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Rhythm Schmythm


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HardTail has suggested I post some rhythm excercises. This is very flattering as it is suggesting I know a lot about this. Thanks Hardtail.


This is a little difficult as it is so much easier to show you guitar in hand and some free time together as well, but here goes....


When it comes to funky comping I like to think of a train cruising down the tracks, one of my favourite images. This brings to mind 1/16 notes so I suggest starting by muting the strings with the fretting hand and forgetting about pitch or chords.


Then get a nice even 1/16 note strum pattern going. You want your strumming hand to be nice and loose, so keep that in mind as you practise...


So first one


1e&a 2e&a 3e&a 4e&a etc etc.....no accent just straight.


Now pick a beat and accent it, say the downbeat..


1e&a 2e&a 3e&a 4e&a etc etc


then all the first notes of the groups in a bar


1e&a2e&a3e&a4e&a etc etc


Then start to mix it up, creating your own permutations eg


1e&a 2e&a3e&a etc


1e&a2e&a3e&a4e&a etc


Experiment with all the different combinations of accents you can come up with. Not all will be comfortable or make sense. But just doing it will get you loose and make it easier to just get into this style at will.


Start off at a slow metronome setting and slowly get faster until you find combinations of accents that work for you. Also mute a basic Am barre chord at the 5th fret and then do the chukka's but substitute the accent in bold for a chord stab. You will soon see how reggae really fits into this as well


When away from the guitar or while listening to a song somewhere, try clapping the fingers of your picking hand in the palm of your fretting hand and clap out your own 1/16 note patterns to the tempo. Or pat your hands on your thighs drummer style in a left to right or right to left starting pattern eg



1 e & a 2 e & a3 e & a 4 e & a


Then start practising accenting certain beats as you would if practising on the guitar. Kind like paradiddles.


There is a reason drummers do these ex.s...building independance.


Anyway once you have this down muting the strings, try playing actual chords with it. Usually this type of funky style comping is very fast so it has to become second nature really. Also at some point you can start dropping the constant chuka chuka's going on and get more selective with which notes you play, break it up into a less is more thing.


In the meantime throw on a wah at some point and really have some fun with it!


Here is a little audio clip, I am off my game today but you should get the idea.


Rhythm clip


I dunno, does it make any sense? It does to me but I have been comping funky for a long time...let me know. Hope it helps.


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