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Watch the Rhythm Techniques online guitar lesson by TrueFire from Play Acoustic Guitar 4: Rhythm Principles

Massimo Varini kicks things off in the first section with right-hand strumming techniques for quarter-note, eighth-note, triplet, sixteenth-note and shuffle rhythms. Massimo dives even deeper into rhythm applications for emphasizing bass notes, dividing up and down strokes, modifying patterns, changing chords seamlessly and working with 12/8 rhythms. You'll also learn how to 'think in 16ths' to craft countless rhythm patterns of your own. Get a grip on these essential principles and you'll be equipped to handle virtually the entire popular music songbook.

TIP! When you start to work on rhythm parts, remember that the number one thing you should be concerned with is staying in time! This might sound obvious, but sometimes it is easy to get distracted by trying to get a cool move or technique down and we forget about keeping it in time!

So always work on a rhythm part slowly at first, using a metronome to make sure the whole thing is staying in time. If you find one part where you keep losing time, then stop and just work on that part until you get it solid. Remember, rhythm is built from the ground up - so make sure you lay the foundation of a groove before you start to worry about all the fancy stuff!