#1
Well I've been fiddling around with the guitar for about a year now.
My rhythm is quite horrible.

I'll be purchasing my first metronome soon although I'm not sure quite how to use it with strumming.

I haven't found any good youtube video lessons regarding rhythm.

Do any of you have any tips/stories about how you got your strumming up to scratch?
#2
I think it's personal preference really, my rhythm is tight and I have not once used a metronome. For me the key was playing along to things that force you to have a feel for the rhythm, things like Rammstein for example, where the riffs are good for rhythm and aren't necessarily fast, forcing you to feel when to play your notes rather than as fast as possible.
#3
While you don't have to use a metronome you do need to use something that keeps relatively constant time such as a drummer, drum machine, backing track or something like that. Without that external reference point you'll never be able to know if you're keepnig good rhythm as a beginner.

Really it's just something that comes with time and practice, as long as you're always conscious of the beat and trying to keep yourself in time with something then you'll get there eventually.
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#4
Quote by Zaphod_Beeblebr
While you don't have to use a metronome you do need to use something that keeps relatively constant time such as a drummer, drum machine, backing track or something like that. Without that external reference point you'll never be able to know if you're keepnig good rhythm as a beginner.

Really it's just something that comes with time and practice, as long as you're always conscious of the beat and trying to keep yourself in time with something then you'll get there eventually.

I'll second all of this.

By the way, OP: this is obviously just my own personal opinion, but try to get to grips with as many rhythms as you can: look at stuff like Faith by George Michael (a Bo Didelly originally), minor swing, it dont mean a thing, mary had a little lamb - srv, knights of cydonia - muse, house of the rising sun - the animals (6/8), smells like teen spirit - nirvana, in the aeroplane over the sea - neutral milk hotel (in 6/8).

Those would be ones I would suggest to give you array of different rhythms to start with, and a rough idea of what you can do with rhythms to vary and mix them up. Remember, just like with a lick, if you want to get it up to a high speed, use a metronome: I learnt this the hard way when I tried doing a texas shuffle at 250bpm and cocked it up infront of people.
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#5
http://www.metronomeonline.com/

I always prefer having a good tuner/metronome with more adjustable settings (especially subdivision), but this site's definitely a good start until you get a better metronome (that isn't free).
modes are a social construct
#6
I wouldn't mess around with a metronome. Those have always seemed very non-musical to me. I somehow learned to play drums pretty well when I was like 5 or 6, and it's always helped me have good rhythm. So I would say to learn the drums a little bit. But not one tip on here anyone has agreed with me on, so don't listen to me. Continue to use your tick tock loopers. Go on then
#7
We will. Mainly because not everyone wants to buy a drum kit to learn guitar. That is an expensive thing to 'learn a bit' of.
R.I.P. My Signature. Lost to us in the great Signature Massacre of 2014.

Quote by Master Foo
“A man who mistakes secrets for knowledge is like a man who, seeking light, hugs a candle so closely that he smothers it and burns his hand.”


Album.
Legion.
#8
Quote by fretmaster13
I wouldn't mess around with a metronome. Those have always seemed very non-musical to me. I somehow learned to play drums pretty well when I was like 5 or 6, and it's always helped me have good rhythm. So I would say to learn the drums a little bit. But not one tip on here anyone has agreed with me on, so don't listen to me. Continue to use your tick tock loopers. Go on then


There's a reason symphonies have a conductor. No one's perfect, and very few people are "gifted" with several years of experience with a rhythm instrument, so you have to train your natural rhythm somehow.

When it comes to learning proper technique, the approach of "Man, but music is about feeeeeeeeeeeeelings, man, not mechanics, maaaaaaaaaaan" is just juvenile.
modes are a social construct
#9
Quote by Light&Sound

Do any of you have any tips/stories about how you got your strumming up to scratch?


The first time I recorded my own playing to critique it was about 8 years ago on a little digital camera. My timing was flat out awful and I was totally embarrassed. I think I was trying to play "The Patient" by Tool or something simple like that. It was atrocious.

Playing along with the music is good for developing a sense of timing. Most people tend to rush and try to play faster without something keeping tempo, without a lot of practice.

You don't need to buy a metronome- just download one for use on your PC. I actually have one on my iPhone that was free to download. They help, but I don't use it all the time.

As for strumming, it depends on the type of strumming. I tend to use a very thick pick on my electrics and a paper-thin pick on my acoustics (especially 12 string). In my opinion, strumming is a technique unique to each instrument- yes it's all similar motions but string gauge and overall tension from tuning and scale length play a part in how the pick attacks and the string rebounds. If the string catches the pick when it rebounds, it deadens the note or creates a harmonic which can sound out of place (or perhaps you might like that, who knows?).

I had a much easier time strumming on my acoustics than electric at first due to pick thickness. To avoid the pick getting "stuck" under a string, bevel it back slightly on each upstroke and downstroke- make the attack angle less perpendicular to the fretboard and the pick should glide over the strings with minimal interruption.
#10
Drum Machines are good, Playing with songs and good. When you get better and you want to be cleaner play to a metronome. When using a metronome you hear everything your playing in full detail there are no crashing symbols, or full band behind you to hide your mess ups, just a quick beep and your guitar. This helped you really focus on your technique to play as clean as possible. It may not be as interesting as a drum machine or playing along to a cd but it is WAY more helpful.

When recording one of my first CD's i had to deal with a bass player that couldnt play to a click track he could only play to a drum beat... we spent more time cleaning up his bass track then I did on playing all the rhythms and all the leads. *note the rhythms are left and right so i had to record them twice.

Bottom line practice with a metronome if you want to be a better player.
#11
Quote by Light&Sound
Well I've been fiddling around with the guitar for about a year now.
My rhythm is quite horrible.

I'll be purchasing my first metronome soon although I'm not sure quite how to use it with strumming.

I haven't found any good youtube video lessons regarding rhythm.

Do any of you have any tips/stories about how you got your strumming up to scratch?


There are two components here: rhythm and timing. Rhythm comes from exposing yourself to, and taking the time to understand, a variety of different rhythmic patterns. Timing you can work on with a metronome.

Here's a good exercise with a metronome. I often use around 160BPM for this - it's not about crazy speed, and in fact, trying to be crazy fast will be counterproductive. You need to play able to play the scale comfortably at this speed and make every note sound good.

Play some basic scales at a comfortable, but fast speed. The goal is to hit each note of the scale EXACTLY in time with the metronome.

Now cut the metronome speed in half, but play the scale at the same speed. Now you're hitting every other note in time with a click. Again, the goal is to hit it exactly. This is usually still pretty easy for people.

Now it starts getting tricky.

Cut the original speed in a third. So if I started on 160, I'd now be at 53 BPM. The goal is to hit every third note perfectly in time with a click, while keeping a smooth even rhythm.

Go it? Cut the speed down to a 4th or your original speed - now we're down to 40BPM. Same thing. You're playing the scale at the same speed - but letting your body develop the sense of timing.

etc, etc. Keep cutting down the speed of the metronome, going more beats between clicks.

If you get this down with scales, start doing it with riffs. The more complicated the riff, the more challenging it will be. And you can start embellishing your riffs, to make it even more challenging.