Rhythm Guitar

Rhythm Guitar is a comprehensive manual on rhythmic (based on chords) styles of play on the steel string acoustic guitar. Because the guitar is first and foremost an instrument of chords, practically all of the many diverse possible styles of play on the guitar are based on chords. The steel string acoustic guitar is the most versatile of the basic types of guitars, because it is equally well suited to practically any style of play. Rhythm Guitar is suitable for complete beginners in the study of music and the guitar, since no prior knowledge or playing skill is assumed. Rhythm Guitar is also suitable for experienced guitarists who want to learn about the theory of chords and chord progressions, or develop new playing styles and techniques.

Over recent decades, the guitar has become far and away the most popular and the most widely owned musical instrument. The guitar is a very sensible instrument of choice, especially for self-taught musicians. This is so because it is one of the easiest instruments to learn to play, and because it is capable of producing complete sounding music and an effective accompaniment for singing. The tremendous popularity of the guitar has elicited a wide array of guitar methods and guitar instructional studies, nearly all of which make use of the 6-line guitar TAB notational system. The main distinguishing feature of the course of study in Rhythm Guitar is the fact that it is based on visualinear tablature, which gives a clearer and more concise account of how guitar music is actually played.

Another distinguishing feature of the course of study in Rhythm Guitar is the fact that there is an equal emphasis on the two basic styles of play, both of which are well suited to the steel string acoustic guitar. In flatpick styles of play, the strings are struck with a rounded triangular piece of plastic called a flatpick. In fingerstyles of play, the strings are plucked with the thumb and fingers of the playing hand. The main goal of the course of study in Rhythm Guitar is the attainment of a solid intermediate level of skill as a steel string acoustic guitarist, with equal fluency in flatpick styles and fingerstyles of play. An important secondary goal is the attainment of self-reliance and self-sufficiency as a guitarist and as a musician. The achievement of these goals is made possible by the inclusion in Rhythm Guitar of numerous detailed discussions of topics in music theory, chord theory, guitar technique, and the development of musical skills. Taken together, these discussions comprise a third and equally important distinguishing feature of the innovative course of study in Rhythm Guitar.

In the first two chapters of Rhythm Guitar, for example, rather than simply learning basic guitar chords from diagrams, the reader is guided through the process of learning how to derive and construct guitar chord diagrams. The second chapter concludes with a brief introduction to harmony, or the study of chord progressions. The music theory and chord theory content of these two chapters is reinforced with five written Exercises that are intended to insure a correct understanding of the material. The third chapter consists mainly of an introduction to flatpick technique, and the fourth chapter consists mainly of an introduction to fingerstyle technique. The first four chapters of Rhythm Guitar, together with a brief Appendix containing the answers to the written Exercises, can be ordered below in e-book (PDF) format for only $5. If you’d like more detailed information before ordering, click here to view the Table of Contents, the Foreword, the Introduction, and the Index.
 

  • Rhythm Guitar e-book 1 (73 pages)
This e-book is an electronic version (PDF) of Chapters 1-4 of Rhythm Guitar. It can be downloaded from this website immediately after your purchase transaction is completed.
Rhythm Guitar e-book 1 $5.00

 

The fifth through ninth chapters of Rhythm Guitar are basically a continuation of the first four chapters, and the tenth and final chapter consists mainly of a discussion of alternate guitar tunings. The main emphasis in these six chapters is on the development of playing skills, which is accomplished by the use of two parallel learning tracks. The first learning track consists of chord progressions and playing patterns that can be expanded and amended as new chords and playing techniques are learned. The main advantage of this learning track is that it allows readers to advance at their own pace in the development of playing skills. Two other advantages of this learning track are that it facilitates organized and productive practice time, and it encourages the development of improvisational skills. The second learning track consists of the playing Exercises, which are short but musically sensible rhythm guitar arrangements. The playing Exercises are representative of the various styles of play discussed in Rhythm Guitar. The main advantage of the playing Exercises is that they allow for the development of skill at learning, and perfecting the ability to play, relatively simple but musically sensible rhythm guitar arrangements. Click here to review audio excerpts from the CD of the playing Exercises. The fifth through tenth chapters of Rhythm Guitar can be ordered below in e-book (PDF) format for only $9. If you’d like more detailed information before ordering, you can use the links given above for the Table of Contents and the audio excerpts from the CD of the playing Exercises.

  • Rhythm Guitar e-book 2 (178 pages)
This e-book is an electronic version (PDF) of Chapters 5-10 of Rhythm Guitar. It can be downloaded from this website immediately after your purchase transaction is completed.
Rhythm Guitar e-book 2 $9.00

If you order both Rhythm Guitar e-books, you should also consider ordering the CD of the playing Exercises. The CD tracks are useful learning tools because they contain the rhythm guitar arrangements on one channel, and complementary musical arrangements on the other channel. The CD might also prove useful to those who already play the guitar, and would like to use the CD as a controlled environment for developing skill at figuring out rhythm guitar arrangements from a recording. The expanded CD playlist contains a great deal of information relevant to this learning purpose. On a more basic level, the playlist also provides a quick reference guide regarding which Exercises are contained on which tracks. Click here to download the CD playlist.
 

  • Rhythm Guitar CD
This is a .zip file containing MP3s for the 31 tracks contained on the Rhythm Guitar playing Exercises CD. It can be downloaded from this website immediately after your purchase transaction is completed.
Rhythm Guitar CD $6.00