How mastering the concept of rests and ties will make you a better musician

Man playing a Fender Blacktop Jaguar electric guitar
(Image credit: Future)

Rhythm fundamentals entail learning how to count beats in 4/4 meter, also known as “four-four time,” by counting “1, 2, 3, 4, 1, 2, 3, 4,” etc., with an emphasis on “1,” which is considered the downbeat of each bar, or measure, of music.

A bar of 4/4 is like the fraction 4/4, in that it can comprise any of the following equivalent rhythmic values:

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Jimmy Brown

Over the past 30 years, Jimmy Brown has built a reputation as one of the world's finest music educators, through his work as a transcriber and Senior Music Editor for Guitar World magazine and Lessons Editor for its sister publication, Guitar Player. In addition to these roles, Jimmy is also a busy working musician, performing regularly in the greater New York City area. Jimmy earned a Bachelor of Music degree in Jazz Studies and Performance and Music Management from William Paterson University in 1989. He is also an experienced private guitar teacher and an accomplished writer.