I was just wondering about band positions etc. and lets say my friend plays guitar, I play the bass. (Not that I can). But without a rhythm guitar, wouldn't we be lost? We like metallica stuff, so take one of their songs for example, the one I'm listening to, battery.


The bass follows the rhythm which would be advisable for this type of music, correct? However, as it is just 2 of us playing guitar and bass, say if we played this song (just if we could) and say with drums, or a drum machine, wouldn't it be a bit weird, as we'd need a rhythm guitar, and it wouldn't sound right?

Its just, I'm interested in bass, but it puts me off that I won't be able to play properly with just me and my friend, playing the music we like, but then the fact it might be everywhere as in most metallica songs its the bass and the rhythm which makes the "rhythm"..
There's plenty of Thrash bands that only have a guitarist and a bassist, as opposed to 2 guitars and bass- Sadus, Sodom, Destruction, Voivod... you don't need a lead guitarist per se- but you can thicken out your tone as a bassist and play lines to fill the space when the guitar does play a lead line. There's no need to follow the entire "bass follows the guitar" mantra if you don't want to- there's no rules as to what you should do.
Me and my friend have played loads of metallica songs without a rythm guitarist, well i suppose i am the chiz.

Just mess around with their stuff then, improvise, play twice as much stuff.
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Mate, if playing in power trios has taught me anything, it's that second guitarists are actually really pointless. Of course they can add to the music, but actually, the "heavyness" that comes from a rhythm guitar, can easily be replaced by a "heavy" drum line (think cymbal crashes) and the bass can fill out the sound just as well if you give yourself enough mids and/or distortion. To illustrate my point about drums and bass holding down the rhythm alone, listen to this kings of leon song:

Or for a more "metal" example, this motorhead song:

If anything, playing without a rhythm guitarist will allow both you and your friend to play more interesting parts without cluttering up the music and who knows, that might even make you into better musicians. of course, if you can find a good rhythm guitarist, there's no reason to stop him from being in the band, but bass is definately more important if you have to choose.
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Check out Sleep. It's a project that Matt Pike from High on Fire (another bad-ass band) was in for a while.

In my band there's just me and a guitarist and we have yet to have a problem. It certainly helps having a drum machine, but IMO it's more interesting because there aren't as many frequencies being swallowed up so there's more "room to move". I'll second having more mids and some distortion on the bass, if you configure it right you'll never miss the second guitar, because essentially the bass will be taking up the frequencies of both bass and rhythm.
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Sweet. With just one guitarist you can really stand out and shine on bass.
Quote by breakdown123
Is there such a thing as a heavy riff with out chugging on the e string?
My cover band manages to cover many songs with only 1 full time guitarist1. The singer does play during solos and he plays while singing on a few songs but for the most part it's 1 guitar bass and drums. It may take a little altering of the bass part sometimes but it always turns out fine. I will say that you should have a good versatile bassist to pull this off. chugging root notes just doesn't do it without a second guitar most of the time.
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