Tips To Improve Your Rhythm Playing

Right hand technique comes on very slowly, it does need a lot of work and it is one of the main areas which will make your playing a lot better.
Typical beginners will work on their left hand technique as it is obvious that this hand does need work: Fingering chords is not easy and takes time, to play some simple melodic ideas with the fretting hand takes effort to make it sound good. What about strumming? Usually people feel this is easy, well is it?

One thing you should concentrate on when working on your right hand technique, is to keep the motion going ALL THE TIME, regardless of what kind of rhythm you are playing. Once you can do this you will be able to add all kind of rhythmic accents  in your playing which will make your strumming more funky and fluent. Listen to some funk players, also listen some Jimi Hendrix: You never hear his strumming hand stop.

Once you are aware of your weakness of your right hand technique it will still take a lot of time and effort to improve it. Use a mirror to watch what  your wrist and underarm look like when you are strumming: The movement should come from both wrist and underarm. Most beginners only use underarm which results in a stiff sound. Watching a mirror really does help, as it will make you aware. Once you know it, then it is about correcting it and FEELING it.

A Common error for intermediate students of the guitar is: Once they feel they can play they think they need to work on scales, modes and what note to play over which chord. True this is very important if you want to stand out from the crowd, but concentrating on your rhyhm playing is an absolute most. Once you can play with a band, and play all the different harmonic sequences at will at any speed and at any rhyhmic twist, then you know you are on top of your game.
For those who do not play with other people, or are sloppy at doing so, I would advise: Play along with your favourite artists, learn all the parts of the song, and play along at the speed they play. Keep at it and make it sound GOOD. Once you feel you know the chords, start chanching the postion where you play these chords, and start playing with different shapes, play these shapes along with the recording and keep at it until you can really make it swing.

Enjoy your playing and hope to catch you very soon,