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How to make chord progressions a pro would love, Part 16: Rhythm III – Strumming

So let’s take the progression from the last post…

Gmaj-8 bars


…and add some rhythms using quarter notes and eighth notes.


Gmaj w: rests

You’re probably looking at that symbol on the second and fourth beats of bar 5, and wondering what’s going on. Let me explain.

Silence is as important as sound in music, so we need symbols to express that. The one you’re looking at expresses silence for the same length as a quarter note. Another way of saying that is that the symbol substitues silence for the sound of the quarter note. Because of this, it’s called a quarter rest.
So the way bar 5 works is: beat 1 – quarter note (sound); beat 2 – quarter rest (silence); beat 3 – quarter note (sound); beat 4 – quarter rest (silence).


One last thing. When you’re reading rhythms, it’s a good idea to count so that you don’t get lost. In the example below, you’ll see that there are four numbers in each bar,  corresponding to each of the 4 beats. Between some of the numbers, there are  plus signs. The plus signs are under the offbeat 1/8 notes.
Gmaj w: slash 8ths
 So we have downbeats (where the numbers are) and offbeats (where the plus signs are).
This tells you that when you have 1/8 notes, you count “1 and 2 and 3 and 4 and.” You have to count evenly when you do this.
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