Shake up your rhythm playing with shifting 16th-note accents

Guitar playing
(Image credit: Future)

Previously, we learned how to count 16th notes and 16th rests in 4/4 meter. We also saw how the four 16th notes that reside within each beat can be notationally linked with two horizontal beams connecting their vertical stems, forming what some refer to as a “quad,” which I find is a helpful term, visually and conceptually. 

And, as you recall, a single 16th note, when surrounded by rests, may be indicated by a double flag attached to its stem. In this and the next couple of lessons, I’ll demonstrate a variety of cool ways to create 16th-note syncopations, using approaches similar to what we did with eighth notes. 

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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.