Hi Guys

I hope some of you can help me out here, I have been playing for a couple of years, I know my chords and some scales etc....however...

My Rhythm playing is just shocking, I can't seem to get any Real movement going when I try and play tracks. You know when you here a good guitarist when they only have to play simple open chord progressions but it makes you tap your foot and get in the groove right? My playing just sounds so flat. I'm playing acoustic at the moment, desperately trying to learn some tracks for a camping trip for a bit of round the fire sing alongs, but its just not happening. Maybe I'm not learning the right sort of tracks....

Anyone got any ideas of tracks/artists I could listen to and learn to build my rhythm up and to get everyone in the mood on this camping expo. I think I'm so tense when playing, is there anything I can do try and relax my wrist? apart from drinking large quantites of beer??

Any help would be great...thanks

hope this makes sense its a little hard to explain...hopefully some of you will know what I mean.....

thanks in advance.... 4weeks till camping trip and I've given it the big I am with the axe...oh dear
put in some muted strums in between your chords and keep the beat with your strumming that way =P
Learn "More Than Words" by Extreme. Aside from it being delightfully cheesy, it helps build a sense of rythm with the guitar slapping thing the Nuno does (don't worry, it's simple body percussion, nothing remotely hard). People should be able to sing along too.

As for being tense, once you stop worrying and start enjoying yourself, you shant feel tense anymore. It also helps to get everybody singing along too (Hence, More Than Words).
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Quote by Bristlehead
put in some muted strums in between your chords and keep the beat with your strumming that way =P


also try embellishing your chords a little... make a 7th a 13th, or a 9th.
add little florishes. maybe throw a short riff in too.
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another good idea is to practice dynamics (i.e. vary the intensity of your picking from soft to loud for emphasis on the loud chord, or gradually get softer towards the end of a song to close it)
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I'm naturally gifted in rhythm, so I don't really worry about getting something down, if I hear it and I know the chords, that's enough for me, usually.

It's really about tempo, and keeping it kind of "dirty" but synchronized with the rest of the song.

Try this;

Am (barre btw) Down up down up, then don't press the barre, but keep you're fingers in the position so that they're all muted, then do down up down, and when you do up, barre it again, then do up again, then down down up down up.

So it goes, down up down up - (mute) down up down - up up down down up down.

Do that with barre chords. Like Am, G, F, or Am, E (barre), C then Dsus4.

Another strumming pattern, one that's used by a lot of people, is Down down, (mute) down up down up, then change the chord, and repeat. You can hear it in Stairway to Heaven.

Hope that helped get you started.
I love rhythm guitar... and compared to my playing lead, I rock at rhythm lol

first thing's first. you know your chords and you know some scales. try playing a couple chords but instead of playing them at the same time, play each note individually and let it ring. Play around with this strategy to get the feel of rhythm vs. lead. if you have trouble coming up with rhythms to specific songs, try playing the lead and getting the feel for the specific note or scale the lead is in, and then play the chord in the same key for the rhythm.

If your hand/wrist is tense while playing, you're playing too fast. The tension comes from excessive concentration and determination to play the song accurately faster than your muscles really can. In other words, your brain is telling your hand to move, and your hand is a lazy bum telling your brain "WTF, man!?" I often get this problem when I'm trying to learn new leads or arpeggios.. hell even some of the rhythm I play gets my hand tense because of how fast it is (I play metal, if that gives you an idea). My best solution to this is to start out slow. If you have a metronome, use it, but if you don't it doesn't matter. Just play the songs you know get your hand tense, slowly, over and over again. when you feel comfortable to speed up without your hand tensing, speed up. another tension problem comes from not warming up properly. If I try to play Master of Puppets without warming up, I get tension from hell in my picking hand.

anything you play infront of a campfire will sound pretty cool with an acoustic. If you really want to impress some people, I'd go for the following:

- Metallica - The Call of Ktulu
- Overkill - The Years of Decay
- Death Angel - Veil of Deception
- Death Angel - A Room With a View
- Death - Voice of the Soul

just to start out with.. those are all Metal Songs but they're very melodic acoustic songs. some of them are doubled with electrics and the rest of the band later in the song, but they all have very impressive Acoustic licks. I'd also take a look at artists like Chet Atkins, Jonny Cash... anyone you can think of that plays badass Acoustic guitar.
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Last edited by Rad_Sauce, yo at Jul 22, 2008,
Cheers guys some great responses...thanks man, I'll get going on whats here..

I'd love more ideas on tracks to play......

around the campfire....drunken state... what would you play?
If you're okay to good, then your playing is probably fine and you need to make yourself feel the groove. Try tapping for foor and really getting into it. Don't be afraid to look like an idiot; this is important practice!
Quote by Bristlehead
put in some muted strums in between your chords and keep the beat with your strumming that way =P

I usually do this to keep the strummingtempo, but it always feels a bit like cheating... I just can't get some chord changes to sound good without it, especially when playing acoustic like TS.

Are perfect chord changes while keeping a strumming pattern just an unreachable ideal, does everyone add these "half strums" between chord changes?

(I think I'm ready to find a guitar teacher now...)
im pretty good at rhythm playing i think

try playing time of your life by green day and turning the part where the violin plays,into a whole rhythm soloy thing