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Lyle Ronglien >> Beginning Guitar V - Rhythm >>

Beginning Guitar V - Rhythm

Lesson 5

Lyle: I am going to show you 5 different rhythm riffs that can be tricky for the typical beginning student. The chords you'll use will be:


Lyle: The first rhythm pattern for you to try is a straight 16th note strum. You'll use a constant down up, down up:

rhythm 1

rhythm 1

rhythm 1

Lyle: With the 16th note strum pattern you'll be strumming 16 times per measure, 8 downs and 8 up strums. Sometimes we like to verbally count them as:

One E & a, Two E & a, Three E & a, Four E & a

Lyle: Start with a down on the One and constantly alternate. Watch the video clip.

Lyle: You can loop the TAB notation to play along with me or try playing along to this drum beat:

Looping Jam Track

JonP: I have trouble with the pick slipping?

Lyle: Me too! All I can say is hold on to it!

Al: What thickness pick should we use for rhythm?

Joel: I'm using my classical.. just picking with the thumb.. or is there a better technique?

Lyle: I always suggest a medium to heavy gauge picks for all my students.

paul: Medium and heavy gauge picks are easier to use?

Lyle: If you're "pickless", then brush the strings with your index finger or thumb.

BigTX: How loose should your hand remain?

Lyle: A light gauge pick will give you a light tone, a heavy gauge pick with help you play louder and help you produce a heavier tone or thicker tone.

Lyle: Your wrist and forearm should be loose but in control, not too loose. Watch my video clip again and look at my wrist as I strum rhythm 1.

Lyle: The next rhythm pattern for you to try is built from 8th note strums, which is half the amount/speed of what you just played. The tricky part here in rhythm 2 is the sudden change before the end of every other measure:

rhythm 2

rhythm 2

rhythm 2

Lyle: You'll be changing to the G during an up strum, same with the last chord, the C.

BigTX: No upstroke changing to the A?

Lyle: Nope, the D and A chords change on the One beat, the "down beat", which is a down strum.

Lyle: Loop the TAB notation and play it back. Notice the G and C chords change in-between the 4 and 1 beats, and the D and A chords change on the 1.

dh: Interesting how it sounds like the rhythm is speeding up when you which from D to G and A to C. I suspect its because of "catching" the next chord on the upstroke

Lyle: Yes, this type of rhythm pattern has that effect of sounding like it is speeding up, and it's also referred to as "pushing the beat".

Lyle: Rhythm 3 has a "Pete Townshend" of The Who type of sound. See if you can play right along with me by looping the TAB notation on this one:

rhythm 3

rhythm 3

rhythm 3

Lyle: In rhythm 4 you'll use power chords. Palm mute all the single string parts and alternate your picking starting with a down stroke. Each power chord starts with a down stroke:

rhythm 4

rhythm 4

rhythm 4

Lyle: Palm muting means the note is partially muted by the pick hand lightly touching the string(s) just before the bridge.

palm muting

Joel: Using this one .. we'll be playing ACDC's dirty deeds ... in no time. may need work though. :)

Lyle: Yes, bang your head in a down, up, alternating rhythm.

Joel: LOL.. Angus Young is a favorite. Head's a good time keeper.

Lyle: The last rhythm for you to work on is a variation of the last one. This time you'll be "pushing" the chord change for every other chord, like you did earlier:

rhythm 5

rhythm 5

rhythm 5

Lyle: Notice how the G5 power chord comes in between beats 4 and 1, same with the C5 power chord. The D5 and A5 power chords are "on the beat".

BigTX: Are you muting with the palm or the left hand by lifting the fingers?

Lyle: Palm mute is done with the palm of your picking hand.

Lyle: We'll this is the end of the lesson. Any questions before we take a break?

JonP: Are they down up strokes

Lyle: Rhythm 4 and 5 have alternating picking, starting with a down stroke. Watch the video clips to see this.

BigTX: Can you mute with the left hand also, by lightly lifting the fingers?

Lyle: Yes but not during any specified palm muting riff. Palm muting means palm muting only.

Lyle: Great questions everyone, thanks for being good students! Time to take a break. If you would like me to help you with a song that has a rhythm that's giving you trouble, email me at and we'll set up a custom private lesson so I can show you how to play it.

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