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The Guitar Player's Guide to Rhythm, Timing, and Groove
The Guitar Player's Guide to Rhythm, Timing, and Groove

Price: $29.95

Product Code: 2505


The Guitar Player's Guide to Rhythm, Timing, and Groove - 240 page book with 3 Audio CDs (over 200 audio tracks!)

This book presents material that will help you provide strong acoustic guitar accompaniment in any musical situation by teaching you how to:

1) Keep better time and learn to develop and maintain a solid groove.

2) Outline and define the chords and chord changes in ways that provide texture and interest.

3) With the use of bass runs and passing chords, lead the listener’s ear through the chord progression in a way that helps provide forward movement and momentum to the music.

4) Provide texture, dynamics, and interest to the rhythm accompaniment in ways that positively and tastefully support the vocalist and lead instrumentalists and improve the overall band sound by using fill licks, bass runs, passing chords, chord substitutions, chord extensions, and chord inversions.

As an acoustic guitar player, playing rhythm should be the most important component of your musical life. In almost every musical situation in which you might participate, you will end up playing rhythm the majority of the time. In a full band or jam situation, you will actually be playing rhythm more than 90% of the time. Unfortunately, most lead guitar players spend the largest portion of their time practicing lead guitar and then they fall back on a few limited rhythm techniques when they play rhythm.

Part of the problem that acoustic guitar players who have the desire to learn how to be better rhythm players have encountered is the lack of a good, solid, step-by-step learning method that will allow their rhythm skill and knowledge to continually develop. In The Guitar Player's Guide To Rhythm, Timing, and Groove, Brad Davis, Tim May, and Dan Miller have put together a 240-page, 3 CD, instructional method that presents all of the technique and theory that you need to know in order to become a solid acoustic rhythm guitar player in the genres of country, bluegrass, acoustic rock, gospel, Irish, old-time, singer/songwriter, Americana, or folk music.

In this book the authors present an incredibly wide variety of rhythm technique, and the theory behind the technique. In the first section of the book, which addresses topics such as right hand rhythm patterns, developing grooves, left hand muting, the use of dynamics, and syncopated timing, you are presented with 80 practical examples in standard notation, guitar tab, and on the audio tracks. The second section of the book address bass runs and fill licks and provides you with 245 examples. In the third section of the book the authors address topics such as the use of chord extensions, chord inversions, and passing chords (to include harmonized scale style rhythm). Additionally, the authors also address elusive topics such as playing on top of the beat, ahead of the beat, and behind the beat; how to develop a variety of grooves for various genres of music; and how to feel and stay "in the pocket."

All of the material in this book addresses chord positions that include open strings. It does not address closed position swing chords or jazz chords. The closed chord positions that are utilized in swing and jazz are presented in the book Flatpicking Essentials, Volume 7: Advanced Rhythm and Chord studies.

A Note to Flatpicking Essentials customers: This new book gathers together all of the rhythm material that was presented in Volume 1 of the Flatpicking Essentials course, borrows about 10 pages from Volume 7 of the Flatpicking Essentials course, plus includes the rhythm material from "The Flatpicker's Guide to Old-Time Music" and "The Flatpicker's Guide to Irish Music." Additionally, this new book adds over 90 pages of material that has not appeared in any of our previous publications.

Table of Contents:


Chapter 1: Basic Rhythm Theory & Technique

The Role of the Rhythm Guitar Player

Rhythm Patterns—When You Are the Drummer

Bass Versus No Bass

The Whole Band Came to the Jam—Adding Interest and Texture

An Introduction to Timing and Groove


The Feel and the Groove

Staying in the Pocket

Extra Metronome Practice

Bass Note and Strum Technique Fundamentals

Timing and Simple Rhythm

Bass Note and Strum Technique

The Rest Stroke

The Rhythm Strum

Bass Note and Strum Juxtaposition

Adding More Chords

Adding A Little Texture—The Alternating Bass Line

Chapter 2: Right Hand Rhythm Patterns & The Use of Dynamics

Fully Sub-Dividing All of the Beats

The Train and the Shuffle

The Rhythm Pick Pattern

Combining Patterns

G, C, D Progression—4/4 Time

G, C, D Progression—3/4 Time

The Bluegrass G Chord



Dynamic Rests

“Lonesome Road Blues”

Syncopation with Dotted Quarter Notes

A Matter of Taste

Muted Strums

“John Hardy” with Muted Strums

Let’s Get Strummy

The Rake


The Push

The Guitar as a Drum Kit

Dynamics Review & Practice

Building Grooves

“Sitting On Top of the World”

Rhythm Patterns and Dynamics Summary

Chapter 3: Bass Note Selection & Bass Runs

An Organized Approach to Learning Bass Notes and Runs

Bass Note Timing and Variations—An Overview

Bass Run Timing

Spreading Out Bass Runs: Using Half Notes

Using Eighth Notes for Runs and Fill Licks

Mixing Up the Bass Run Timing

Borrowing From Bass Players


Syncopation Practice

Bass Note Timing Summary

Creating Movement While Staying with One Chord


Bass Notes & Runs Derived from the Chord Triad

Bass Notes & Runs Using the Major Pentatonic Scale

Bass Notes and Runs Using the Major Scale

Half Steps

Leading Tone

Chord Tone Targeting

Bass Notes and Runs Using the Chromatic Scale

Swinging the Rhythm

Using Bass Walks To Move to a New Chord

The Presentation

Basic Bass Walk Theory

Guiding the Listener’s Ear: Leading Tones, Walk-ups, Walk-downs

Adding More Notes from the Scale

Walking Up

Walking Down

Longer Bass Walks and Mixing Things Up

Mixing Things Up 1

Mixing Things Up 2

Chromatic Walk Ups & Walk Downs

Bass Runs—Old Time Style

Major Scale Bass Lines

Moving From the I Chord to the IV Chord using Major Scale Notes

Moving From the IV Chord to the V Chord using Major Scale Notes

Moving From the IV Chord to the I Chord using Major Scale Notes

Examining V to I and I—V—I Movement

Chromatic Scale Bass Lines

Moving From the I Chord to the IV Chord using Chromatic Scale Notes

Moving From the IV Chord to the V Chord using Chromatic Scale Notes

Moving From the IV Chord to the I Chord using Chromatic Scale Notes

Moving From the V Chord to the I Chord using Chromatic Scale Notes

Taking Inventory

Working With The Bass Player

Fill Licks

G-Runs, Hammer-Ons, Pull-Offs, and Slides


Integrating What You’ve Learned

“Wabash Cannonball” Fill Licks

Fill Lick Summary

“Lonesome Road Blues” Fill Licks Example

I, IV, V Rhythm Examples Using Mostly Bass Notes

A Few Song Examples

“House of the Rising Sun”

“Blue Eyes” in the Style of Roy Harvey

Rhythm in the Style of Edd Mayfield 1

Rhythm in the Style of Edd Mayfield 2

“Tennessee Wagoner” Rhythm in the Style of Charles Sawtelle

“Molly Put the Kettle On” Rhythm in the Style of Riley Puckett

Rhythm in the Style of Tom Paley

Chapter 4: Chord Variations (Extensions, Inversions & Substitutions)

Open Chord Position Extensions & Inversions

Using Open Position Chords

Bluegrass Rock?

Chord Inversions and Chord Voicings

Triad Inversions

Inversions Examples

Slash Chords

Open Chord Extensions and Inversions Summary

Chord Substitutions & Passing Chords

Movement and Texture

Melody and Harmony

Chord Substitutions

Chord Movement & Chord Progressions

Why the I, IV, V Progression Works

Adding to the I, IV, V Progression

The Relative Minor

Other Diatonic Substitutions

Diatonic Chord Progression Examples

More Diatonic Substitutions

Diatonic Substitutions Summary

Substitutions Created Through Bass Line Motion

Circle of Fifth Substitutions

Passing Chords—Setting Up Motion

The Dominant Seventh Chord

Dominant Ninth Chords

Diminished Chords

Power Chords

Passing Chords Used With Bass Lines

Half-Step Lead

Minor Seventh Chord Form

Inversions and Passing Chords

Passing Chord Options

Revisiting “Rickett’s Hornpipe”

Harmonized Scale Rhythm

“St. Anne’s Reel”

Putting It All Together — More Song Examples

“John Hardy”

Rhythm Layering in the Guitar Jam—”Red Haired Boy”

I-IV-V Progression Example

“John Henry”

The Rhythm Road Ahead

Appendix A: Working with a Metronome

Appendix B: Major Scales, Chords, and Arpeggios

Appendix C: Alternating Pick Direction & Eighth Note Practice

Appendix D: Diatonic Chords and Chord Progressions

About the Authors

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