#1
I've been playing for a year and two months-ish, and I'm a lot better at lead guitar than I am at rhythm guitar. I don't know why, and I don't know what to work on. My timing is good enough (it's something I could work on though), and I certainly know my chords.

I have no idea what I need to work on. My goal is to be as good at rhythm as I am at lead. Could someone recommend me some songs or exercises to work on?

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#2
Don't play rhythm. Start a one-guitar band where the bass and drums or even a piano keeps the rhythm.
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#3
Learn how to play drums. I played drums before starting with guitars, and it has given more rhythmic aspects to my playing.
Last edited by laodikea at Jun 29, 2007,
#4
Truthfully, it isn't bad to listen to some mainstream rock to learn to use chord progressions for rhythm. I have no idea what that guy was talking about when he said that one shouldn't play rhythm, cause rhythm guitar should be mastered as well as lead. It is especially useful if you have a two guitarist band (like the one I am in) where you alternate between being lead and rhthym. For example, in one of our songs, I am defanently the rhythm during the verses, cause it is a simple sixteenth note progression of the verse chords, while I palm mute. But then, I unmute for the last measure, then pick slide into the chorus, where I do a fast arppegio alternate-picking riff (which sounds godly with the other guitarist playing the chorus progression). Plus, if you learn rhythm, you can learn about thing like harmonic chords and chord progressions (you can't write lead parts efficiently without knowing keys and what progression you are using), which really REALLY help lead.

Another thing, make sure that you learn to keep beat early (using all techniques that you us in your writting), because I was self taught originally, so when I finally got some real music theory lessons and the such, I absolutely SUCKED with a metronome.
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#5
You didnt really tell us how you are bad at rhythm...

You cant comp? You cant keep time? You cant keep complicated rhythms going? You doing know chords and voicings, or inversions? You dont know what chords go in what key?
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#6
i'd like to know how you can be bad at rhythm and good at lead..... essentially to be a good lead guitarist you need to be able to keep a beat really well, as good as, if not better than the rhythm guitarist. i say this b/c for every beat the rhythm guitarists hits you may need to play 2 or 4 beats within that note. so your theory doesn't make any sense to me.

secondly, if you know you're a poor rhythm player but can't explain why, theres not a whole lot we can do to help y'know? if your playing is off then the best thing i can suggest is getting a metronome/drum machine and practicing to it religiously. personally i like to throw on my favorite cd's and play along (including youthanasia, antichrist superstar and anything from metallica where i don't have to detune my guitar) getting used to playing along with cd's can really help tighten up any loose ends you may have.

edit nightwind beat me to my point!!! good job man.
#7
If I keep it up, I might make mod for this!^
Don't tell me what can not be done

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#9
If that's the case you probably play by yourself a lot. I would suggest just playing with someone else if you can and let them take lead while you play the rhythm. Just practicing with other people helps a lot because it's also harder to play a chord progression with someone playing lead it kinda gets you messed up.

just keep on keepin on brother, life's a garden dig it
#10
i guess you are a bad rytham guitar player, sell your guitar on ebay!
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#11
Quote by QuiteTheFellow
I've been playing for a year and two months-ish, and I'm a lot better at lead guitar than I am at rhythm guitar. I don't know why, and I don't know what to work on. My timing is good enough (it's something I could work on though), and I certainly know my chords.

I have no idea what I need to work on. My goal is to be as good at rhythm as I am at lead. Could someone recommend me some songs or exercises to work on?



Let me edit this. You're bad at all guitar. You CAN'T be bad at rhythm and good at lead. You need to crawl before you can walk. If your timing is on for leads (which I doubt since you said you can't play rhythm) then you should be able to play rhythm guitar.

Metronome / thread.
#12
Let me edit this. You're bad at all guitar. You CAN'T be bad at rhythm and good at lead. You need to crawl before you can walk. If your timing is on for leads (which I doubt since you said you can't play rhythm) then you should be able to play rhythm guitar.

Metronome / thread.

+ millions

There is no such thing as being a lead or rhythm player - you play guitar, end of. If you can't play rhythm then you can't play lead either, you're just kidding yourself. A good lead player has to have comprehensive rhythm knowledge to allow themselves to keep time, weave in and out of the underlying chords, follow time changes and pick suitable scales to play over chords.
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#13
Quote by ChasingInfinity
Let me edit this. You're bad at all guitar. You CAN'T be bad at rhythm and good at lead. You need to crawl before you can walk. If your timing is on for leads (which I doubt since you said you can't play rhythm) then you should be able to play rhythm guitar.

Metronome / thread.


So then all rhythm guitar is is being on time? My timing's not off and I have a relatively good sense of rhythm. I can keep time, I just can't do anything fancy with chords and improvising with chords and whatnot. I just assumed that that was a problem with rhythm guitar.

In order to be a good rhythm guitarist, all I need to be able to do is keep time?
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#14
at least you can spell it

most guys who post threads like this cant'
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#15
^ lol, no doubt. yeah to be good at rhythm guitar you just basically need to be good at rhyhtm, hence the verbage used for it. maybe you can't do massive excessive chord changes, thats fine just work on it and practice it and you'll get there. rhythm guitar is about keeping in time, practice the more complex chord changes that you're not too good at and you'll get there. there are definately many varying degrees of "rhythm guitar" good luck man
#16
Quote by QuiteTheFellow
So then all rhythm guitar is is being on time? My timing's not off and I have a relatively good sense of rhythm. I can keep time, I just can't do anything fancy with chords and improvising with chords and whatnot. I just assumed that that was a problem with rhythm guitar.

In order to be a good rhythm guitarist, all I need to be able to do is keep time?

you don't really improvise chords...the chords are the backbone of a song,the rhythm is pretty much set in stone

following a progression will tell you what you're allowed to play when doing rhythm
& what do you mean fancy things with chords?? inversions?? voicing?? arpeggiating??
you can learn all that in a day or two
#17
^Not if we are talking jazz.
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#18
Quote by nightwind
^Not if we are talking jazz.

point me somewhere,cause i doubt they are just playing random chords
#19
Quote by DeathDealer
point me somewhere,cause i doubt they are just playing random chords


Often when improvising, musicians will decide on a key and a type of chord.
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#20
I play in drop D, so I dont use chords lol just kidding, I am pretty decent at rythme, I would definitly recomend using songs from little band called Metallica, songs like
Sad But True
Of Wolf And Man
Wherever I May Roam

Stuff like that, it will give you a good feel of the way you need to keep Rythme consistent. BUt hey what do I know ^_^
#21
Quote by DeathDealer
you don't really improvise chords...the chords are the backbone of a song,the rhythm is pretty much set in stone

following a progression will tell you what you're allowed to play when doing rhythm
& what do you mean fancy things with chords?? inversions?? voicing?? arpeggiating??
you can learn all that in a day or two


uh

I hate to say outright that you're wrong

but that was pretty dumb
#22
Quote by MadassAlex
Often when improvising, musicians will decide on a key and a type of chord.

that's not random

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uh

I hate to say outright that you're wrong

but that was pretty dumb

give me an example of why
#23
When comping, you could do any number of things just based on the chord progression.

If it's just you and a soloist, you control the bass line. Throw inversions of extended chords, you could do quite a lot to spice up the harmony. You could make it a chromatically descending bass line, you could imply a circle progression, create an unstable feeling by having the third, or 7th in the bass etc.

Should the soloist start playing in a higher register, you will probably want to drop to a lower one. Maybe you will only play the 2 or 3 notes of each chord. When the soloist goes to a lower register, you may want to go higher so you don't muddy things up.

If the soloist gets a little simpler in his note values, you may choose to melodically arpeggiate your chord to provide a nice backdrop, and to keep rhythmic motion in the piece.
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#24
Quote by nightwind
When comping, you could do any number of things just based on the chord progression.

If it's just you and a soloist, you control the bass line. Throw inversions of extended chords, you could do quite a lot to spice up the harmony. You could make it a chromatically descending bass line, you could imply a circle progression, create an unstable feeling by having the third, or 7th in the bass etc.

Should the soloist start playing in a higher register, you will probably want to drop to a lower one. Maybe you will only play the 2 or 3 notes of each chord. When the soloist goes to a lower register, you may want to go higher so you don't muddy things up.

If the soloist gets a little simpler in his note values, you may choose to melodically arpeggiate your chord to provide a nice backdrop, and to keep rhythmic motion in the piece.

can you give me a song to listen to with some o that in it??
though most of that isn't random,aside from the chromatic part...chord inversions & extension are still within the progression
#25
I never meant to say it was random. Actually, I said the opposite - "You can do quite a lot based on just the chord progression". I merely felt that there is a lot left up the the accompanist you didn't seem to account for.

you don't really improvise chords...the chords are the backbone of a song,the rhythm is pretty much set in stone


Which is why I tried to help shine some light on rhythm players in jazz bands. Voice leading on the fly is quite difficult, among all the other things you have to 'worry' about while playing.

I'm sure any Dave Brubeck quartet would have this. Try and get a song called "Improvisation" by the Dave Brubeck Quartet. It does appear on CD, so it's not impossible to find.


Hope I helped informing you!
Don't tell me what can not be done

Don't tell me what can be done, either.



I love you all no matter what.
#26
Quote by laodikea
Learn how to play drums. I played drums before starting with guitars, and it has given more rhythmic aspects to my playing.


same here dude. my rhythm is great because of it and i find keeping time childs play.
#27
Quote by nightwind
I never meant to say it was random. Actually, I said the opposite - "You can do quite a lot based on just the chord progression". I merely felt that there is a lot left up the the accompanist you didn't seem to account for.


Which is why I tried to help shine some light on rhythm players in jazz bands. Voice leading on the fly is quite difficult, among all the other things you have to 'worry' about while playing.

I'm sure any Dave Brubeck quartet would have this. Try and get a song called "Improvisation" by the Dave Brubeck Quartet. It does appear on CD, so it's not impossible to find.


Hope I helped informing you!

i see...well when i said improvise i was talking more along the lines of what a lead player would do,which is what it seemed to me like what he was saying
cause even in free jazz they follow some kind of order

i'll check out that album
#28
Hmm. Maybe start a percussion instrument to work on your timing, other than that, I'd just say practise.
#29
- the rhythm problems you have could be when you are playing triplets and shuffle rhythms so you are counting in threes not fours, try playing really slow at first so you can count easier
#30
Man I wish I could play half as much lead as I can rhythm. If you can play lead, then rhythm should come easier... I would think. Of course we're all different.

For picking up timing, play along with the CD of a song you've learned. It's incredible how easy it is to just fall into the rhythm when you have it playing in the background.
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#31
One tip, almost always your picking hand should be strumming in time then you can always play on the beats that need be, also this allows for scratches and other little add-ons,

i play alot in a hendrix style, so theres a mix between rhythm and lead it all flows
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