
Lesson 41

Dance of the Ukraine Pt. 2

Matt demonstrates the accompaniment to the "Dance of the Ukraine" melody.

Length: 13:36 Difficulty: 2.5 Members Only
Lesson 42

Etude by Ferdinando Carulli

Matt Brown teaches an etude for classical guitar by Ferdinando Carulli.

Length: 21:20 Difficulty: 2.5 Members Only
Lesson 43

Morning Pt. 1

Matt Brown teaches the melody section to "Morning" by Edvard Grieg.

Length: 18:44 Difficulty: 2.0 Members Only
Lesson 44

Morning Pt. 2

Matt teaches the accompaniment for Edvard Grieg's "Morning."

Length: 8:08 Difficulty: 2.5 Members Only
Lesson 45

Bach's Minuet Pt. 1

Matt Brown teaches Bach's classic Minuet.

Length: 14:55 Difficulty: 2.0 Members Only
Lesson 46

Bach's Minuet Pt. 2

In lesson 46, Matt Brown covers the accompaniment section to Bach's Minuet.

Length: 5:53 Difficulty: 2.0 Members Only
Lesson 47

Little Prelude in C Pt. 1

Matt Brown teaches Bach's "Little Prelude in C."

Length: 16:23 Difficulty: 2.0 Members Only
Lesson 48

Little Prelude in C Pt. 2

Matt Brown teaches the accompaniment to "Little Prelude in C" by Bach.

Length: 7:49 Difficulty: 2.0 Members Only
Lesson 49

Clementi's Sonatina

Matt Brown teaches the 2nd guitar part to Muzio Clementi's famous "Sonatina."

Length: 23:46 Difficulty: 2.5 Members Only
Lesson 50

Bach's Invention #1

Matt Brown teaches Invention #1 composed by J.S. Bach.

Length: 21:42 Difficulty: 2.5 Members Only
Lesson 51

Third Position

Matt takes a look at playing in third position. This lesson will set up future reading lessons that require the third position.

Length: 7:16 Difficulty: 0.0 Members Only
Lesson 52

Third Position Practice

Matt Brown has you working through Jean Philippe Rameau's Minuet for third position playing in lesson 52. He provides a play along and accompaniment to help your sight reading and playing.

Length: 15:11 Difficulty: 0.0 Members Only

About Matt Brown View Full Biography Matt Brown began playing the guitar at the age of 11. "It was a rule in my family to learn and play an instrument for at least two years. I had been introduced to a lot of great music at the time by friends and their older siblings. I was really into bands like Nirvana, Alice In Chains, and Smashing Pumpkins, so the decision to pick up the guitar came pretty easily."

Matt's musical training has always followed a very structured path. He began studying the guitar with Dayton, Ohio guitar great Danny Voris. I began learning scales, chords, and basic songs like any other guitarist. After breaking his left wrist after playing for only a year, Matt began to study music theory in great detail. I wanted to keep going with my lessons, but I obviously couldn't play at all. Danny basically gave me the equivalent of a freshman year music theory course in the span of two months. These months proved to have a huge impact on Brown's approach to the instrument.

Brown continued his music education at Capital University in Columbus, Ohio. He completed a degree in Classical Guitar Performance in 2002. While at Capital, he also studied jazz guitar and recording techniques in great detail. "I've never had any desire to perform jazz music. Its lack of relevance to modern culture has always turned me off. However, nothing will improve your chops more than studying this music."

Matt Brown currently resides in Dayton, Ohio. He teaches lessons locally as well as at Capital University's Community Music School. Matt's recent projects include writing and recording with his new, as of yet nameless band as well as the formation of a cover band called The Dirty Cunnies.

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