Timing has an enormous affect on how good you sound as a guitarist. Just like other aspects of musicality, timing is a skill that can be learned and improved with practice!
In order to improve your timing, it is important to understand that every beat can be played in three different ways:
– before the beat,
– right on the beat,
– after the beat.
This following simple exercise will help you recognize your timing pattern. It is very simple, yet very effective. If you want to get the most out of this exercise, you should record yourself and analyse the results. There’s a voice record on most mobiles
1. Set your metronome to 60 BPM and start your recording device
2. Pick up your musical instrument
3. Play 60 short notes (or up and down a scale), try to hit each note exactly on the beat4.
4. Play back the recording and mark how many beats you hit exactly on the beat, how many before the beat and how many after the beat.
You will soon notice your tendencies. Some musicians tend to rush, when others tend to drag. The more you will focus on this simple exercise the better awareness to timing you will have and it will naturally be reflected in your playing. I recommend spending 5-10 minutes every day practicing this exercise.