Lessons

It’s all in the details.

Beginner

Beginner

  • Understand the inherent challenges in rhythm guitar playing.
  • Develop new strumming patterns.
  • Cultivate practice strategies to keep yourself motivated.
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Last updated on May 12, 2022

Rhythm guitar is arguably the most important aspect of guitar playing, and it’s also one of the most challenging skills to develop. The discouragement many players feel when working on rhythms forces too many of them to oversimplify the nuances, and this can reduce a performance from exceptional to fine. In this lesson, we’ll investigate why rhythm guitar can be so puzzling and look at a few ways to keep yourself motivated enough to persevere and improve.

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An essential skill that’s often overlooked.

Beginner

Beginner

• Learn how to add interest by “missing” strums.

• Create patterns influenced by drumbeats.

• Understand how to systematically improve your rhythm playing.

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Strumming great rhythm guitar is a core skill. It’s never too soon—or too late—to get a solid groove going. With a few simple chord shapes, you can be up and running rather quickly. (You can even tune your guitar’s open strings to a chord and simply strum the open strings.) Players like Neil Young, Kurt Cobain, Noel Gallagher, and Jimmy Page all have an individualized approach to simple strums. Let’s dig in and tighten up our rhythm chops.

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Intermediate

Intermediate

  • Develop an understanding of how to approach chord tones with bends.
  • Learn to think and phrase like a pedal-steel player.
  • Create old-school, honky-tonk lines with a twist.
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Let’s face it folks, pedal-steel is a pillar of the country music sound. It’s one of my favorite instruments—not just in country, but all music genres. The ability to play complex chords, the range of the instrument, the way you can manipulate bends (with knee levers and pedals), and the lyrical quality and tone add so much to the country sound. The textures and chord voicings can really beef up a rhythmic part, but also can make you cry in your beer with a single-note line that includes so much articulation and manipulation it can make your head spin. We are going to mainly focus on a one element that really makes the pedal-steel guitar special and very difficult to emulate on guitar: bending notes.

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Just because you live on the low end of the fretboard doesn’t mean you can’t add melodic and harmonic interest to your progressions.

Beginner

Beginner

• Add color and movement to everyday chords.
• Increase your chord vocabulary.
• Improve your rhythm.

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Last updated on April 28, 2022

So-called "cowboy chords" have been fundamental to the guitar since its invention. In this lesson, we'll look at easy ways to spice up these everyday grips so they'll add interest to your playing, improve your rhythm, and liven up even the most predictable of progressions.

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