3 Ways to Improve Your Rhythm

In this video Simon gives you 3 ways to improve your rhythm. Because we often play alone as classical guitarists, it’s easy to distort the rhythm. So we need to take a few extra steps to be sure we’re in time. We will look specifically at smoothing out transitions across the barline, across sections, and between right-hand positions.

Rhythmic transitions across the barline

The barline divides our musical notes into small groupings so we can make sense of them better. However, we tend to stumble at the barline. Perhaps there’s a mental block of the bar being a pause, but we tend to hesitate at the barline. When I say practice across the barline I mean starting at the end of the bar and practicing going smoothly to the beginning of the next bar.

What we tend to do is stop at the barline, introducing a break or pause. However, unless we practice across the barline, we lose the sense of pulse.

Sometimes we also encounter technical difficulties at the barline and so it makes the hesitations stronger. Even more reason to practice across the barline.

Rhythmic transitions across musical sections

Another tendency is to pause or to take more time than is written at the end of sections. This occurs frequently in baroque or classical music that has two sections that repeat. However, it’s just as important to practice going from the end of one section to the repeat or the next section without hesitation.

Rhythmic transitions between right-hand positions

Finally, we can also introduce these hesitations when we move our hand to create tonal contrasts (such as ponticello and tasto). Instead we want to create smooth transitions in the right hand without interruption. Equally here we want to practice moving our hand from one tone color position to another as smoothly as possible.


The material discussed in this lesson all comes from our graded curriculum at CGC Academy. To get access to the full curriculum Join CGC Academy today!