Find the jam track here: https://youtu.be/KX0vmUwXIV4
Rhythm is a HUGE part of lead playing that is often overlooked. Even simple concepts like the ones presented can be difficult for guitarists who don't train their rhythm skills. This sort of practice can unlock new feels and grooves that we wouldn't naturally fall in to, and is a great way to get "out of the box" rhythmically.
Free online guitar lessons for beginners, intermediate, and advanced players. Located in Crystal Lake, Jake Lizzio provides free jam tracks and video lessons for guitar players, as well as music theory videos and other music education content.
Please note, this transcription was computer generated and has not been checked for errors. However, I do hope you find it helpful. Be sure to check out The Ultimate Modal Poster!
Hey, this is Jake. Welcome back to another lesson playing guitar solos about two things. It's about what note are you playing? And when are you playing it? All right and guitar players myself included. We have a tendency to focus a lot on the what what scale what shape what arpeggio but the when is really important that's like half of music is dealing with rhythm. So one thing I've learned is that if you can really focus primarily on Rhythm you can really enhance the sound of your guitar solos either if you're writing them or even if you're improvising them, so I want to show you really three simple ideas here that you can I immediately as you're playing guitar solos improvising in writing but they're all focused on Rhythm and then you can take these Concepts as far as you want. Alright, you can really make them, you know some serious practice, but the things I'm going to give you today or just general concepts and they shouldn't be too difficult. All right, the first trick here is very simple.
This is something I see a lot of beginner players do and it's not horrible. But this is a quick tip to make yourself sound a little bit more musical than a little bit more mature as a lead player is do not always play on the One Beat. Okay. You can start your guitar solos late you can Start after the one beat and it actually gives you a nice effect. All right, it sounds like it's like coming to the party fashionably late. You know, it's like this little surprise afterward were you're expecting something to happen right away because somebody counted you off for a solo or the solo is about to begin and you're left. Just wondering and then you get smacked in the face with a solo. Alright, a lot of players do this and it's a great little technique and you know, when you're writing or improvising it's an easy thing to apply. So here's what I'm going to do. I'm going to press play on a Jam track and I'll improvise over it two times the first time only be playing on the One Beat and that'll give you the traditional sound that I found myself playing into a lot. But then the second time around I'll start playing after the one beat. All right, so when the solo counts in you'll see me just wait a little bit and then I'll try and surprise you with that note. This has a nice little effect. All right, the Jam track that I'll be playing over is provided in the description. So you can click on that if you want to play along to it one two, three four.
1 2 3 4 So it's a subtle little difference there, but the subtle things the small things are really what are going to add up to make you sound like a real lead player, you know, there's only twelve notes to choose from. Okay, so you're not going to invent a new note. A lot of these licks are have been done over and over again. So really what's going to make you sound unique is the little things and the way you choose those little things in the way you choose to put them together. All right, so I want to go with this concept of not focusing on the one be a little further to my next concept and that's offsetting the rhythm of a lick. You already know. This lick is very simple.
It's one of the first licks I teach my students and what I like to have them do is I like to have them practice it on the one beat on every single chord of a 12 Bar Blues and it actually works so the lik goes like this.
And I like to think of it as three beats and then a bunch of eighth notes. It would be one and two and three and four and one and two and three and four and one two, three, four and one and two three four so I can play that over every single measure and it's going to sound good. I'll be at it'll be as kind of boring. Alright, it'll be very repetitive.
However, I can actually get more mileage out of that lik just by offsetting. It may be by a court announced that starting on the One Beat starting it on the to be starting at on the three be starting on the for B. Now. This might sound easy but actually Kind of hard to play this exactly the same way just offset a few quarter notes, so I should show it on screen here. You should be able to see it but it actually feels different because you're ending on the notes of the BackBeat instead you're ending on different parts of the of the meter and it just feels different also starting on the Aeons. If you start off setting this by eighth notes, we really get a different feel that way and that's good practice take something that might be simple. But if you just offset it by 1/8 note, it sounds totally different. Alright, so I'm going to press Play now play it a few times right on the beat and then I'll start off setting it and you'll see how I'm off setting it in the corner. But you should feel here that these things feel completely differently and by just taking one lick and offsetting The rhythms. I can all of a sudden provide more interest and I can get more mileage out of that one lick that I've practiced a million times. All right, let's take a listen starting on the downbeats, two, three, four, one, two, three, four and one started on the to be Meet one two three, four one and two and three now, let's try starting out on one of the hands. All right, we'll syncopated will start it on the and after one one, two, three, four one and two and three and four and one and two and three and four and one and two.
and after two one and two and three and now starting down the and after three, alright 1 2 3 n Three and four and so it gets kind of weird right? It's definitely good exercise just to be taking these things through different permutations, but you feel that it does become different when you end that note on a downbeat or Yen that lick on a downbeat. It becomes a completely different look and it has a completely different context to completely different feeling so, you know the way I see this is that you're getting more bang for your buck. All right, you already practiced these licks? So why not practice them in different positions in different contexts different scenarios and you might realize that they can function more. Than one way alright, so let's move on to my third concept and that third concept is the idea of using rhythmic hooks are and this is what I want to compare this to is what I first discovered when I learned Canon in D. All those years back is that that Melody line has a completely consistent rhythm of one two, and three four and one and two and three and four and one two, and three four and one and two and it goes on and on and on and on like that but that rhythm is completely consistent and I started realizing that that was what helped make that Melody just ingrained into my brain was the fact that Not only was it a harmonic and well-written Melody but there's also so much consistency in that Rhythm that I just didn't notice when I heard the song a million times, but once I played it and I saw it I realize oh, it's just the same Rhythm over and over and over again so doing something that's rhythmically consistent can help provide some stability to your leads. All right. So what I'm going to do is I'm going to try and rip off Pachelbel and I'm going to try and do something rhythmically consistent when I'm improvising and I could pick any series of eighth notes and quarter notes and you know, I could steal literally one two, and three four and one and two and three and four and but I'm going to try doing something. Different the Rhythm I'm going to do it goes like this and it's pretty simple. I just came up with it today. It goes I'll rest on the One Beat and then I'll go 2 and 3/4 and they'll Rush The One Beat again and go and two and three and four. So here's my rhythm. It goes 2 & 3 4 & 2 & 3 & 4 2 & 3 4 & 2 & 3 & 4 and I'm going to try to lock myself into only playing that pattern. That's the only thing I'm allowed to play now. I can stay on one note and play that pattern I could go back and forth between two notes and play that pattern I could try. Playing licks with that with that same Rhythm pattern, but this is really good exercise and it forces you to think completely differently on your fretboard, but you'll get something that usually sounds pretty good. All right, there's two ways to treat this there's one way to treat it like you're grooving like you're in a jam band. You're just kind of playing in the pocket. You're not really playing a solo. You're just playing back up and this technique works really well for that just it's going to be consistent kind of grooving. I'll maybe stay right there in that box of those four notes of a pentatonic minor, but then after I'm kind of done doing that groove thing, I'll try to Branch off in a Solo territory and actually play licks. Is that only focus on this Rhythm then I'll start trying to use that Rhythm as kind of a scaffolding to develop the rest of my solo. All right. I've got the solid Rhythm that I can always come back to and then I'll try to improvise where I'm using that Rhythm maybe 90% accurately. Maybe I kind of skip a few notes. Maybe I added a few notes for it. But that way it's not totally boring and redundant but it still has that consistent theme across it. Alright, so let's listen to what that sounds like.
2 & 3 4 & 2 & 3 & 4 2 & 3 4 & 2 & 3 & 4 & 3 4 & 2 & 3 & 4 & 2 & 3 & 4 & 3 all right, so, you know, I'm trying to hold myself to that Rhythm and it's Be kind of difficult right because there's a lot of things I want to do and as a lead player a lot of what I like doing is just kind of going off on my own way and doing something so restricting yourself in locking yourself into that Rhythm pattern and then maybe once you're comfortable with that Rhythm pattern may be kind of exploring little variations of it. I think it's great practice great technique and it might also not always give you the sound that you're looking for. I don't think you're going to come up with, you know, great solos just by sticking yourself to one of these little patterns, but you know, these are things I want you to incorporate into your playing and into your writing into you're improvising. Little bits, you know, all these things are like salt if you do too much of this, it's just going to be way over doing it. So you gotta find the right areas to just you know, sparingly and judiciously use these techniques but you know using repetition is always a great part of improvising it always keeps your listener engaged but repetition can get boring. However, if you repeat yourself and maybe alter The rhythms a little bit you can get away with a little bit more. So I hope this gives you a little insight into incorporating rhythms into your playing and as I mentioned earlier in the beginning of the video you can take this to some pretty Um extremes I would recommend if you want to go deeper down this Rabbit Hole start taking triplets and offsetting those into different parts of the beat because playing in between triplets can get really really weird if you're not experienced with that feel it gets pretty awkward. So like a phrasing a triplet phrase something like 1 triplet 2 3 even starting that on to the next note of the triplet or the last note of a triplet that can be quite a challenge. So something you can maybe write down on paper and then put your guitar and see how it sounds and then hopefully that stuff becomes subconscious.
So when you're improvising it just kind of comes out of your naturally. So thanks for watching. If you like this video, please like share subscribe all that good stuff and I will plan on seeing you soon.