The SECRET To Playing Guitar With Perfect RHYTHM

The SECRET To Playing Guitar With Perfect RHYTHM

Tommaso Zillio

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guitar rhythm timing tricks

One thing I find baffling about guitar players is that we are always trying to out-play each other and see who is the fastest player in the room.

... but what makes people dance, your friends envy you, and members of your preferred sex swoon in admiration is not how fast you can play that scale, but how good are your rhythm and timing skills.

You know when pop stars plays that simple song that is so catchy? What do you think "catchy" is? It's rhythm skills!

So what’s the secret to developing perfect rhythm on the guitar?

Simple. Every time you are about to play a note out of time, stop, and play it in time instead.

Hope this helps, thanks for reading. I'll see you next week...

But wait... what if that doesn’t work? What are you supposed to do then?

If that’s the case, we’ll have to resort to plan B: practicing.

I know, I know, practicing is for nerds but hey, if you want to develop strong rhythm, this is a sacrifice you’re going to have to make!

Now you have a new problem, though. What are you supposed to practice? Everyone always says to just “practice with a metronome”, but what does that even mean? Play your guitar while holding a metronome between your teeth?

(Is that a metronome in your pocket or are you just happy to see me?)

Ok, seriously what exactly are you supposed to be playing with the metronome? What exercises should you be doing?

I have just the thing for you. A few simple - but killer- exercises that you can practice today and that will immediately improve your rhythm.

If you want to learn what those exercises are, watch the video below and watch my new video on how to develop perfect rhythm on guitar - so even when you play just two chords, the crowd will go wild!

If you want to be a great rhythm guitar player, it's obviously incredibly important to know how to play in time. If you liked the video above, check out our new course Ultimate Rhythm Mastery

Video Transcription

Hello Internet, so nice to see you! Everybody with music theory talks about chords and scales and harmony and all these kinds of thing. But we know that a big part of how music sound, it's not the harmony, the chords, the melody. It's the rhythm. Rhythm is a super important thing. And we need to get the rhythm right.

Otherwise our songs don't sound good. One of the components of this is to be able to play the rhythm in a convincing way to be tight with the band to be precise with your rhythm. It's a skill that is surprisingly rare. When you go out there and listen to other musicians you discover always have problems with rhythm.

Is there a way to become a solid rhythm player? Is there a way to become super steady with your rhythm so that you sound good? Okay. Is there a way to channel your inner James Hetfield so that every rhythm you play is fantastically consistent? Yes. Yesterday is a student asked me exactly how to get that. And this is what I told him.

How do I get razor tight rhythm razor tight? Yeah. Razor Sharp, I should say.

It's either razor sharp or something else to it. Okay. Yeah, always a title in the metaphor went away from us. Okay. Have you ever worked with a metronome? Oh, yeah. Good. Okay. That's good. That's what they want to hear. Okay. Even before that, no? Problem. Yeah. Okay. And how's going with that?

It's gone pretty good. Um, it's, you know, it's, I don't do it. Right now, I'm focusing more on technique. But, you know, I've worked a lot of doors and whatnot, recording and writing and stuff. So I've worked on the click, you know, on the on the grid and whatnot. So that's basically, when I'm forced to do it for recording. That's when I do it most. But I've done it practicing as well, just not as much lately.

Okay, so let's start from something simple. So I want you to play open six string palm muting. Eighth notes. Keep the groove.

You guys noticed that? What's happening? He’s speeding up. Did you notice you were putting in?

Not quite exactly. Okay.

This will happen to everybody. Incidentally. I'm putting you on the spot? Yes. I'm on the spot. No problem. And then but practically everybody except that probably three people. Okay, we'll have the exact same problem after a while, he will start to speed up. Okay. That's what everybody does. It's normal, we just need to start perceiving the speeding up.

Okay, so I'm gonna give you a few exercises to work on your rhythm. We cannot do them here because you have to record yourself when you do them. Okay, so I'm gonna show them to you. But I mean, it doesn't make sense on the record yourself. Okay. The first one will be this. You prepare your DAW, okay.

And you put a drum track for the first two bars. And you leave eight bars with nothing. And you put another truck for two bars and then eight bars with nothing and two bars, drum rack, and you have to play exactly that. Just the eight notes. So the beginning you have the drums too far, too far too far too far, and then nothing.

So no click, no click and don't want and don't look at the drill. And then you want of course, possibly that when the drums come back in, you are exactly in time, right with the drums. Now this looks impossible at first. But if you try it more than once, okay, you'll see that it is actually possible.

Okay, so now you start developing this kind of long range, rhythm sense. These helps you especially in the perception of speeding up and slowing down. Okay, now if you play in Studio can usually have the click track and the drums etc. When you're playing live, the drummer is not perfect. Having this kind of sense help you keeping the rhythm which in turn helps him keeping the rhythm.

Okay, the absolutely fundamental exercise. The next exercise is to develop on the on your hand, the sense of rhythm in the short term and the precision of every hit. So you're gonna do it this way. You're gonna have a drum track on the on the whole exercise now. Okay, and you're gonna record guess What? Okay, always start with something simple because it's very easy to fudge thing in something complex.

Something so simple, every every mistake is just stark, naked in front of you, okay? And that's what you want. So you're gonna record, let's say, four bars of this on with the drum. Okay, and you're gonna mute the guitar track. And you're gonna record the same thing again, on a second track. Without listening, the first is the same damn thing. Okay, once you're done, you unmute both tracks.

And so you make sure you can listen to both of them. You can one heart right and one hard left. If you've done things properly, this will sound like a big guitar, everything is hitting you exactly at the same time. But if it's not done perfectly, one side is hitting you before the other. So it feels like the music music is moving left or right. Okay, then you have to do it. Okay. Makes sense.

You want to arrive at the point where you can reliably record double track, essentially the code the same truck twice. And the timing is exactly the same. You start with something simple. You stay with something simple for a while. That is an exercise you can do as a warm up for recording. Very few people were mad when they have something creative to do. Nobody seems to warm up on the recording.

Okay. But you should you should have a warm up track where you double track a couple of things. So you gotta kind of warm up the rhythm. Yeah, essentially. Yeah, the sense of rhythm in a sense, okay, that you should warm up before you record a song, right? Rather than just going turned on the song. Let's record my track immediately. Warm up.

That makes sense. So warm up a technique and warm up your rhythm. Yes, that makes sense. I never do that.

I know. When they tell you it's like it's obvious. But it's not. Okay. Right. So you warm up the rhythm and this this sense. I mean, I call it rhythm. Once you develop it, you know that the rhythm doesn't really capture the thing. It's kind of an awareness in time of where everything needs to fall. Very hard to repulse.

Kinda kinda, but it's also an an extra resolution before it's just okay, I have eight No, eight knows. Later, you're gonna have to go like, Okay, I haven't noticed that. And I can play them perfectly on the beat, or exactly late on the beat.

And just to give it a bit of a pool to song, I can play them early in the beat, but it sucks when hidden dead. But you start feeling that. And then you start listening to good drummers. And you realize that for instance, the snare, it's just that touch late then later than the high hats. And that gives this kind of kind of groove to the whole thing. I mean, groove also has a kind of reductive term style on it.

Yes, it kind of it kind of you're learning to listen to where things are in time by doing it and then listening back and being critical of what are your of your blank. Make sense? Yeah. So those are two simple exercises. People tend to really underestimate them. But if you do them and have a critical ear and try to really, really make them perfect. They really change the way you're playing it. And you can play the simplest thing and sounds good.

So when you're doing the second exercise, you said you play for four bars, and then you stop. You stop that rhythm track as well. And you said you rerecord it.

Yes, I just go back and record it again. Okay. And then once I'm done, I listen. I delete the guitar track and then do it again and again and again. And again. You can do it easily. 20 or 30 times per session. Right.

Okay. So even when you get it to match up, so you, would it behoove you to do it again, just as solidify?

Yes. Yeah. It's an exercise you're recording to throw it away. You don't have to keep it right. Okay. Okay, cool. It could be interesting if you keep some recording occasionally and date them congesting.

Okay, one month ago, I was sucking this much and I'm sucking progress. Yes. And using secondly, because once you start developing these kinds of critical ear, a lot of things starts to suck too. But it's useful. Okay, so that's the idea. Okay. But it's just yeah, I mean, I ever I have a couple of fights when which I recorded and deleted the hundreds of the eggs. Just for the purpose of doing it and doing it and doing it and doing it.

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