Breaking Down The Backbeat

The backbeat is a really fundamental part of much of the music made in the past 80 years. From gospel, to blues, to country, to rock and roll, all the way up to the songs on the top 40 charts of today, the backbeat has made its place known in modern music.

It’s a given that all drummers know this rhythmic pattern, but why should you as a guitarist? The answer is that it will improve the sound of your strumming, the sound of your lead playing, the way that you sound when playing with others, and how much those others enjoy playing with you. It really is that powerful of a tool!

You may not know it, but you might have possibly already used this technique just by clapping your hands along at a concert or sporting event. All you have to do now is apply it to the guitar and you’ll be cooking with oil!

To give you something to work with, we’ll be checking out the intro and verse for the song “Dani California” by the Red Hot Chili Peppers which has the backbeat cooked right into the guitar part! So grab your guitar and let’s get to work!

0:00 – Start
0:34 – Lesson Intro (get the tabs downloaded here!)
0:44 – What Is The Backbeat?
1:38 – Examples Of The Backbeat In Action
3:06 – Why Do We Need To Know This?
3:56 – Accentuating The Backbeat In A Strumming Pattern
6:24 – Breaking Down “Dani California” by The Red Hot Chili Peppers
6:56 – The Left Hand And The Chords
7:58 – A Look Into The Right Hand And The Backbeat
9:12 – Pro Tip: Choking The Open Strings
10:17 – Closing Notes

Thanks so much for downloading the PDF and checking out the lesson. I truly hope it’s helped push your guitar playing forward.

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“Stairway To Strumming” (our step-by-step beginner guitar system) ⇒

Our Blues Program ⇒

Our Rock/Lead Program ⇒

Our 1960s Song Program ⇒

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Thanks for checking out the lesson, and do let us know how we can support you in your musical journey,

Will, Mike and Davis