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.

This new rhythm has a great feel, and it’s in a completely different category from all the rhythms we’ve learned so far. In this case, we’re counting to either 3 or 6 instead of counting to 4 as we have in the previous rhythms.

Now that we’ve played the rhythm with a metronome, let’s put it to a chord progression. For our first example, we’ll use the familiar key of G.

It’s a great idea to play this rhythm with a metronome. To achieve true mastery, it’s best to play it with a metronome that clicks on every 16th note (1-e-&-a-2-e-&-a-3…), AND try it when the metronome is clicking only on the main numbers (i.e., the quarter notes…1-2-3-4).

Now we break into the world of 16th-note rhythms. This particular rhythm is played using both downstrokes and upstrokes, and it has an accent in three places. You will LOVE this rhythm, and you’ll find yourself wanting to play it (and its many variations) all the time.

In this third installment, I share additional tips for using a metronome effectively. As ever, one of the main things to remember is to play with a metronome rather than just alongside it. And again, you never want to play any of these exercises faster than you can play them comfortably or cleanly.

Here we discuss a few additional ways to use a metronome effectively, including using it while playing common rhythm patterns and chord progressions.

The metronome is an important tool in your development as a guitarist. The average student tends to increase their tempo over the course of a song, but the metronome helps us to develop solid, consistent time in everything we play.

This is a close cousin of a previous strumming pattern, so you’ll be able to learn it fairly quickly. This rhythm is fun, too, because it adds a great percussive element into the mix. It also works great at both slow and fast tempos. You will love this rhythm!