Play a Syncopated Fingerstyle Rhythm

Posted by Alex de Grassi

Example 3 shows a syncopated variation of a 4/4 rhythm that features a pattern of two dotted quarter notes and a quarter note in the bass. This asymmetrical alternating bass groups the eighth notes into two groups of three and one group of two in what is sometimes referred to as a 3–3–2 pattern by playing the bass notes on beats one, two-and, and four of each measure. It sounds somewhat like a combination of an alternating bass and an arpeggio. Try counting it: one, two-and, three, four.

Example 3 Syncopated: Alex de Grassi Fingerstyle Method
Click to enlarge tab.

Note that in measure 3 the fourth beat is divided into two eighth notes connected by a hammer-on to add a little emphasis to the V chord turnaround. In measures 5 and 8, the dotted-quarter bass notes beginning on beat two-and are broken into an eighth note and a quarter note connected by a hammer-on, adding a little emphasis to beat three.

Excerpted from The Alex de Grassi Fingerstyle Guitar Method

Receive lessons, songs, advice, and news like this straight to your inbox

Join the Play a Syncopated Fingerstyle Rhythm discussion