You think you have stayed on this mountain of training for so long. Or maybe your hands are beginning to lose touch playing the guitar. Get yourself acquainted with these 15 rhythm guitar exercises to train your hands and get back in shape.
Consistency and unbroken training keep you on top. In no time, you will find yourself playing at the same speed and dexterity as your paragon.
You could get accepted to your dream band because of the journey you are about to start with your guitar. Follow these top 15 rhythm guitar exercises diligently and be sure to stay on top.
Top Rhythm Guitar Exercises to Train Your Hands
1. Jerk up Your Fingers
One major thing to do is consider your fingers’ flexibility and speed and avoid getting your fingers stiffened.
You could do this by subjecting your four fret fingers to serious physical exercises daily. Running through scales, either the major scale, minor or any other scale daily, keeps your fingers stronger and faster.
Doing this exercise rhythmically with the help of a metronome gets your fingers faster. You should start slowly into increasing your tempo. The only way to bring your best out of this exercise is to do it daily with your goals and vision in sight.
2. Get To Know Your Arpeggios
This is a nice way to get your hands at the peak of playing. Rather than just playing your chords by strumming, you can use the arpeggios when you play, picking your chords’ individual notes.
This is a sure way of improving the dexterity of your fingers. Breaking up your chords gives you the heaven on earth kind of sound. This not only helps your hands but also keeps your ear more tuned to sounds.
Whether you’re soloing over a jazz customary or slicing your way through a rock groove, arpeggios will get your lines opened, make your piece more musical and help you smash out of the vexatious pentatonic jam.
3. Give Your Ear Some Musical Tuning
You are probably thinking, how would my hand and my ear correlate? Yeah, they do. When you constantly make the mistake of hitting the wrong note, you should try some ear training while training your hands.
Start with a common C-scale fingering and observe the intervallic relationships between each note and the tonic (C), Memorize the sound of each interval by associating it with a familiar tune; for example, some of your favorite songs such as the Star Wars theme begins with a perfect 5th, then groove over a C chord, improvising one note at a time.
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4. Alternative Picking
Picking allows stamina and gives you a pro edge at rhythms. It also helps to improve muscle memory. Series of eighth-note downstrokes in rhythm should be done at first.
It would be best if you did this at a tempo convenient, starting slowly is very effective, for about three or four minutes.
Subsequently, perform a series of eighth-notes in rhythm using alternate picking, by a downstroke followed by an upstroke — without altering your speed for about 3 minutes. The more you go, the better.
This could look simple, but it can be practically difficult. This is because guitarists tend to lose focus in a bid at getting faster. The use of a metronome is a checked pointer at maintaining your speed for this exercise.
You must stay put to what the exercise is all about and resist the urge to go faster, thereby going against the rule.
The alternate-picked piece of this exercise may seem slow at first, but maintain the speed as with your downstrokes. It is, therefore, necessary to start slow, to find your balance while exercising.
5. Skip Strings
Skipping strings, you use the broken chords that are the arpeggios. This is different from the hammer-ons and pulls offs or the slides and vibrato. Energies from your right hand are as effective as energies from your left hand. The rhythm guitar exercises are sometimes not easy but it is worth it in the long run.
6. Palm Muting
This is done by laying down the palm of your hand on notes near the bridge. It can be done on both the acoustic guitar and electric and used in a different music genre.
7. Advance Palm Muting
This involves the advanced use of palm muting. For this exercise, the palm muting is done on just a single note and repeated all over the riff like a drone.
8. Use Hammer-Ons and Pull-Offs
Do you find your jamming broken? Legato techniques such as hammer-ons, pull-offs, and slides, will come off as help to make it all straight.
Hammer-on involves picking a note and then reducing a higher note sharing the same string without picking.
On the other hand, a pull-off involves fretting a note before playing a higher note found on the same string, and then releasing the higher note with a striking motion, giving the lower note a sound.
9. Go Beyond Scales
You should probably consider adding some sauce to your scales by melodically breaking the rules. Adding chromatics to your scales creates a more melodious sound.
They are notes outside of your normal scales, most commonly used in country and jazz type of genre.
Chromatics are made of 12 notes, with each a half step apart; you should start learning them. After learning, you should match that to the seven-note C major scale (C D E F G A B).
Lastly, after learning and comparing, try creating some lines in C’s key, using chromatic pitches as passing tones.
10. Get Your Thumb in Stroke
If you’re a guitar player into classical or rock music, and your thumb only serves as support behind your guitar’s neck, or you use it only for force while bending.
It’s high time you realized that your whole digits could be used effectively, with the thumb not exempted.
Your thumb goes beyond the known functions. Beginners should try fretting the 6th-string roots of a particular chord shape.
This kind of exercise is mostly used in R and B rhythm passages. To simplify widely spaced intervals, the thumb can also be used in single-note moves.
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Melodies seeming too simple can be stuffed with octaves of the same notes but in a different register. An example is the octave shape on the 5th and 3rd strings, fretted with 1st and 3rd fingers, respectively.
To guarantee that only the octave pitches ring out, arch your 1st finger so that its base casually touches the 4th string, thereby muting it.
12. Get You Open Chords Decorative
Hammer-ons and pull-offs drawn from the C major pentatonic scale (C D E G A) can help decorate your open C chord.
Keep each fret-hand finger low for as long as possible, allowing everything to ring throughout.
13. Get Friendly With Classics
Learning to play the classical music piece makes your playing better and more creative. Using this style, the chords are usually widely spread over a wide range, with more space between their notes.
Classical piece with guitar arrangements is with lots of counterpoint like the contrary motion. Here the lines move in opposite directions.
Put these ideas to work in a way best understandable to you, and you will be surprised at how better you will get.
14. Tune Differently but Uniquely
Tune your low E string down a step, to D, and you’ll be in drop D, which affords massive-sounding power-chord voicings while allowing you to vibe better on strings 1–5.
Lower strings 1, 5, and 6 down a whole step each, and you’ll be in open G (low to high, D G D G B D).
15. Improve Your Chord Scale Relationship
This allows you to add sauce to the sound produced, by accompanying your chord with the right scale pattern.
You should, therefore find out and practice the scale pattern matching the right chord to learn. (Cmaj7 chord = C major scale; Em7 chord = E natural minor or E Dorian, etc.) The critical goal is to be able to match the right scale pattern over any chord.
Get your fingers playing exactly like your musical paragon by using this rhythm guitar exercises to train your hand. Ensure staying diligent to these exercises, and your success is guaranteed.
Feel free to drop your comments about any other exercises you train your hands with. Instrument school is always here to listen to you.