Guitar Lesson - Rhythm Basics

Rhythm Basics For Guitar

By: John McCarthy and Steve Gorenberg

The following rhythms are popular, standard progressions to get you started. Each of the following rhythms is shown using tablature and includes accompanying mp3 backing tracks that you can download and play along with.

Our first example is a typical major chord progression in the key of D. The rhythm is shown here in tablature; the count underneath the staff is there for your reference. There are also strumming symbols used above the staff to show you the proper strumming direction. The first symbol indicates a downstrum, the other symbol indicates an upstrum.

You can click on the image to make it bigger.

Audio Track Number 01 (BRD)

Audio Track Number 02 (BD)

Our second example is similar to the first one, but this one is in the key of A minor and uses both major and minor chords.

Audio Track Number 03 (BRD)

Audio Track Number 04 (BD)

The next example is a simple barre chord rhythm. Most people find barre chords a little more difficult to play, but once you’ve got them mastered you’ll be able to play any name chord in any key. Mastering the barre chords is an important step to mastering the guitar.

Audio Track Number 05 (BRD)

Audio Track Number 06 (BD)

This next example is a basic blues rhythm shown in tablature. Blues is played using a shuffle rhythm, or an uneven eighth note rhythm. Listen and play along with the backing tracks to get the shuffle feel down.

Audio Track Number 07 (BRD)

Audio Track Number 08 (BD)

Now that you’ve got some basic rhythm progressions to get you started, you can refer back to these and use the backing tracks to jam along with. The lessons on Rock House and The Rock House Blog are designed to show you how to use scales, lead patterns and techniques in many styles of music; you can apply all of these to solo over the rhythms we’ve started you off with in this section.


chris said...

Great article, but I suggest you to make the images a bit larger

Sarge said...

If you click on the image it will give you a larger one.

Nimesh said...

Nice Post
Thanks for good stuff

Craig said...

This is a nice and simple way to start your easy guitar lessons. As with learning anything new, the mastery of the barre chord will require practice and patience. One of the best ways to learn is to frame the barre chord shape in one of two ways: first by applying the barre, with your finger, followed by framing the chord; or by first framing the chord then applying the barre. Practice both these methods consistently and often and soon you will be able to frame and apply the barre at the same time.
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