one of the people who made me pic up a guitar:

Paul gilbert

and that man happens to speak of syncopation quite often,

when dealing with solos, when dealing with rythym, and also with improv.

now i have searched this site up and down but cant even seem to find the word in a lesson or a forum thread.

what i know: it has something to with accenting notes or chords on offbeats.

im not 100% sure on that, but thats what i know.

i want to know if anyone could explain in more detail, or possibly even put a lesson out on it.
heard the word in a guitar book first, had a look - didn't explain much so ...
i checked wikipedia!


1.1 - 1.4

several things he could mean but you get the idea - accent on the off-beat by leaving out strokes on the beat or muting on the beat or playing both but stroking harder on the off-beat
Quote by Colohue
Surely most people do that completely unintentionally.

An easy mistake, really. "Syncopation" is a word that I learned in 5th grade or so; it's easy to assume that everyone else did. Obviously that's a bad assumption, but an easy one nonetheless. The same goes for a lot of other terms.
How so? Obviously there is a technique to doing it intentionally but, if you don't know what it is, then you do it just to sound like you want to sound rather than for any technical option.
Last edited by Colohue at Aug 6, 2009,
I can explain syncopation, but it doesn't really deserve it's own lesson because it's not a very large topic.

Syncopation is literally the act of placing notes on the unaccented beats, or the upbeats. It's a very common technical aspect found in Jazz music. It gives the music an almost "lurching" feel, and is sometimes offset by other instruments, like the bass or the drums, playing on the down beats.

So if your measure is in common time (4/4), then the counting structure goes:

1 + 2 + 3 + 4 + ...

So playing on the numbers would be the downbeats. Syncopation is when you throw notes into the "ands" between each beat. Then, you usually have two rhythms bouncing off each other.

Here's a good (short) video explaining syncopation using a piano:

breaking hearts
breaking guitars