Rhythm Guitar "Stress" Test [CAN YOU PASS?]

Are you spending enough time practicing how to get better at rhythm guitar? After all, performing in a band will have you strumming and picking more than anything else! Guitar soloing only takes up approx. 10% or less of any song so your rhythm skills have to be top notch (or you could get kicked out of the band)...

On this video I’ll be running through a skills test that you can do to help you gauge where you’re at with respect to rhythm guitar. After you do this rhythm guitar technical skills stress test, I think you’ll be able to find out just how well you can participate in different rhythmic ideas as a rhythm player, and how good you are at adding various rhythms into all types of varied playing situations.


I hope, this skills test, will help you begin realizing where you’re at with respect to general rhythm playing ability. Especially with regard to what areas of rhythm guitar that you still need to work on. So, let’s get things started with the first exercise of this rhythm guitar stress test...

The first part of our rhythm guitar stress test has to do with how well a guitarist can discern and then copy the general understanding of a basic rhythmic feel for time, as well as, comprehend what the meter of a groove translates to with respect to the time signature.

Then, after determining what the feel is, you should be able to go forward and copy that feel exactly as heard. What I’m going to do is perform a basic rhythm guitar idea for you. It’s an arpeggiated chord groove in the key of “G Major.” Have a listen to it, and discern what’s going on by determining the time signature and the rhythmic count of the phrase. Then, copy the phrase using the correct feel…

Answer to Part One:

Proper stylistic accompaniment is a big part of being a quality rhythm guitarist in a band. So, if you plan on being versatile, you’ll need to be able to play everything from; smooth eighth-note strumming, (like those ideas found in styles such as; folk, reggae, and country music).

Along with that, you’ll want to be able to have control over Funky 16th grooves for funk rhythm, and some R and B jams. Along with those, there’s also the importance of triplet and swing feels found in Blues and Jazz music...

So, in the next rhythm stress-test, we’re going to run through five rhythm styles. These will include; Reggae, Folk strumming, 2-beat Country, a Funky 16th’s groove, and a Blues Shuffle. If you can effectively perform all of these grooves, you’re doing really good on styles. If you’re weak on any of them, you’d do well spending some study time jamming on them…



Country 2-Beat:


Blues (Shuffle):

The final round of our “Rhythm Stress Test” is checking on the ability for a guitarist to truly know and understand all of the basic chords on the guitar. These include; Triads and Seventh Quality chord types built off of the 6th, 5th and 4th string roots.

For an in-depth breakdown of this, I’m going to suggest that you run through my FREE YouTube lesson titled, “Harmonized Moveable Chord Shapes...”

That lesson has six exercises (with triads and 7th chords), moving along the neck and another SIX exercises that work within one fretting position. If you can turn on a metronome and play all of those studies in tempo around 80 beats per minute, you’ll rank with a passing grade as far as I’m concerned... Now, if you can’t do that, you’ll definitely want to spend some time studying that stuff until you are competent at playing all of those chord drills...

I’ll provide the link to that lesson in my Blogger post, in the description box, and it’ll be pinned in the comments section below.

Below is an example of one of those exercises, it’s a “Bb Major” harmony along 5th guitar string, using triads…

Getting good at performing rhythm guitar takes a lot of steady practice and long term study on all kinds of rhythm styles. Plus, you’ll need to put in hours of exposure to a whole host of different songs by different artists.

Once you do that, (both at home and with your band), you’ll start getting a lot of practice playing all kinds of grooves and playing all different types of chords. Most importantly, if you zero in on your weakest areas, and if you spend a lot of time building up your skill for having a solid feel and great timing (from; playing with drummers, working against a metronome, and also studying time with a drum machine), you’re going to expand your ability a ton and you’re going to become well known in your local club scene as a solid rhythm guitarist.

And, being well known in your local scene will, without any doubt, turn into a lot of gigs and a lot of steady work.

Well, hey, thanks for joining me, If you'd like to Find Out What You Should Learn Next on Guitar - take a look at the courses over on my website at CreativeGuitarStudio.com.

My step-by-step; Beginner, Intermediate and Advanced courses will cover what you need to know, along with how to be able to move forward and become the best player that you can be.

I've worked on these courses since 1992 and I feel that all together they're the best guitar program you'll ever find. The courses will help you learn to identify what's required to get you up to the next level of guitar playing, in a very organized way, that makes sense.

So, I look forward to helping you further at CreativeGuitarStudio.com ...Until next time - take care and we'll catch up again on the next video. Bye for now!



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