Rhythm Essentials

Good morning! Thank you for getting back to me…
No I don’t have the guitar pro software…I don’t even know what it does! Is it something relevant for acoustic guitar playing? If so how do I obtain it?
Thank you!

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Justin has an AMAZING video explaining everything you need to know about guitar pro: https://youtu.be/vu40aw1CwBQ

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Thank you!

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Which drum book was it?

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Delayed reply - apologies.
You completely do not need it unless you want to open and use TAB notation files and create your own.

Hello, noob question here: For the 8th notes, I see that Justin has notated them such that two 8th notes are connected (bridged) together at the top of each pair. However, I have also seen instances where, when there are four 8th notes in a row, all four are connected (bridged) together by a single line at the top of each note. Any idea why this might be? Is one way correct vs. another? Thanks!

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Hello Jeremy,

The 4 notes ‘bridged’ together would be 4×16th notes, which equals one beat. So, in 4/4 timing, its a 1/4 note.

The 2 x 8th notes you refer to are also equal to a 1/4 note.

So, generally, when you see the bar across the top joining notes, it equals, in total, one beat. So a 1/4 note in 4/4.

Different number of notes 》different values 》different rhythm.

Cheers, Shane

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The note duration is determined by a single or a double line.

If it’s a beam with a single line then those are 8th notes counted as ‘1 and 2 and’.

A double line is used to beam 16th notes, counted as ‘1 e and a 2 e and e’.


You’ll sometimes see that beats 1 and 2 are grouped together, as well as beats 3 and 4.

I always thought that grouped notes indicated a different pulse. So in the second example I would think beats 1 and 3 are stronger than 2 and 4, but I’m not sure if that’s true.


Thanks this was a great help. I look forward to more of your lessons.

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HI all. I have been back at guitar (and now piano and singing) for a few months now, and I have noticed just how difficult it is for me to play in rhythm.

I do my best to use a metronome, but I find myself very often out of time.
I am not sure what to do, although during my search, I found this thread.

So my question then is, is the Rhythm maestro course the way to go? do that and then I would think a lot of practice. There is also that cool video at the start with the hopscotch style layout of the dude using pens on the table as the metronome plugs away, is this something that will help get rhythm engrained in my head?

mr not rhythm over here needs some help :slight_smile:

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Hi @bkennedy74. Rhythm & timing are essential elements of music and need to be practiced. How far along the JG courses are you? There are rhythm lessons all through grades 1, 2 and 3, and Justin also has a strumming SoS course.

Rhythm Maestro is useful & short as well (I’ve done it) but it may not be as useful to you if you’re struggling to keep time. It’s definitely not going to hurt.

I struggled with rhythm and timing. Strumming SOS helped me a lot.
The problem with always is that we are too fast. Slow the metronome down, as slow you need to stay in time. You can speed the metronome up in no time.

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I did Justin’s course years ago, like 8+ and got pretty good, however I sort of stopped off his course after learning a lot of chords, then I jumped around alot, doing too many things, then I stopped guitar altogether. So now I started again, I am up to like grad 1 Dminor :slight_smile:

However, I am building solid foundations and not getting ahead of myself, and a major roadblock I am encountering in piano as well is playing in time.

I’ll look into SoS (I might even have that from when I first did his course lol)

The strumming SOS is a paid course? Is that the right one?

Hi Bret , @bkennedy74
Yes ,this is the very highly recommended one :sunglasses:
Greetings Rogier

My suggestion for getting the rhythm ingrained is obviously use the metronome but equally important count OUT LOUD with the metronome. A classical guitar teach taught me this and it made a huge difference

Yeah, from my last 24 hours of research it seems like it is get the metronome running and clap, then have different patterns and clap.
Then do muted strumming
Do muted strumming with different BPM and different patterns
Do all of the above with chord changes.

I will finish off maestro. I have an understand of music notation, whole half quater etc, I guess now it is really just doing a lot of basic stuff with those to make it second nature.
I don’t want to complicate it, I usually do that with everything else.

Hello Mr “no Rhythm” :handshake: Mrs “I’m developing some Rhythm” here :blush:

The Strumming SOS is just great and will help you a lot. Regarding the Rhythm Maestro I followed the lessons but instead of working on the strumming patterns and materials provided on the website I did and I keep on doing my practice on Justin’s Rhythm Book. On the Book you don’t have patterns but 4/4 bars of random rhythms…from the very beginning I could perceive that that kind of practice kind of developed flexibility in my brain, my listening skills (which were really poor) improved drastically and I learnt to identify strumming patterns in songs while listening. If you’re are only half as much desperate with your Rhythm as I was I suggest you start tapping the Rhythms with your hand, without a guitar, so you’ll focus on the Rhythm aspect only. It’s my intention to work on the Rhythm Maestro materials as well, but I perceive them as more advanced while the practice on the Book seems to me a better approach for those who lack the basic skills.


Thank you for such a detailed reply. Ill grab a book like this and just ‘clap practice’ separately to help improve that.

Hi Jeremy. It is just two ways to show the same thing. No difference in actual music and what is played.

It is a common issue Bret. Strumming SOS is great. All who have taken the course recommend it. https://www.justinguitar.com/classes/strumming-sos

Also try this topic: Counting and keeping time when playing to a backing track - #5 by Richard_close2u

Ad try some of the live clubs perhaps or check out the resources from the club archive: