Ok, so im going to join a band as a rhythm guitarist, and my only problem is that in the past ive usually just played leads. What are the main techniques i should be focusing on? Is it just straight chords, or should i also be incorporating arpeggios and scratch stuff and other things.
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yea rhythm does get pretty boring...i think u basically just play chords...and the same thing over and over and over
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have two lead guitars
it would sound awesome
like judas priest
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Keep it real man.
guitar_is_fly : that is a ridiculous additude towards rhythme guitar, and proves to us what you think it is, and that that is incorrect.

"Rhythme" playing isn't boring, it can be awesome.

Kyle: Just do anything and everything you think would sound interesting. Don't feel limited becuase of what you think you should be playing as a "rhythme" guitarist. Don't slot yourself in like that, or if you do, then I recommend you have a very open and broad idea of what it is. The rhythme player in AC DC is hardly "boring", lots of stuff Hendrix played was a mix of rythme or lead, or just rhythme, and it is/was still great. Jimmy Page was a master of rhythme guitar, and it showed in his riffs and solos. You can't be a good lead player and be a bad rhythme player (almost ALWAYS true). If you are terrible at rythme guitar but consider yourself a great lead/solo player I would LOVE to hear some of your improv. There are exceptions, but not that many.

edit: ok, so its spelled "Rhythm", so what?
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Rythym playing is great. It doesn't get boring if you're creative and know how to have fun with it. A rythym guitarist does basically everything short of the main solo, and sometimes even helps with that. Maybe suggest to the band that you and the lead guitarist should switch of doing the solo every other song, or every other show or something. You can just be two guitarists instead of being classified as one or the other.

That's exactly what I've been trying to say.

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Ideally I would like to be in a band where the other guitarist and I are evenly talented so that we can both mix leads and rythyms and **** like Cacophony Maiden Priest Helstar etc...

But if the other dudes better than you I recommend buying Metal rhythm guitar by Troy stetina. Good book.
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I agree rythem is as good as you want it to be. most people that say its boring cant play rythem guitar worth a ****. There the kind of people that think lead is the only fun way to play guitar but rythem is far more important than lead. without rythem you have nothing.
I disagree with the idea that people seem to get that there should be a lead guitarist and a rythm guitarist. It should be two guitar parts in the song, maybe one guitar plays the main riff while the other does the background chords, then they trade back and fourth...etc. It shouldnt be said that one person should always be playing hte chords/rythms in the band or vice versa.
harmonize then.... be like iron maiden, both of the guitar players share equal parts and both are frickin awesome.
I play the Rhythm and i am just as talented as the Lead Player its just i sing as well so it makes more sense for him to play the lead. and if you write decent music playing rhythm is just as fun as the lead im sry that it doesnt feed some of your huge Egos. If you have a badass Rhythm Riff throughout the song its gonna be badass no matter what if the solo is a little off but if you have a great solo but a crap rhythm the solo will sound like ****.

Also think of it this way. James Hetfield Plays the Rhythm so if you think Kirk is "cooler" than James i think you are confused
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I like Rhythm a bit moe then Lead because I am i like that "big chunky" feel. I play Rhythm with a "Hard Rock" Distortion feel. And when you tune down to drop D it sounds awsome when you do hard rock riffs and stuff (example: Animals by Nickelback) <----great song
to answer your question, definatly dont just stick to straight chords the whole time in every song. as a rhythm guitarist, your job is to set and keep the rhythm of the song. you can do this with cool riffs, stereotypical metal stuff comes to mind. stuff like, galop on the low E string, then a quick burst of a few powerchords in a cool rhythm. im not much of a metal fan, but thats one thing to do. you can also outline chords using things like arpeggios, which is nice because you can add embelishments that you couldnt do just holding the chord. think something like the intro to Under the Bridge by RHCP, just not quite as complex if you have another guitar going. that whole thing really is just outlining a couple chord shapes and adding a few extra notes to sound good. stuff like that works really well and sounds good if done correctly. those are just a couple ideas, there are a lot of ways to make rhythm guitar interesing, fun and cool.
do as you please, just have fun and sound good...its what music is about. if your not enjoying it, its not your music
hey, try to start out with a metronome and playing along with songs u will be playing

good luck
^I agree, Just have fun with it.

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