Hi, how’re you doing? Justin here again and in this little lesson we’re gonna be starting our discussion of rhythm. We’ve already looked at chords and changing between chords and all sorts of stuff, now it’s time to understand a little bit about
how we play them. Now, the first thing that I wanna talk about
is a thing called a bar and it’s not the place that we all like to go to to get a good beer, it’s a musical bar. And in musical bars you find a thing called beats and the thing that we need to get together first is the idea that all the music we’re gonna look at in this course has four beats in a bar. Really simple, that’s what, all you have to know really for now is that there are four beats in the bar and that four beats are gonna take for us downstrums. And we would count them “1,2,3,4”. I’m sure you’ve heard that before, people like drummers that are beginning their songs like “1,2,3,4” and then the band starts. Now, most music is in 4/4 time which means that we count to 4 in the bar and that there are four beats in it. There are other sorts. The most common one is 3/4 which is where you have three beats in the bar where you would have like “1,2,3, 1,2,3, 1,2,3”. Kinda sounds like a waltz ’cause waltzes are in 3/4. We’re not looking at waltzes – we’re way too cool for that. So, we’re just gonna be looking at kinda pop music, basic music, that’s got four beats in the bar. Really important. So, I want you to have a little look at the diagram for a bar now which is probably gonna appear on the screen somewhere. Probably below my head which shows four beats in a bar. Now, one beat is one of the kinda little notehead with a line on it. and that would be referred to as a beat. and that’s counted “1,2,3 and 4” and we’re gonna use downstrums for all of them. So what we’re after now is, as we’d follow along with that, the one bar, we’re just gonna be playing – I’m gonna play an E chord now and I want you to play an E chord along with me. You’re just gonna…you’d be having kind of… uh…I’m gonna give you what’s called…I need to explain this first, sorry! Rewind a bit… Ok, now I’m gonna explain this little thing about the count-in. So whenever we’re gonna play a little chord progression together, I’m gonna count you “3,4” in. Now, we know there’s four beats in the bar, so after this “3,4” we know we’re back to “1”. So, if we’re gonna just be playing this E chord along together now, I’m gonna go “3,4” and when we do the “1”, we’d all play together. So, get your E chord up, get ready to have a little bit of a play-along. We’re just gonna get used to this idea of the beats-in-a-bar-thing, right? So, we got an E chord, are you ready? Are you holding your pick right? When you’re ready we’re just gonna be doing downstrums on beats 1,2,3 and 4. That’s it. That’s all I want you to do. So, here we go: 3,4,1,2,3,4 next bar: 1,2,3,4 and now we’d be on to the next bar: 2,3,4 and 1,2,3,4 keep it going, nice and even, 2,3,4 et cetera. It’s really straight forward but you need to get used to this idea of counting “1,2,3,4” as you strum along. Really, really important. We are gonna be doing stuff a lot harder than that. We’re gonna be making that rhythm sound really, really cool, but please, right at this early stage, stick to this really, really über-simple strumming. I know it sounds a bit beginnery but I promise you, it’ll mean that your rhythm gets really, really, really good. If you stick to the plan, you stick to the simple strumming, you get your chord changes good, and then suddenly I introduce the cool strumming patterns and you can make those chord changes, it will sound wicked! I promise! So, please stick to this über-simple strumming, counting as you go along “1,2,3,4”. It is really simple, it’s supposed to be. That’s the idea. The other thing that you need to get from this lesson is this idea of me counting a “3, 4” in before we start because the next lesson we’re gonna be checking out common chord sequences and also songs. So we need to be able to go “3, 4” and we start playing at the same time. It’s a really, really common thing. Sometimes people count like “1, 2, 3, 4” and then you start. It’s a little bit long-winded for me. I kinda get bored in between the 1 and the 4. So, for me it’s a little bit easier to go “3,4” and then we start playing at the same time. OK, hopefully, that’ll give you a bit of an understandig of this really basic element of rhythm.