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How To Play Rhythm Guitar

Welcome to the first video of the Rhythm Guitar Quick-Start Series! Knowing how to play rhythm guitar is a really important skill to have, so you can learn some of your favorite songs, jam with your friends, or play live music.

Whether you are brand new to learning rhythm guitar or you’ve been playing for a while and want to take your skills to the next level, this series is perfect for you. There are a lot of things to think about in rhythm guitar and I know sometimes it can feel overwhelming. I’ve created this series so I can give you the most fundamental skills to build a solid foundation in rhythm guitar playing.

It takes time and practice to become a good rhythm guitarist, and it’s important to put that work in. Unfortunately a lot of new guitar players focus on playing lead guitar, but in reality, when you’re playing live or with your friends, 80% of what you play is going to be rhythm guitar.

Keeping that in mind, being a good rhythm guitarist can set you apart from the crowd. If you’re a great rhythm guitar player, people are going to enjoy playing with you and enjoy listening to you. That means you’ll be the one to get the gigs.

The goal of the Rhythm Guitar Quick-Start Series is to give you a solid foundation and the key things you need to know as a rhythm guitarist. By the end of this series, you’ll be better at playing live, playing with your friends, and learning new music.

Just so you know, it doesn’t matter if you’re playing with an acoustic or an electric for this series. All of the skills and tips I’m going to teach you are equally important to both types of guitars.

As we go through this series, we’re not going to focus too much on theory. Since this is a Quick-Start series, I want you to focus on getting your hands on your guitar and practicing the most important skills as a rhythm guitar player.

We’ll go through power chords, bar chords, open chords, and some of the most important chord progressions you’ll need to know as a musician. After that, we’ll focus on your strumming hand, look at the most common strumming patterns you’ll need to know, and work on your timing too.

The first thing we’ll go over is power chords. We’ll learn shapes for your power chords and how to move the chords all around the guitar neck. After that, we’ll move on to bar chords, where I’ll give you tips to keep them from being too frustrating.

As a rhythm guitarist, it’s important for you to know all of your open chords, so I’ll teach you the essential chords you’ll need to build your chord library. Once we get these essential chord shapes down, we’ll learn some of the most important strumming patterns. The strumming patterns I’ll teach will become building blocks for more advanced strumming patterns, so you’ll want to feel very comfortable with these basics.

Once we’ve gone through strumming basics, we’ll start developing your timing. Timing is one of the most important aspects of rhythm guitar, and you’d be surprised how often other rhythm guitarists ignore it. The great thing about working on your timing is that you don’t even need to have your guitar with you. You could be driving in your car, listening to music, or hanging out in a waiting room.

Finally, once we’ve gotten your timing in order, I’ll show you how to liven up your strumming by using single bass notes and muted strums. These are two small aspects of rhythm guitar that can embellish what could have been a mundane strumming pattern.

No matter what we’re working on, I always think that applying everything you’re learning on guitar to real music is really important to helping you grow as a musician. Throughout this series, I’ve provided you with a couple of jam tracks that you can use to play everything we’re working on. That will make it a lot more fun than just using a metronome.

Get ready for some rewarding skills to work on. If you apply yourself and practice these skills, you’ll see a dramatic improvement in your rhythm guitar playing. In video two, we’ll start going over some basic power chords.