Basic Jazz Rhythm Guitar

Difficulty: Purple
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As well as getting the basic chords down it is also important to check out some basic rhythm. In this lesson I will just show you a basic swing rhythm guitar pattern. I would strongly recommend you work on getting the groove on just one chord first before moving onto others.

"Playing Fours"

Probably the most basic jazz pattern is playing on each beat. It's 'simple' but not 'easy' because you have to lock into a groove and make it sound and feel good - which is different to 'just being able to do it'.

Basic Swing Groove

This pattern is very simple, just play the notes of the chord on beat one and the 'and after two'.

Start by working on just one chord (any chord) and really try working on 'locking in' to a groove. Do practice with a metronome!

Once you have it groovin on one chord listen to the example below and then try to imitate it. It is using an A-7 chord going to a D9.

The Count

The chord is played on beat 1 and the and of 2 (the + after 2) - counted:

1 + 2 + 3 + 4 +

Make sure you count along - you will just play on beat 1 and the "and" after beat 2. You can also add a little hit with your fingers onto the strings on beat 2 and beat 4 for added edge, but that is not in the demo.

The Music

Note that the notes in the TAB are tied - you will only play each chord twice...

Audio Example

Try to practice applying the rhythm pattern (along with the basic chords) to some real song examples.

Jazz Introduction & Basics


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