Realization: my rhythm work sucks... fun rock songs to work with

Messages
1,147
Hey all,

After a huge hiatus I got back in to music a few years ago. Twenty years ago I played a lot with lots of bands and etc. I’m not sure if my rhythm/right hand sucked as bad back then as I was doing thrash/shred/fast stuff. Now I’m realizing my non lead work is horrendous. Any suggestions on stuff to work on (e.g. recorded songs) in a rock vibe that forces you to get good rhythm chops that really works the right hand and isn’t just power chords?
Thanks!
 

russ6100

Gold Supporting Member
Messages
4,549
There is no music that I know of that will force you to tighten up your rhythm work.

If you're having time issues, you'll most likely just continue to to have them while practicing. Something has to call your attention to where specifically your time is lacking so you can zero in on the problem.

A metronome (there are free ones online) set to click on 2 and 4 is the ticket. Record yourself with it and listen back to isolate problems.

The metronome set on 2 and 4 forces you to be responsible for the time much more than playing along to a backing track.

Some folks, to challenge themselves will set it to click on just the "1" or even more extreme difficulty settings, like just the "1" every 4 bars.

Good luck!
 

donnievaz

Member
Messages
3,564
Hey all,

After a huge hiatus I got back in to music a few years ago. Twenty years ago I played a lot with lots of bands and etc. I’m not sure if my rhythm/right hand sucked as bad back then as I was doing thrash/shred/fast stuff. Now I’m realizing my non lead work is horrendous. Any suggestions on stuff to work on (e.g. recorded songs) in a rock vibe that forces you to get good rhythm chops that really works the right hand and isn’t just power chords?
Thanks!
EVH is a rhythm master and there's more there than just power chords in a lot of cases... Can't hurt
 

bin5150

Member
Messages
172
The metronome set on 2 and 4 forces you to be responsible for the time much more than playing along to a backing track.

Some folks, to challenge themselves will set it to click on just the "1" or even more extreme difficulty settings, like just the "1" every 4 bars.
Good advice. Also, are you a foot tapper? This helped me, particularly on intros where I was the only person playing. With the metronome you might try tapping your foot and verbally counting through parts as well. So many cool rhythm parts have accents on an upbeat.
 

goodwill559

Member
Messages
337
My best advice is learn to grove with small percussion-bongos, maracas, clave, etc.

That way, you won't gravitate toward guitar-istic things that you'd normally play
 

rumbletone

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
6,778
Late 70s AC/DC. If you can play Beating Around the Bush tight, you can play anything tight!

But perhaps start with Problem Child or Whole Lotta Rosie - fewer notes and very simple, but in some ways harder to master the basic rhythm. In either case, play to the drums, and keep in mind that the space between the notes/chords is what needs to be right to make it sound tight.
 

Ed DeGenaro

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
22,637
I'll go against the steam...
Anything you already know... With a metronome!
Get the Uwe Kropinsky Getting IN Time pdf.
Time is not a matter of learning other parts but internalising the marks that subdivide time.
 

Boeing bloke

Member
Messages
279
Late 70s AC/DC. If you can play Beating Around the Bush tight, you can play anything tight!

But perhaps start with Problem Child or Whole Lotta Rosie - fewer notes and very simple, but in some ways harder to master the basic rhythm. In either case, play to the drums, and keep in mind that the space between the notes/chords is what needs to be right to make it sound tight.
Playing their songs well ain’t easy. I Gained a whole new respect when I tried.
 

JosephZdyrski

Member
Messages
3,242
Emphasis here on the Fun part...

Led Zeppelin...

Good Times Bad Times

Houses of the Holy

The Ocean

Over the Hills and Far Away... (Rhythm Parts..after intro in particular)

Pink Floyd...

Have a Cigar

Another Brick in the Wall ... main theme has an awesome rhythm riff

Time...Solo is worth learning too
 
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Lephty

Member
Messages
1,556
I'd recommend getting away from rock in your practice, check out some funk...start with James Brown's rhythm player. Great way to lighten your touch and get in the pocket.
 

Wag

Member
Messages
458
I second the "avoid rock" suggestion. You'll end up doing nothing but power chords. Find you some good blues tunes. Not your basic 3 chord 1,4,5 variety but some blues with a bit of depth to them.

And if the blues aren't your thing, then think "songs that would work well in a solo or duo acoustic situation."
 

Tootone

Member
Messages
5,716
Back to classical music basics baby!!

Get yourself a metronome, a book "Rhythm" by David Mead... and start putting in the hours.

EDIT: BTW... learning "fun" songs, parrot fashion, will teach you %$*& all about rhythm. Eddie Van Halen learned classical piano first.... that's where he got rhythm and groove.

Flea... trumpet.

etc.
 
Messages
3,972
Try Nile Rodgers’ catalog.

Most of us aren’t aspiring to EVH levels of proficiency because that’d require the practice time and single mindedness of a teenager.

Metronome-like consistency and groove are different, so I work them differently. Consistency, I set a backing track at a BPM that’s challenging and bang out quarters using all downstrokes. Increase tempo, repeat using up and downstrokes. Repeat for eighths, sixteenths or whatever. Pick a tempo that you can barely hold for two minutes. Track your progress.

Groove: find some tracks that have the kind of movement you like and play along. Experiment with what works and what doesn’t. When you find stuff that works, figure out why it works over a rhythm. What’s emphasized, what’s implied and where.

Keep it fun.

Most folks already have a job.
 




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