A common denominator off all music is rhythm/time - it's the glue that holds everything together!
Developing an ability to keep solid time is surprisingly challenging. I believe it's critical for beginners to work on their rhythm with as much attention and priority as any other aspect of learning their instrument. Your main tool in this endeavor is the metronome, a device or phone/tablet application that beeps or clicks to keep the beat/time.
The 4 basic rhythms (note values) I have students initially work with are: whole notes (= 4 beats) half notes (=2 beats) quarter notes (=1 beat) and eighth notes (one half beat or 2 notes per beat)
Underlying the rhythm is the beat, the beat (for beginners) will be determined by the metronome. Every time the metronome clicks equals 1 beat. Once you've obtained decent proficiency with your picking and fretting hands and exercises you can set your metronome at 80 bpm (beats per minute) and play 4 picks per string across all 6 strings, beginning on string 1, progressing through all 6 strings then coming back from string 6 through string 1. Then play the same exercise with 2 picks per string. You'll play 1 note per beat, (click of the metronome) those are quarter notes. Quarter notes are the best note value to practice at first because the margin of error playing them is the lowest of any note value due to the fact that for every metronome click you hear, you play a note. Once you become proficient at this, move the metronome up to 90 bpm and repeat the process.
Finally, play the same exercise with the 3 other note values. (whole, half and eighth notes) Then work on every possible permutation of the note values.
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