To be on the right place at the right time is quite nice. It is called timing. In your guitar playing you will find that timing is crucial. This means to play your notes at the right time so that the result will be music.
To learn to play guitar notes at the right time is not the same thing as playing mathematically perfect. You cannot learn to play music by only using a metronome for example.
You have to listen to music and play together with other people and learn to react rytmically upon other peoples playing.
Anyway, in music there are usually a pulse that you can feel more or less and your ability to feel the pulse in the music will help you contribute with your musical and rytmic playing to the end result.
How can you learn to feel the pulse in the music? I will give you seven suggestions that might help you develop your timing when you play guitar and increase your ability to feel the pulse:
1. Dance to the music. If you can learn to feel the pulse with your whole body it will help you play musically. In this case it doesn’t matter how your dancing is performed.
Listen to music on your stereo and move to the music. The important thing is to develop the feeling that you are floating or surfing with the music without any effort on your part.
2. Learn to play drums. I think it would be a good thing if all musicians as part of their musical development on their particular instrument learned to play drums.
The ability to create rhythms and patterns when playing drums will help you a lot when you try to learn to play guitar in time and in a musical way.
Actually you don’t need drums, you might as well play rhythms on your laps with your hands. Try to play eights for example on your laps by alternating between your right and left hands and by accentuating different eight notes as you play.
What you can play with your hands on your laps or on a table or something else requires another article I guess.
3. Buy a metronome. A metronome will give you a 100% even pulse and can help you play in different tempos. It will help you play in slow tempos and help you keep a steady tempo.
How to use a metronome to your andvantage you can learn in other learn to play guitar articles.
4. Practice strumming patterns on your guitar. The act of strumming chords on the guitar resembles drum playing and will increase your overall ability to use a pick.
For example, playing eights with up and down strokes on a barré chord and playing around with the rhythm by releasing the left hand pressure on some notes thereby damping them and also accentuating some notes with the up or downstrokes with your pick can create interesting rhythmic patterns.
5. Play with other people. As I said before the art of timing when you learn to play guitar doesn’t mean the same thing as playing mathematically perfect even if it is sometimes necessary to do that in some music.
When I produce my own music on my preferred recording software I have realized that the bass part for example can be edited to play on exact beats.
When I have quantisized the bass part 100% it usually means that the whole production loses tension so to speak. I can see that I many times play a little ahead of the beat and other times a little laid back and this is done intentionally to create energy in the music.
When you learn to play guitar it is very important to learn to feel the pulse in the music. I hope my tips can help you be on time!