Rhythm Exercises For Beginners

I often get asked, “What are good rhythm exercises for beginners on the guitar?” Well in this music lesson, I’m going to discuss a simple rhythm and easy strumming pattern that you can use when you first start learning to play the guitar. After reading through this article and understanding the different terms, you can check out the video lesson below where I discuss some more possible rhythm ideas for beginner guitar players.

In this article, we are going to count to 4. As long as you can count to the number 4, you’ll be able to get through these rhythm exercises for beginners. Let’s get started.

Terms You Need To Know:

Beat: What we call the pulse or heartbeat of the music. It’s typically what you tap your foot to.

Tempo: How fast your are going to strum. This is measured in Beats Per Minute (bpm) kind of like Miles Per Hour (mph) in a car.

Measures: Blocks of music that connect together. These blocks are divided using a horizontal black line.

In this rhythm lesson, we are going to count in four-four time. This means that we will count: 1, 2, 3, 4 and then repeat again, 1, 2, 3, 4 over and over again. Each beat is represented by a quarter note, which pictured below. A quarter note has a big black ball called a head and a little stick coming out of it called a stem.

In the below rhythm exercise, each quarter note equals 1 beat or 1 count. So we would count the below rhythm as 1, 2, 3, 4. You can try clapping your hands along to this or strumming down on your guitar for each quarter note. We must make sure we keep a steady tempo when we do this. Pretend each count is a second on a stop watch and you will get the idea of what it’s like the clap or strum at a steady tempo.

Find this website helpful? Click the button to show your support.

In tab, the number represents the fret number NOT the finger number. A “0” indicates that you play the string open without fretting the neck of the guitar.

The above example is a very simple beginner guitar strumming pattern that I use with many of my guitar students. You can play any of the beginner guitar songs on this website using this rhythm pattern alone. This rhythm pattern is actually the foundation for many more strumming patterns you will learn in the future.

If you were going to play four measures of this rhythm exercise, it would look like the example below. You will see four blocks or measures each containing 4 quarter notes each. Try clapping or strumming this along to the second hand of a clock.

Now for some people when they first start learning guitar, using the above strumming pattern can be too hard. This is especially true when your chord changes are not fast enough. So you might need to use something called a whole note or even something called a half note.

Watch the Rhythm Exercises For Beginners video below where I will discuss some other easy strumming patterns you can use when you first learn the guitar.

These Strumming Patterns To Easy?

Then check out my Beginner Guitar Course where I teach you all kind of guitar strumming patterns including both quarter notes and eighth notes (the fun strumming patterns). You’ll learn the most common strumming patterns used in songs as well as how to change between different strumming patterns without skipping a beat.

See More Strumming Exercises In The Video Below:

Play Video

Want to improve your guitar playing even further?

Scroll to Top