There are far too many guitar players who think that they do not need to develop their rhythm guitar playing because they just want to play lead guitar.
Rhythm guitar is a waste of time for them.
If you are a guitar player, your most important task is to accompany other musicians whether it is a singer or another soloist.
Unless you are Joe Satriani or Steve Vai, you should really start working on your rhythm playing.
Just think about this:
If you play in a band, you probably spend about 90 – 95% of your time playing rhythm guitar and maybe 5-10% are solos.
Don’t you think it is important to really master your rhythm?
Becoming a solid rhythm guitar player is vital for your musical development. Having a strong sense of rhythm and being able to lay down tight, grooving rhythm parts is a best way how to get noticed.
Because not many guitar players are actually working at it. And when everybody is average, it is quite easy to stand out.
What do you think would happen, if you are known as the best rhythm guitar player in town? You are going to get many offers from more advanced players to accompany them because every good musician likes tight rhythm section.
And even if you don’t want to become a sideman, you should focus on developing solid rhythm playing.
The reason is that rhythm guitar is the foundation of almost all songs. All those famous rock riffs and funk grooves are based on rhythm playing.
Marty Friedman said it the best:
Learn to master rhythm. Rhythm guitar builds songs – not technical acrobatics.
There is a common misconception especially among young guitar players that rhythm playing is only for lousy players and lead guitar is for the real guitar heroes.
But it’s not true. This notion comes from misunderstanding of what music really is. Music is not about competition and showing off your ego. You won’t get far with this attitude. Every band is only as good as its weakest part. It doesn’t matter how good your solo is if the rest of the band is out of tune.
I personally love to play rhythm and I love to play lead. But none of them is more important than the other. I am always just a servant of a song. I would play whatever the song needs.
I play rhythm and I play lead but most of all I try to play music.
Image courtesy: lo.re.n.zo.
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