Today we will continue to learn about rhythm patterns. Notice that this is not about adding percussion or drums to your tracks, but to play right and left hand according to a pattern that is common to a given music genre. The result is that the listener will be able to tell whether the song you’re playing is a waltz or a jazz piece, for example.
I strongly recommend you to check the previous lesson if you’re not familiar with rhythm patterns.
I also recommend you to check lessons about music notes, such as whole, quarter, 8th notes and so on, as well as rests and ties.
You can play inverted chords in the chord sequence since it will make things easier. I suggest you to practice before trying the examples in this lesson.
Now that we know how to write patterns for right and left hands, let’s check a few more examples:
This is a basic reggae pattern. Notice how the chords play always in the offbeat, which is the heart of the reggae style.
Now let’s use the same chord progression from the previous lesson and play it using the Reggae rhythm pattern:
Here’s how it sounds:
You can practice the reggae pattern with a metronome. Start at a slow tempo until you get comfortable with the chord changes.
Notice that this is a slightly different pattern from the one that we saw in the previous section. It has a whole note playing the bass and quarter notes playing the chords. Listen:
There’s a very used pop ballad pattern where we have 8th notes playing the chords. However, the first 8th note of a beat will play the two highest notes from the chord, while the second 8th note will play the lowest note. Let’s take the C major chord as an example:
And now let’s see the variation:
Notice that in the first 8th note we’ll play fingers 3 and 5 from the C major chord and in the next 8th note we’ll play finger 1 from the C chord. That is, if we play the C major chord in the root position, so we’ll play E and G and then C.
If you’re playing inverted chords, you can use the 5-2 fingering instead of 5-3.
We can go ahead and create a little trickier pattern, with a tied note in the bass:
It will sound like the following:
This is a typical example of pop romantic songs, where the bass and the chords create a very familiar rhythm. You’ll hear this pattern on songs such as Straight from the heart (Bryan Adams), Imagine (John Lennon), Hello (Lionel Ritchie) and much more.
That’s it! The next move is to practice all those patterns slowly at the beginning, and then with a metronome or a beat. Then you can practice with other chord sequences, as well as existing songs.