Hi there, I been playing for about 2 and a half years but one issue that's keeping me from being a good guitarist and playing with other people is I have no rhythm. I can never figure out the strum patterns to songs and when I ask people they say, "well you gotta feel it out." How do I "feel" it out? How do I learn to do this? Please help...I would love to be able to play with other people.
Hey Cap'n,

I've found that while some guitarists can learn solely by ear, most need the help of a teacher or book to show them how to play specific rhythms. Once you've learned a bunch of strum patterns, you can start figuring out songs by ear.

Most people who tell you "you gotta feel it out" forget that they got their start learning rhythms this way. It's like an bicyclist telling a five-year-old on training wheels to "just ride," forgetting all their own wipeouts and scraped knees.

Try going through the beginner and intermediate rhythm lessons on justinguitar.

He also has dvds on rhythm (strumming patterns namely) but you need to pay for those. I haven't bought them myself but I'm considering it for the sake of owning a course on rhythm.

I also just 'Amazond' rhythm guitar and a number of books/dvds popped up. Try to google each of the titles to see what people on the net say about it.

There are also lessons on this site of course.
I agree with above post but I also have another tip.
Try to be more aware of rythm even when you are not playing guitar. For example when you hear a song on the radio, try to tap your foot a long with the beat and figure out what the rythm pattern is. That way you can fine tune your inner metronome.
Alright people, Move along - there is nothing to see.
"Or so you think..."
if youve been playing for that long and still cant generate a rhythm, well done.
This is hands down the best explination I have every heard. Victor Wooten & Anthony Wellington are doing a workshop for some master bassists. I definitely think this lecture is worth checking out!


He also has another video under his channel where he talks about players with bad time. He says its an awareness issue, if your out of time and don't know it. You are simply unaware just like a singer who is out of key. But if your out of time and you know that... you don't really have bad time, because your aware of it. You just need to get better at it. From the sounds of it you sound like the 2nd of the two
Quote by MetlHed94

Well played, sir, well played.
Last edited by TheMooseKnuckle at Apr 7, 2011,
it's weird, but I never had any touble picking up the rhythym on any song. I can remember being really little and being able to visualize the strum pattern in songs I would listen to. Not that I'm a magical player but this is something that just came naturally to me, even before I knew any chords or scales or anything. I really feel for people who have trouble with it!
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