Building Eighth- and 16th-Note Rock Rhythms

Building Eighth- and 16th-Note Rock Rhythms

The music we listen to (at least in the western part of the world) conditions us, as guitar players, to a default timing and rhythm. In most cases that timing is 4/4 or what we call “common time.” Common time often shows up as four quarter notes in a measure.

However, we don’t always have to play only quarter notes when we’re in 4/4 time. And while it might be an easy habit to form, it’s dreadfully boring.

A far better alternative is to keep our 4/4 time signature and break parts of our riff down into eighth and even 16th notes for a more interesting and dynamic rhythm. We’ll cover a few detailed examples of how to add a ton of variety to your rhythm riffs with a fairly small amount of 

Bobby Kittleberger is the founder and editor of Guitar Chalk, a contributor and author of the Music Theory for Guitar Players in Plain English. You can get in touch with him via Twitter.

Flickr Commons Image Courtesy of Kmeron.

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