I've been playing guitar for 2 months and just trying to learn on my own. Really the only problem I'm having is I can't get the rhythm down for any song. I always listen to the song that I'm trying to learn and I always end up strumming like the syllables of the words instead like that actual guitar part. Does this make sense? So is there any way to help me out?
thats what happened to me when i first tried to play and sing at the same time. i could play the guitar and sing but together wouldn't happen. all i can really tell you is just focus on the guitar part by itself and just play it over and over.
Here's a tip I used when I was just starting to play (which isin't that long ago haha, I've been playing for like, 6 months) on your mp3 player, or ipod or whatever you have, (you can even plug your earphones to the computer) on one earphone, you can hear the guitar much more than in the other (not on all songs, but most of them) so, try turning up the volume, and listening just to that earphone... it works... Good Luck
Get a metronome and play some simple licks with it...
start slow, first work one strumming each chord only once as the progression changes in the song. that way you start to get an idea of the timing. Then start to make the strum more complex. Ie adding rythem. First with just down strokes and chord changes. Then adding up & down. Work on each one till you can do it correctly without listening to the song them move on to the next.
Although down/up strumming is important try not to focus on it too much. I do the same things as you and I started doing that recently and it has worked to some degree. If you like rock try the DYlan version of knocking on heaven's door (tab on here) and pay close attention to how the strumming sounds but not necessarily for up/down.
I had the same kind of problem at 2 months of playing, I could play songs but I was concentrating too much on the physical movements involved, and not trying to keep a steady beat going in my head. Get a metronome and try and count out some rhythms, just use power chords for simplicity, or download Power Tab or Guitar Pro so you'll be able to see the duration of each note (quarter note, eight note, etc.) on the sheet music.
Yeah once you have heard a song a lot you sometimes just strum along with the words even because you know how the song goes. This happened to me at first too. Try playing with a metronome and pick out the parts besides the voices. Just try to listen and focus on the Guitar playing only. After this just practice and with time you will get it.