Developing a Steady Tempo
Tempo is the speed at which a song is played, and it’s important to keep it steady throughout a song. This is often referred to as “keeping time.” Some people think of timekeeping as the drummer’s job, but in fact, it’s the role of every musician.
Here are some ways to help you develop the ability to keep steady time:
Clap: Put aside your guitar and count the beats out loud while clapping the rhythm. This shifts your focus away from the pitches and toward the rhythm. It also gives you a chance to feel it in your body.
Look ahead: Use a rest or a held note (like a half note or a whole note) to your advantage as a chance to read ahead in the music. Reading music can be a bit like riding a bike—you don’t look at where your tire is hitting the ground; you look out ahead of you to see what’s coming and prepare.
Excerpted from The Beginner's Guide to Guitar