Why Rhythm Guitar Is More Fun

Editor Note: This is a a guest post written by Gary Fletcher, the owner of the Not Playing Guitar Blog. Gary has many articles on his web site that can help you with playing guitar.

Lead guitarists always seem to get most of the attention as guitar heroes. Rhythm guitar players get a whole lot less, but I bet they really don't mind, because they know they're having more fun.

Think about many of the guitar songs you love to listen to. What often stands out is the rhythm backing that drives them. Not only are these good to listen to, rhythm grooves are also the most fun thing to play on the guitar. Here are some more good reasons why.

* Variety

Chords, riffs, rhythm fills, strums, arpeggios ... The list goes on and on. You can learn so many interesting and cool things to create great rhythm backups. You'll never be bored.

* Challenge

Of course, all this variety gives you plenty to do. With a huge number of chords in different positions, inversions, rhythm patterns and so on you'll always have a new challenge to meet.

* Groove

Setting a good groove behind a song is a cool feeling. You are in an excellent position to do this with your rhythm guitar. Think of the memorable rhythms of classic rock songs like All Right Now, or Jimmy Nolen's funk grooves with James Brown, for example.

* Making Friends

A good rhythm guitar player is always in demand. Not every band wants screaming solos in their songs, but rare is the song that can't use a good rhythm guitar part.

If you want to play with other musicians, your rhythm guitar skills are the ideal ticket. Your skills will make you popular with solo instrument players: harmonica, flute, violin, saxophone, singers...

* Easy to Start

Rhythm guitar can give you as much challenge as you want, but it doesn't have to be hard if you don't want it to.

You can join in on many songs with a basic repertoire of open guitar chords. You don't have to spend years practicing scales before anyone will let you join their band.

* Entertain by Yourself

If you are the kind of player that likes to just pick up your guitar and play on the sofa or the porch then rhythm is for you. You don't need any backup instruments, you can entertain yourself or friends with your rhythm playing.

Forget lead guitar and all its theatrical posturing, rhythm guitar is where the real fun is at. Build your rhythm guitar skills and you can be sure you won't regret it.

About the Author

Gary Fletcher shares guitar tips and lessons at his blog Not Playing Guitar http://www.notplayingguitar.com.


Rich Whiteley said...

I agree. I play the Bob Weir role in a Grateful Dead tribute band, among other musical endeavors. I would never go so far as knocking lead guitar, but I enjoy the snakey, shifting, groove building, texture & coloring role as a rhythm guitarist. I throw a lead in the mix when I'm moved to do so, but I don't have the pressure of having to spout off solos the whole night.

Sarge said...

A lot of reasons to play rhythm guitar and like it. Thanks for the post Gary.