I have no sense of rhythm, which I think effects my lead playing more so than my rhythm playing.

I don't really notice til I record something, it sucks!

So I am looking for a course to help me develop this, because without a sense of rhythm, I ain't going no where.


Last edited by wiggedy at Jan 23, 2014,
I don't have any rhythm either. It's something that you're born with. We are forever cursed.

No jk practice slow and steady to a metronome
Quote by macashmack
I don't have any rhythm either. It's something that you're born with. We are forever cursed.

Really? Because I am feeling like you might be right... is it a curse or something you can overcome?

Quote by macashmack
No jk practice slow and steady to a metronome

I have for the last 3 weeks been working on the "La Grange" first solo. Working on phrasing, (metronome and riffstation) but last night I recorded myself and it sounded like crap... Timing was really bad.

I have poor natural sense of rhythm but I've improved a lot over the last couple of years. In fact, it's the only thing I've improved.

Listen to yourself when you play. Remain aware of the beat and where you are in relation to it - before, after or on. Practice a lot. Record yourself and listen back. See what you're doing wrong. In my case I was noticing that I was behind the beat and over-correcting so it sounded awful.

You'll get better, slowly but surely, over the course of several months.
My problem was being tone deaf, which is you can hear everybody and everything being out of pitch except yourself. Took me 20 odd years and alot of help to finally be free of that affliction. But as Jehannum has already stated, the answer for your particular problem lies in practice, and if you apply yourself to it, a little in the morning, noon and night, it will come quite quickly as opposed to trying to slog it out for 3 hours every night. Most of all, the number one thing after listening is to relax. Relax and feel the groove! You already have a natural clock in your body which keeps perfect time. It's not about anticipating the beat, it's about relaxing into it's rhythm! And when it comes to playing guitar or any other instrument for that matter, things can only improve with timing, if you are fluent in playing the piece of music you have selected. Remember, Relax!!!
^ Excellent advice. I agree that relaxing is the biggest thing. Also bear in mind that needing practice with your fretting hand can also contribute to timing troubles: having to think too much about what your fretting hand is doing, and not leaving your mind free to "feel it". The only answer to that is to keep on playing and getting better. But in the meantime, if you want to work on your rhythm, I'd start by taking the simplest possible thing with your left hand - a single barre chord, and just strumming. Experiment with different strum patterns. Or try strumming steadily, and making rhythms by muting and unmuting with your fretting hand. This is a good one for loosening things up rhythmically.
The other thing: always, always, always tap your foot. And not just your foot. Nod your head, move your shoulders, etc, etc. Basically the more body parts you get in on the action the better (within reason - I'm kind of having funny visuals right now). Even when you're away from the guitar, drum your fingers and make up rhythms if you're in the mood. It's about all internalizing it, and making it a feel thing.
Hold off on assuming that you have an innately bad sense of timing. I'm the opposite. I've always had a good sense of timing, and it comes naturally to me (if only I could say the same about my ear). You know what? For the first several years on the guitar, my timing still sucked. Tension and lack of command of the instrument blocked my underlying good sense of timing until I improved at those things.
-Use metronome, or, just the drum track in guitar pro (more fun/lively) when practicing so you can always hear yourself clearly. Try to listen to how you sound rather than focusing on playing, so try playing something you know really well. If you can hear yourself being off rhythm (without needing to record), that's great and you can practice adjusting.

-Record yourself, either audio only or with a video (webcam etc). Put your raw rhythm or lead wav/sound file and align it with the drum track in an audio editor, see if your strokes line up with the drums (should be easy to see where the beats are). This will give a good indication of your issues, if you're generally too fast, too late and by how much.

-If practicing without metronome or regardless, resist any urge to play easy parts faster than the more tricky ones. Don't "catch up" on missed notes by rushing through them if you screw up, instead start over.

-Write some of your own riffs and rhythms. They can be bad or random, doesn't matter, but it will force you to make rhythm and internalize it yourself rather than trying to play back what someone else made.

-Transcribe music, this is so good for so many other things too - figure out exactly what different instruments are playing, or make some tabs (with correct note durations). Also, when listening to music, try figuring out the time signature and be aware of the rhythm

Those were some things I could think of that should be of help