As introduced in the last session, rhythm is one of the music elements. It is a pattern of beats, or ‘the way it goes’. Rhythm is integral to the other music elements. We play melodies in rhythms. We play chords in rhythms. Timbre has rhythmic components. Vibration itself is rhythmic.
Rhythms can be indicated in symbols. We can and do use these symbols to indicate how tones or strums are to be played. The primary objective with written rhythms is to ‘pre-hear’ what is seen. We see a symbol, we know how it goes. To get there, we practice with each, until it each is a part of us: play a scale in a particular rhythm until we can feel it and can identify it when written.
Here are the basic subdivisions of a quarter note (one per beat – in common time or 3/4, 2/4) …
Once we have these basic divisions solid, and can change between them, even if just playing a single tone on the guitar, we move on to variations of them.