When we first learn to play the guitar, it’s easy to get caught up in wanting to strive especially for playing lead and soloing. What bit of knowledge commonly falls by the wayside is that most of our favorite lead guitar players are also incredible rhythm players. Rhythm is an essential factor in making any music sound, well, musical!
In his Rhythm Edition of Groove Guitar, James Hogan helps you hone this foundational skill, familiarizing you with 10 commonly-encountered grooves.
Here are 6 free groove guitar lessons from the course. For the full course, check out James Hogan’s Groove Guitar: Rhythm on TrueFire!
Quartet Groove: Overview
This example is inspired by Southern gospel quartet music. Since the early 20th century, four-piece gospel quartet singing groups have played a prominent role in historically African American churches. In the early days, these groups were typically accompanied by piano, guitar or lap steel, although many churches had bass drums and tambourines to use as well in the early days.
Quartet Groove: Performance
With this instrumentation, there is a heavy emphasis on the quarter note; especially beats 2 and 4. Uptempo “drives” with tambourine or snare “cracks” on beats 2 and 4 are a staple in gospel music. This example in particular is a “drive” groove in E. Note: While many modern churches have moved on to full bands with full choirs, there are still many small churches that play quartet music. Also, fast quartet “drives” are still widely popular today, even in the bigger mega churches. It’s definitely an essential groove that will help you learn to “dig” into quarter notes!
Quartet Groove: Breakdown
Now, let’s break this down. If you find yourself struggling with this tempo out of the gate, I recommend slowing it down to really master the accents and muting. Once it’s clean, work it up to tempo and drive home those quarter notes!
Nashville Hot: Overview
This is a really fun 90’s style country shuffle in the key of A. This one is inspired primarily by legendary session ace Brent Mason, along with Albert Lee and many others who played guitar on studio sessions in the heyday of 1980’s-90’s hot country records.
Nashville Hot: Performance
Now, I’ll perform this one up to tempo so you can get a feel for how it sounds. Next, we’ll break this down.
Nashville Hot: Breakdown
We’ll be using a lot of chicken pickin’ here and digging into those shuffle 8th notes. Dig out your trusty Telecaster for this one, though if you don’t have one, you can always just “run what you brung!” (P.S.- now you’ve got a great excuse to go buy a Tele!)
Digging these free groove guitar lessons from James Hogan? Check out his full course, Groove Guitar: Rhythm.