I am a novice guitar player and wanted to make sure I wrote out this syncopated rhythm correctly on the guitar. It doesn't seem to correspond with the online lesson I am doing, so your feedback or reassurance would be greatly appreciated.

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  • Is your question whether the hand-written symbols ("1 a 2 e & 3 & 4") above the guitar tab are correct or whether the notation in the top staff is correct?
    – mkrieger1
    Commented May 7 at 8:51

2 Answers 2


Your spelling of the rhythm is correct based on the standard “1e&a” system of counting sixteenth notes. Keep in mind that the “2” is tied to the “a” of beat 1 so it is not played separately, it is just sustained across the beginning of beat two. You can omit the “2” since it is not played, or maybe put it in parentheses if you want to show where beat 2 falls within the rhythm.


When you start by writing 1,2,3,4 under the four main beats, you're nearly half way there! That's a safe way to split up the timing.

Then, each beat is easier to sub-divide into its four components Ne&a. As in 1e&a, 2e&a etc. With enough room, I'd write it all in, so when counting all 16 subdivisions - here semiquavers - you can keep the count regular more easily. By the way, that higher E (5th string on tab) is tied because then, it's easier to see where beat 2 actually comes, even though it's not actually played. I tend to nod my head instead of playing that note - makes it simpler to keep time doing something.

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