Don’t be intimidated by standard rhythm symbols. There are really only 5 main symbols you need to remember at the beginning. The whole-note, half-note, quarter-note, eighth-note and sixteenth-note are the most common rhythmic divisions. Learn to recognize these quickly and you’re set for most songs.

Understanding and reading rhythms can sometimes be a daunting prospect, but there are a couple different illustrations that make everything clean and clear. In this video, we divide up a pie to show how time fits in each measure.

Here, I’ll show you how to read a basic chord chart with slash/rhythm notation. Reading a chord chart is essential in your development, but it’s not difficult and you can get the hang of it fairly quickly. You’ll be seeing more and more of these chord charts the more you play guitar, and soon you’ll get good at writing your own!