rhythm

Guitar lessons sometimes seem like an easy task, but keeping your students engaged is a very hard task.

Sometimes, exploring is a good way to make your lessons fresh, and while it may seem distant, some youtube creators manage to be great teachers.

Rick Beato is one of those content creators on youtube, he is a music teacher, producer and has been making content on YouTube for quite a while, getting over 2 million subscribers on the platform.

One of the biggest difficulties when it comes to guitar lessons is that beginners find it very hard to play the first notes and chords, but in reality there are a few tips that can

That’s where Rick’s videos come in.

Varied Content

Rick Beato’s channel has a lot of different content, of course, all of it about music but, one of the most interesting things about him is that his taste is hard to define.

You can easily click a video from him and watch him break down a Beethoven piece, one analyzing the top 10 songs on spotify or getting every detail about Phil Collins’ drums.

Why is this important? Well first of all he is able to connect with a wider audience instead of dismissing certain genres. This also reverberates in his teaching and tutorials,  because he knows his audience comes from many different places.

When he gets into the guitar lessons, he won’t teach classical, rock, jazz, flamenco, that is up to the person learning.

Guitar Lessons

Guitar Lessons

There are a few videos on guitar lessons by Rick, but there is one that is worth checking out as he talks about the experience teaching his children how to play guitar during lockdown.

He then proceeds to talk about some of the things that every beginner should remember when starting to learn how to play guitar.

In this video Rick helps solve some of the most common mistakes every beginner makes when starting to play guitar. These common issues are:

Rhythm and Strumming

Most people have a hard time strumming and at first the play the guitar with the thumb strumming down, and then with a bit more time they let loose of the wrist, however there is no rhythm

Finger Positioning

At first when learning chords, it feels like a strange game of twister where your fingers feel uncomfortable, and it may seem like a very common problem with easy solutions, but some of these solutions can really take a beginner a long way with just a few tips.

Sometimes it’s about the transitions between one chord to the other, and other times it comes to scales, but there is no denying that finger positioning is something that is very easy to get wrong, and because it is something so basic, it’s easy to feel discouraged from learning the instrument right away.

Not Muting Strings Properly

Many beginners don’t pay attention to what they are actually supposed to play, what this means is that they may get the strumming and finger positioning, but if they are playing notes that shouldn’t actually be played, it’s going to sound messy and bad.

This is also due to the fact that the strings that should be muted are usually the open strings, this makes it so that, if it is played, it’s going to be very present in the chord.

From one Chord to Another

It feels so hard to finally get every finger in place and then they have to change in order to play another chord.

This is often one of the first hardest things a beginner guitarrist face.

It’s not just about doing it, it’s also about maintaining the rhythm of the strumming intact while doing it.

The solution to these beginner guitar issues can be solved in many ways.

Today the recomendation is to watch Rick Beato’s tips, not only because it’s not a very long video, it’s because every minute of it will be useful when confronting your new guitar.

Why Are His Videos Worth Your Time?

Rick is an experienced teacher, but he manages to show so much in so little time that it makes for perfect content for YouTube.

Today, many people of all ages start to learn how to play instruments and get into music through YouTube and this can be a very interesting learning process.

Getting to this channel can be quite good for a beginner not just because of guitar lessons, but the way he approaches every music genre and respects every different type of sound.

This can be seen in other videos where he breaks down songs or goes through music in the form of video essay/class and it can be a very interesting and fun learning experience for a beginner musician.

 

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Who says that lows are not important or not heard? In music you have three frequencies that have to be balanced in order to be able to hear a composition the best way possible, there are highs, mids and lows, or treble, mids and bass. In order to achieve this balance every instrument has to play it’s part. In music where there are electronic devices or volume, this has to be a priority, in other genres the force applied determines the volume, and others the quantity will determine the volume.

In other words every instrument has a job and each instrument is essential once every job is assigned. However you may have heard that sometimes a person would say “The bass is not that important, it’s just there” but no matter how simple the bass may be in some ocasions, it’s always essential. Of course you have Jazz and Funk which gives the sound of the bass lots of freedom and space to do flashy things, but it’s not always like this.

The Bass is Rhythm and Harmony

Bass

Bass in most musical compositions lay the bases of two essential parts of music, rhythm and harmony. In other words, the bass it’s in the middle of the percussion and melodic instruments in terms of its role in the musical piece.

A lot of the music out there is very well received because of its rhythm, and this is not achieved by percussion alone, mostly because percussion tends to be high frequency sounds, but with the help of a well composed bass, it doesn’t only completes the rhythm, but also works as a bridge from the percussion to other instruments.

In terms of harmonies, the interesting thing is that sometimes people are not even sure of the part the bass is playing in a specific song, but you are hearing a beautiful harmony, and your ear tricks you into believing that strings or air instruments are responsibles, when in fact the bass is allwing these harmonies to happen with its low frequency notes.

The bass plays a powerful role in how we hear harmonies. When we hear several notes played at the same time, we hear them all relative to the lowest sounding pitch — the bass note.

Studybass.com

The Science Behind It

According to the PNAS there is a scientific reason as to why the bass is so important in music, and they conducted a studied which verifies the following:

Previous work using electroencephalography (EEG) demonstrated that the auditory cortex encodes pitch more robustly in the higher of two simultaneous tones or melodies, and modeling work indicated that this high-voice superiority for pitch originates in the sensory periphery. Here, we investigated the neural basis of carrying rhythmic timing information in lower-pitched voices. We presented simultaneous high-pitched and low-pitched tones in an isochronous stream and occasionally presented either the higher or the lower tone 50 ms earlier than expected, while leaving the other tone at the expected time. EEG recordings revealed that mismatch negativity responses were larger for timing deviants of the lower tones, indicating better timing encoding for lower-pitched compared with higher-pitch tones at the level of auditory cortex. A behavioral motor task revealed that tapping synchronization was more influenced by the lower-pitched stream. Results from a biologically plausible model of the auditory periphery suggest that nonlinear cochlear dynamics contribute to the observed effect. The low-voice superiority effect for encoding timing explains the widespread musical practice of carrying rhythm in bass-ranged instruments and complements previously established high-voice superiority effects for pitch and melody.

Michael J. Hove, Céline Marie, Ian C. Bruce, and Laurel J. Traino

In other words, our brain’s capability to make sense of music and finding order is a lot easier thanks to the bass and the lower tones, this also aligns with the role of the bass in music.

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21 The Coins of the Money Changers

I always found the rhythmic grouping of notes and rests very difficult to explain to students. How do you try and explain this concept to your theory and composition pupils?

Here’s an idea I stumbled on recently which seems to be helping: “money, money, money!”

• Before attempting to beam notes up into the correct groups, I first lay out a mixed selection of coins equivalent to four pounds sterling (I’m from England but the principle is the same whatever the coinage of your country. You can use real money or plastic play money).

• I then ask the pupil to organise the coins into four stacks equal to one pound, no more no less. The principle that this exercise demonstrates to them is that  [···]

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