Pickers Circle 9 Dec

Theme: I got rhythm?

I got a question about strumming the other day and I realized that there is a lot about this that I don’t know so I thought an evening devoted to the topic would be in order.

For a dancer the basic rhythms are Waltz, Foxtrot, Quickstep and Tango. The more adventurous can try swing/jive, Cha-cha, Rhumba and Samba. Each of these has an associated time signature and tempo and a count for the basic step. How many examples can we play in a circle?

Guitarists starting out can stick to 4/4 time, think foxtrot or twostep count 1 2 3 4. Waltz time, 3/4, would be next then the fast waltz in 6/8. For me the best way to keep time has been using a metronome and tapping my foot. This is harder than it seems but worth practicing.

Here is the music for Freight Train in 4/4 time and here is a metronome. Strum this at 60 beats per minute and read the bar number off the top of the sheet. One of the easiest songs to play in 6/8 time is Silkie, from an early Joan Baez recording. Here are the chords and the timing in 6/8.

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