15 August 2008

Beginner Guitar Chords: Liven Up Your Rhythm Playing

Guitar chord playing usually starts out with some open position guitar chords and a few strum patterns. But once you've mastered these you'll be keen to learn some new tricks to liven up your three chord songs.

Not Playing Guitar will be showing you techniques you can use to spice up your chord playing over the next couple of months. Here's a short preview of some of the topics that will be appearing.

Picking up

Strums are a fine place to start and you can build a great variety of accompaniments with them. But after a while you will want to find ways of creating more interesting rhythms.

You can build more varied rhythm patterns with techniques such as alternating bass, arpeggio picking, muting and more.

Hammer time

Hammer-ons and pull-offs are two staple devices for adding some interesting sounds to your basic chords. Learn what they are and how to use them.

Running around

You can make your playing sound really lively by creating some harmonic movement around you chord changes. Bass runs and melody licks are ways to you create this movement. They give your playing a more musical feel and will teach you some musical theory in action.

No substitute

You can take harmonic movement a step further using chord inversions and substitutions. These will add some new and exciting sounds to your playing.


You'll see these tips appearing among other posts during the next month or two. Be sure to register for updates by email or to your RSS reader so you don't miss them. If you have any questions on these topics in the meantime, please ask them. Leave your questions in the comments on the blog. I'll work your questions and their answers into the series when it appears here on the blog.

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