Playing guitar in time is a fun and rewarding task. While it seems effortless watching a seasoned player strumming away on the guitar, there are many complex actions taking part in this magic:
- There is continuous counting in your head.
- Your foot is tapping on the downbeat.
- Your strumming arm keeps moving like a pendulum.
- There is synchronizing on chord changes.
- You are anticipating every chord change in order to get them there in time
- You got to hold the pick lightly enough to sound smooth and yet firmly enough to play with conviction.
Here’s a video on strumming from our Online Classes
When you?re starting out it’s hard to master all of these at once. Here are 10 tips to help you master playing in time:
- Take time to slowly work out the chord changes 2 chords at a time without strumming. This will ensure that your brain maps out the way your fingers move
- Play one time on each chord back and forth then move on to the next set of chords
- Do this until you?re familiar with all the chord changes
- Review the strum pattern playing without chords a few times
- Put the chord changes and the strum together at your own pace
- Do not speed up until you are comfortable with the changes
- Make sure to tap your foot on the downbeats for reference
- Make it musical! Even it’s at a slower tempo starting out
- Challenge yourself and play along with the songs you learned in class
- Play songs you like!
One great (and fun) way to work on your rhythm is to check out a Happy Hour Guitar. ?Happy Hour Guitar?was started 3 years ago by NYC Guitar School teacher,?Eliane Delage, with the beginning guitarist in mind and the intention of helping practice time to be more effective and fun. Every Friday from 5:30pm to 8:30pm players of all levels come together enjoying a selection of over 100 songs, rhythm training, blues jam, strum patterns, and chord review.
Find out more about Happy Hour Guitar!