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Skills to Help Guitarists Play Faster

 

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Exercises for Improving Timing for Guitarists

 

Guitarists pic
Guitarists
Image: uberchord.com

A graduate of Monmouth University’s bachelor’s and master’s degree programs in business administration, John F. Abate owns companies including Marketforce and Win-Track. In his spare time, John F. Abate enjoys playing guitar.

For guitarists, a sense of timing forms the foundation for all other skills. Though it is easier to work on timing when you have accompaniment, you can also build your skills through solo exercises.

One exercise for building timing involves tapping: Rather than play the guitar, the guitarist simply uses his or her hand to tap the beat on a hard surface. This eliminates distractions and draws all focus toward timing.

To enhance the exercise, nod your head or tap your feet at the same time. Using multiple body parts improves internalization of the beat.

A more advanced timing exercise focuses on switching between rhythms. Tap quarter notes, then eighth, then sixteenth, switching between them with as little hesitation as possible. By building the ability to shift between these rhythms, guitarists can improve their overall sense of timing.