#1
so today i went to a friends house and jammed with a bunch of friends. it was all awesome however we all noticed my skills at lead and my lack of skills at rhythm. we were generally playing funk/rock to entire time. how can i work on my rhythm guitar playing?
#2
If you can't play rhythm, it's doubtful that you're a particularly good lead player either. Sorry if that sounds harsh. The simple truth is that if you can't keep time and have a solid hand, then your lead playing will be unpleasant.

Just learn the rhythm parts of songs you like. Keep them slow at first, make sure you can hear and feel the beat.
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#7
Quote by DaddyTwoFoot
If you can't play rhythm, it's doubtful that you're a particularly good lead player either. Sorry if that sounds harsh. The simple truth is that if you can't keep time and have a solid hand, then your lead playing will be unpleasant.

Just learn the rhythm parts of songs you like. Keep them slow at first, make sure you can hear and feel the beat.


This.

If you don't know rhythm you will be sh!te at lead.

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#8
Quote by DaddyTwoFoot
If you can't play rhythm, it's doubtful that you're a particularly good lead player either. Sorry if that sounds harsh. The simple truth is that if you can't keep time and have a solid hand, then your lead playing will be unpleasant.

Just learn the rhythm parts of songs you like. Keep them slow at first, make sure you can hear and feel the beat.

+1

it's not possible to be a good lead player if you're not first a good rhythm player - you need to understand what it is you're playing over and how to work with it.
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#9
its not really rhythm as in chords and stuff, more of rhythm as in beats and keeping on time, and that type of stuff.

also, i dunno how but i can play lead well but i can only play easy-medium rhythm stuff.
#10
In order to play lead better, you really need to know rhythm guitar too! Learning to play different chords types (open/barre etc) and how to properly strum with the beat of the song will start you down the road. Many young guitarists go for lead first as it's more glamourus so you're not alone. If you can learn by ear try to pick up some songs and play along at first. Then graduate to playing rhythm solo (no music to follow) to work more on your timiing. When you can pump out a good steady rhythm without missing beats in different time signatures you're ready to pull duty as an RG.
Moving on.....
#11
I don't want to burst your bubble here but good lead playing requires just as much rhythm as actually playing rhythm.
#12
Quote by madshatter
its not really rhythm as in chords and stuff, more of rhythm as in beats and keeping on time, and that type of stuff.
Oh, then you can't play lead, either. You can't suck at timing and be a good lead player.

Anyway, timing comes down to understanding the various types of note-groupings (8th note, 16th note, triplet, etc) and playing them along to a metronome.
#13
Quote by bangoodcharlote
Oh, then you can't play lead, either. You can't suck at timing and be a good lead player.

Anyway, timing comes down to understanding the various types of note-groupings (8th note, 16th note, triplet, etc) and playing them along to a metronome.



Or just being able to feel it.

It's possible to be a decent lead player but not be able to play rhythm. I used to jam with a guy who was a bad ass lead player but couldn't play the most basic of open chords for ****.
#14
I know three chords. I'm good at playing around a rhythm section, but learning to count well, learning what it is you play over, and how to play it - especially for the progressions - is the most important thing to playing lead, IMO. Technique is nice, but it won't do you any good to sweep an arpeggio if you don't know where to put the damn thing in the first place.
#15
Someone quoted this in an earlier post, so I'm not sure if its true or not..

BB King was trying to jam along with a band that played pop rock.

"slow down guys, I haven't gotten the hang of these chord things yet"
#17
Quote by silversoulcage
Or just being able to feel it.

It's possible to be a decent lead player but not be able to play rhythm. I used to jam with a guy who was a bad ass lead player but couldn't play the most basic of open chords for ****.


So he didn't have the dexterity to form the shapes properly. He probably could play in time well, and knew theory, if he was a good lead player.
#18
start with punk rock, because you dont have to play it perfectly, but what is strange to meis that to play lead you first learned to play rythm (i think) anyway, theres a guy in my band who is kinda anxious all the time and kinda has the same problem, so if the rythm is down,down,up,up,down,up he adds extra stuff for example down,scratch,down,down,down,up,down,scrath,up,down,up,down,up but doing it in the same time it would be, so maybe is just that, hope it helped you.
#19
Well, define "playing rhythm". If you define it as having a good repetoire of chords, then yes, you can be good at lead without being good at rhythm. A shame to be limited in that way for sure (I am in this boat btw), though.

If you're talking about rhythm in the sense of having good timing, then that is absolutely essential for any kind of guitar playing, and you need to bust out that metronome immediately and resolve that from now on at least 50% (as an absolute minimum) of your playing will be to some kind of beat (metronome, backing track, drum machine, CD). And don't forget to tap your foot, either. The metronome work is a lot more effective when you are tapping your foot.
#20
Quote by se012101
Well, define "playing rhythm". If you define it as having a good repetoire of chords, then yes, you can be good at lead without being good at rhythm. A shame to be limited in that way for sure (I am in this boat btw), though.

If you're talking about rhythm in the sense of having good timing, then that is absolutely essential for any kind of guitar playing, and you need to bust out that metronome immediately and resolve that from now on at least 50% (as an absolute minimum) of your playing will be to some kind of beat (metronome, backing track, drum machine, CD). And don't forget to tap your foot, either. The metronome work is a lot more effective when you are tapping your foot.

This post is going to be completely irrelevant to the thread. Just wanted to thank this guy for the comment about foot tapping!
I've not got timing problems, if I know how it sounds I can play it right and in time. But I've never been able to split the beat on a metronome until I tried your foot tapping theory.
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#22
Quote by steven seagull
+1

it's not possible to be a good lead player if you're not first a good rhythm player - you need to understand what it is you're playing over and how to work with it.


well it is if you are running scales at 200bpm using dotted 32nd notes, at least, these days it is.
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#23
Quote by aradine
well it is if you are running scales at 200bpm using dotted 32nd notes, at least, these days it is.



Lol, If you can do that, you can definently be a good lead :P Also If you did that you would have good rhythm.. so I'm confused?
#25
Quote by madshatter
so today i went to a friends house and jammed with a bunch of friends. it was all awesome however we all noticed my skills at lead and my lack of skills at rhythm. we were generally playing funk/rock to entire time. how can i work on my rhythm guitar playing?

well perhaps learn more funk songs. jam along to them on CD or whatever and keep working on it. muting is the key. muting with your fretting hand is pretty essential. that is when you lift your fingers just enough to not have the notes ring out. that way you can get that scratch sound. not playing every note every time you play the chord is important too. try to think of the guitar as more of another purcussion instrument when playing rhythm. almost like another drum set that plays chords as well. maybe try just muting the strings and try out different rhythms on the muted strings. try to think like a drummer. do this while playing along with songs. and then try to add in the chords after but still use the rhythms you did with the muted strings.

its pretty much just about practice. so practice rhythm as much as you practice lead.
#26
Do you know how to sub-divide beats (whole, half, quarter, 8th, 16th etc.)???
Look if you dont know how to subdivide and you cant keep a steady consistent tempo then try band (school related band) if its not to late. I have played guitar for about 5 years and because of band I have been able to keep a consistent tempo (isnt fun playing the tromebone though). However if you dont want to be "a band geek" then just get a metromone and a book on "how to sub-divide for dummies".
#27
Start by not thinking of lead and rhythm guitar as being diferent. Whenever I hear people say this I am always confused. You are playing the guitar... So you should have said, I dont have a sense of time, or enough strength to hold chords.
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#28
Quote by madshatter
so today i went to a friends house and jammed with a bunch of friends. it was all awesome however we all noticed my skills at lead and my lack of skills at rhythm. we were generally playing funk/rock to entire time. how can i work on my rhythm guitar playing?



simple answer:

Play rhythm guitar more often. Don't spend all your time on scales/exercises.... trying to get "fast".

Thats it.
Last edited by GuitarMunky at Jan 19, 2009,
#29
OK, my advice. Get guitar pro/powertabs for your favorite song that has a fairly intricate rhythm. A lot of RHCP stuff seems to usually be good in my opinion. Then look at the classical notation (if you can't read learn that). Then stick to strict alternate strumming. Don't just try playing along and feeling the rhythm. What I mean by alternate strumming is on every beat strum down on every offbeat strum up. No matter how much space is inbetween the strums.
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