#1
Hi UG
Um well, I'm having trouble with basic rhythms and syncopation.
For example a sequence that would go:
dotted quarter note -> quarter note -> eighth note -> quarter note
seems to give me a lot more trouble than it should, and I still don't have a basic rhythm like that down well. I'm trying to play with a metronome and I have been but eventually it just makes me rage.

Any help would be appreciated. I know people who have a lot less experience with guitar that just seem to 'get the rhythm' so much faster than me which makes me even more frusturated
#2
May sound silly, but make sure you're not tense. Let your body feel and 'dance' whether it's involuntarily tapping your foot, bobbing your head etc.
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#3
Yeah, I find myself forcing myself to tap my foot mainly due to how angry a metronome makes me lol
#4
Quote by scarhawk
Yeah, I find myself forcing myself to tap my foot mainly due to how angry a metronome makes me lol


metronome > foot tapping. but tapping is good for internalizing the beat -- try doing both simultaneously. tap your foot to the metronome.
Anfangen ist leicht, Beharren eine Kunst.
#5
Try subdividing the beats into eighth notes.
Then on paper write above the notes something like this:

1 + 2 + 3 + 4 +
Making sure you write the number or + over the correct note in the music.
The 1 + 2 will be above the dotted quarter note, the next + will be over the eighth, etc.

Once you have the numbers and + over the correct notes, try saying 'one and two and....' and as you go along clap the notes that are underneath one of your markings.

The main skill is to SUBDIVIDE.
The pencilling in bit is not so important - just an aid that can later be forgotten, until you need to use it.

Sometimes I still pencil in the pulse when I'm playing complicated rhythms....
#6
Quote by scarhawk
Hi UG
Um well, I'm having trouble with basic rhythms and syncopation.
For example a sequence that would go:
dotted quarter note -> quarter note -> eighth note -> quarter note
seems to give me a lot more trouble than it should, and I still don't have a basic rhythm like that down well. I'm trying to play with a metronome and I have been but eventually it just makes me rage.

Any help would be appreciated. I know people who have a lot less experience with guitar that just seem to 'get the rhythm' so much faster than me which makes me even more frusturated

Keep a constant up down motion with the strumming/picking hand, starting with a down stroke on beat 1. From this point onwards, downstrokes will land on the beat, upstrokes will land dead in the centre of the beat (aka off beat).

So the rhythm you have here would be

1 (2) + (3) + 4
which would be: Down, Up, Up, Down

... and continue to tap your foot to the beat.

If It helps, try clapping the rhythm first (whilst still tapping your foot), and then try it on the guitar.
Last edited by mdc at Feb 22, 2012,
#7
^+1 This is what I was going to suggest. Keeping the rhythm hand moving. Then you hit the beats you're supposed to hit and leave the rests.

Here's some common sixteenth not rhythms to practice. Practice each on on it's own then try combining them together.


Gallop


Reverse Gallop



Sixteenth / Eighth / Sixteenth



Dotted Eight / Sixteenth



Sixteenth / Dotted Eighth



Also when you practice try not to practice until you get frustrated. Just aim to make small progress. Be happy and confident if you get into the grove even for a moment. If you find that you are starting to get frustrated. Stop.

Tell yourself it was good to put in that practice, now you're that much closer to getting this stuff down cold.

Keep a positive mindset and take a break. If you're up for it after the break have another go, if not then go on to something else for a while and come back to it when you're fresh.

You will make more progress keeping a positive frame of mind. Let yourself accept that it does take time to get this stuff under your fingers but every time you practice whether you get it or not you are that much closer to getting it.
Si