The Woodshed

Does anyone remember rhythm?


What a superb video! He has a really great touch and his sound is really dialed in. I couldn't help noticing the settings on his old Deluxe Reverb: Treble on 4, Bass on 5, Reverb on 3. I guess that's why I like it; that's right where I prefer my tone settings, although I usually have the 'verb a little higher. Everyone else in the world seems to run the Treble higher than the Bass, with the possible exception of Jim Campilongo.

This has me thinking about those up-beat "stabs," and how they're common to several different styles, most notably late fifties-early sixties New Orleans R&B, ska and reggae, and the Nashville sound.


I need a shot of Rhythm and Blues.


I need a shot of Rhythm and Blues.

– audept

I'm gonna, inject your soul with some, sweet rock-n-roll, and shoot you full of rhythm and blues!

James Taylor - Steamroller. The man's a monster fingerstyle player. I've been working on "Fire and Rain", and it's a difficult tune to play right. JT is a a tough act to follow.


i've wound up as a lead player over time, but love playing backing guitar, or as Bob Weir was credited on Jerry Garcia's Reflections album, "second guitar" (a la first and second violin). like bass, a creative second guitarist can totally steer the feel, voicings, chord substitutions, and structure of a song.

not that there's anything missing from a sharp, brutal, precise chop. one fun thing about the UG Roundup was that it reminded me how much i enjoy staying in the back playing little Steve Cropper and Curtis Mayfield bits.

– macphisto

yes this, re rhythm players (especially the role of bass) and how it steers everything.... it s why im enjoying finally owning a bass and playing it so much these days, it shapes everything around you.

i primarily play lead but love coming up with rhythm parts and pockets... its harder than one thinks!

While i developed rhythm chops from doing flamenco ( where you accompanied singers and/or dancers) and funk, I really started fine tuning my rhythm chops only about five or six or years ago when i was laying down solo demo versions of pieces i was writing for the band ( some of those I shared here on you tube here back in the day).

I was doing the drum programming, borrowing a bass to come up with the parts, etc. That was a rude awaking, learning how out of pocket i could be, and learning how to write rhythmically for the whole picture.

i agree with the comments above re about how kids these days have backing tracks and can miss the real time live experience of learning rhythm. its also that because they have that backing track, they dont learn how to really listen,** but instead learn to merely play along. There is a difference.

If listening is the cornerstone of rhythm skills, i was also helped ironically, by doing so much free improv. 1) While that music is often out of meter, its not out of pulse or groove, and 2) you have to listen and converse very intently to make that music happen; that means youre zeroing on every rhythmic/melodic shift around you. That was helpful in developing rhythm chops for sure.


When I was taking jazz lessons, I had an instructor who pointed out that in modern popular music, only the guitar and piano have the ability to express the full chords of the harmony in the song. He said it in the context of making sure you're not in conflict for harmonic space if you're playing with a piano, but it struck me in terms of the mechanics of music and the fundamental role of the guitar. Maybe kids these days are learning by playing over backing tracks in their bedrooms, but there's still a backing track that's providing the harmony and rhythm. Once they get out of their bedroom and off YouTube, they're going to discover that they sound pretty thin if they're only plinking along on leads. They're going to have to start multi-tracking or find someone to play with in a live setting who can fill that space.

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