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Songwriter September

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Watch the Quartet Groove online guitar lesson by James Hogan from Groove Guitar: Rhythm

This example is inspired by Southern gospel quartet music. Since the early 20th century, four piece gospel quartet singing groups have played a prominent role in historically African American churches. In the early days, these groups were typically accompanied by piano, guitar or lap steel, although many churches had bass drums and tambourines to use as well in the early days.

With this instrumentation, there is a heavy emphasis on the quarter note; especially beats 2 and 4. Uptempo "drives" with tambourine or snare "cracks" on beats 2 and 4 are a staple in gospel music. This example in particular is a "drive" groove in E. Note: While many modern churches have moved on to full bands with full choirs, there are still many small churches that play quartet music. Also, fast quartet "drives" are still widely popular today, even in the bigger mega churches. It's definitely an essential groove that will help you learn to "dig" into quarter notes!

If you find yourself struggling with this tempo out of the gate, I recommend slowing it down to really master the accents and muting. Once it's clean, work it up to tempo and drive home those quarter notes!

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