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Foot tapping exercises a must for beginner guitar pupils

I started teaching guitar full time 23 years ago and not long after I had a couple of pupils who were really struggling to strum basic strumming patterns. I love to break technique components right down to a basic level and so I constructed a rhythm exercise that has proved its worth since its inception. Not only to pupils who struggle with rhythm but for everyone including myself.

The exercise itself is great for strumming technique also, keep your pick flat as you strum down or up the strings connecting with all the strings.

We start this exercise by tapping our foot and 'fake' strumming in front of our strings at the same time (so no noise is made). With your arm and foot in unison, we start tapping our foot and pretend to strum while counting to 4 for four times. Altogether you will tap your foot 16 times. Then swap feet and repeat on the other foot.

Once you feel comfortable you can strike your 'muted' strings on 'X' as written below.

Good luck and feel free to ask any questions.

The Rock Academy Foot Tapping Exercises

Tap your foot on every beat and strike your muted strings on ‘x’. Move your arm in time with your tapping foot. Strum up on the offbeat.

Ex 1

1 + 2 + 3 + 4 + ) x4 on each foot


Ex 2

1 + 2 + 3 + 4 + ) x4 on each foot

x x

Ex 3

1 + 2 + 3 + 4 + ) x4 on each foot

x ↑ x

Ex 4

1 + 2 + 3 + 4 + ) x4 on each foot

↑ ↑ x

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