One of the most essential skills for a guitarist is to be able to master the art of keeping time. It may not sound very important but having poor timing can turn a great song into a sloppy mess that no one wants to listen to. But don't worry because I have prepared some practical tips to help you keep in time and your playing sounding perfect.
1. Always Practise With A Metronome
It sounds simple I know but a metronome is an invaluable tool for any musician when used properly it can keep you in perfect time. I have a metronome app for my smart phone which cost nothing and is great when I'm practising away from home. Just make sure if you're playing in a band that you're all set on the same tempo (bpm).
2. Tap Your Foot
When you tap your foot that constant rhythmic motion creates a kind of inner metronome which helps you feel the beat of what you're playing. Many professional musicians claim that tapping your foot is the most important thing when keeping time.
3. Count Yourself In
When you do so count 1, 2, 3, 4 to the tempo you're playing in. This will not only help you but will gives others playing an idea of what tempo you're playing in. When I used to play with my friend Chris we would take a few minutes before each song we were playing and workout what tempo we wanted to play in and found that counting in was a great way to communicate with the other person what tempo we thought would sound best.
4. Record Yourself
Recording yourself and playing it back helps you to be able to identify weak areas especially when It comes to speed. Sometimes you can be falling behind or speeding up without even realizing you're doing so.
If you follow these simple and effective tips then you will without a doubt be on your way to play in good time. Thanks for reading this column and I hoped this help you. Best of wishes on your guitar playing endeavours and in the words of Tommy Emmanuel "Get to Work."