White Man’s Rhythm Woes

My progress with the guitar has plateaued. Maybe my skill may have declined a bit. Learning to play may be me trying to be something that I’m not. At times like these, I remember the piano lessons I took as a child. They didn’t last long. When I was older, mom told me that the piano teacher said to her that I have no rhythm. That was at a time that I hadn’t even considered learning anything having to do with music. Still, it’s one of those things I’ll never forget how much it bothered me. Not, that Mom noticed.

I will admit that I’m struggling with rhythm. Keeping the beat is a fleeting talent for me. One night’s practice goes well then another night I can’t teach my right hand to strum. Beyond my regular instrument practice, I get weekly tips from Mike Moots. When I was working on the 12 bar blues, Mike made this recording, so that I could try to use it as a template for learning.

The audio file above is Mike playing the 12 bar blues shuffle. The video file shows me playing “Good Riddance, by Green Day,

Earlier in the video, I was attempting to play a song that I couldn’t identify. That’s how off the rhythm was. Mike and My instructor have both said that I need to work on my strumming.

Meanwhile, Mike is teaching me barre chords, and Pete is showing me different modes of the pentatonic scale. Mike wants to teach me songs and Pete wants me to improvise. I’m learning my rhythm guitar from Mike, and I’m learning my lead guitar from Pete.

Maybe by rhythm wasn’t very good when I had piano lessons as a child, but I believe rhythm can be learned. And, learn it, I will.


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