Ok, so recently, I've been playing with lots of other guitarists, some bassists, and some drummers. I've been playing guitar for about 7 years now, and I know a decent amount of theory. When jamming, I'm noticing that a lot of the guitarists I play with can play leads and solos better than me. But not so many can hold a rhythm with the bassist and drummer, and when it comes to composing things, they have little to offer, so I end up writing most of it. So I am playing in the rhythm section most of the time. Now, I used to think that rhythm guitarist were boring and had nothing to offer to the band as a whole, but now I'm starting to get into it, and enjoy it more than playing lead parts.

Quote by Portuguese_boy
(Progressive Metal is) like playing Nirvana, but faster, with little or no powerchords, cleanly, with more technique, and complex time signatures.

I think a good guitarist should be able to hold down rhythm just as well as he can hold down leads.

if a guitarist cant do both then they have alot of practise left. Im still in the practising for better leads.
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yup i agree i know this guy who plays great lead guitar but when he palm mutes power chords it sounds pretty disgusting haha he isnt the greatest rhythm player... by the way whos that guy in your icon with the orange beanie? it's been bothering me haha i've seen it before
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that guy is John Frusciante of the Red Hot Chili Peppers. And thanks for your comments guys.
Quote by Portuguese_boy
(Progressive Metal is) like playing Nirvana, but faster, with little or no powerchords, cleanly, with more technique, and complex time signatures.

Look at it this way.. without rhythm there is no band, but the band can be a band without solo's ;-)
As for myself i would rather be the guy that could keep it together and compose music rather then just know how to shred. So i would go with rhythm...
Last edited by IbanezPsycho at Feb 1, 2008,
Shredding is nice, but I'm glad I can keep time, I'm just trying to see how many notes I can fit into one bar without over complicating things.
I'm bad at rhythm. I've been trying to change that recently though. Because I agree a good guitarist should be able to do both.
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but now I'm starting to get into it, and enjoy it more than playing lead parts.

This is the exact same thing that happened to me,rhythm was my weakest area(not that I was a shred god anyway) but i decided i wanted to do something about it.I started playing metal I suprised myself how little I knew. Hell I knew all the fancy chords but i didnt actually know any strumming patterns .So I sat there and started almost from the beggining.Ive only really been doin it for about 3 months and i feel Ive greatly improved,also ive started using a metronome which has helped a HELL of a lot.

Point is since I started,Im not as interested in being a shred god anymore,the rhythm side is fascinating me and as someone said earlier a lot of solos need rhythm otherwise they wouldnt work as well. Shred for me can lead to a lot of frustration(I do like it at times though) and of course I do bits here and there for my technique but its much more encouraging when you can just learn songs and play them back instead of having hours of frustration because you cant do a 6 string sweep as clean as michael angelo lol

Sorry for the essay haha,jus putting my opinion across
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Last edited by Crazy Toad at Feb 1, 2008,
You can naturally come up ways to swap back and forth. The Rolling Stones do it. Easier to do with songs that have a repeating hook. A 70's standby was ending the song in a kind of up a semi-tone guitar duel. What the ego ramp was built for...
Stop showing off and play the music!
I do both, my guitar isn't really made for soloing [it's a classical ] so I do a lot more rhythm guitar work than lead. Made when I get an electric I'll try more lead stuff.
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yeah man, rhythm kicks ass. lead guitarists might get all the props, but often they don't seem to bring much to the table. i try to be as much a rhythm player as a lead player, and it really helps me out.
I like playing Rhythym too, for some reason just playing alot of chords is more satisfying to me than leads, but then again I just feel satisfied playing my guitar period.
Rhythm can be awesome, not as gloryous as lead, but less stress to worry about if it's easy for you
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Yah, I got a lil band going and r drummer like couldn't stay on track for hell. I was rhythm guitar and had to walk everyone through except the bass player.

I also realized that the chorus slash solo sounded like **** without the rhythm guitar< ME ^_^

For example, in the song Face Down by The Red Jumpsuit Apparatus (plz dont tease me, one of the few emo bands i like, including UnderOath). The chorus sounds like **** without the back round rhythm.

Has anyone ever played a song were the lead guitar just doesnt cut it?
Last edited by RockAddict311 at Feb 2, 2008,
rhythm is awesome i idolize donegan from disturbed because although he is there only guitarists and he does do solos he provides an insanely powerful rhythm to each and every song
I'd say... I like to do both haha

I do both actually and a little more, I was a bassist once and now being a swap'ster on Lead parts, Rythym parts and Backing Vocals.

I keep our band in shape, showing them how to strum this and that and how to time their rythyms... like exact your strumming patterns on the drummer.

To be frank, I like playing Lead more the rythym though.
Apparently I'm more suited to rhythm according to my friend haha.

Another solo which wouldn't sound right without the rhythm

The 2nd Master Of Puppets solo.

Without the chuggy palm mutes during the solo, it sounds thin and weak
from such a young stage of guitaring i started playing lead guitar..because it is what guitar is all about !...so i left some rythm behind, ...well i did rythm for a year...but i dont play rythm..although i can...but to me its all about leaning back and bending the fu(k out of a string !
I prefer playing solos over playing rhythm... However, I play lots of rhythm these days in order to improve it.
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I play more lead than rhythm.
When I started to play with other guitarists / bassists / drummers
I thought that lead is more difficult than rhythm, but a few months later
I got into Metal (mostly Thrash & Death) and I noticed, that many rhythm guitarist
got great skills (like Scott Ian /Anthrax, Jeff Waters / Annhilator[ok, he plays also lead]).
But a good guitarist should be able to handle both - lead and rhythm.
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Quote by Silky Smooth
A solo or lead is only as good as the rhythm behind it!

Kudos for you!

Its true you could play the same solo,even jus a basic rock type solo and it depends on whats going on underneath that decides how good it will sound.
I mean technically you could have a basic repeating pattern and if theres a strong changing chord pattern underneath it would still sound great.

For me its not how many notes you play its what note choices you make and when you play them

Dont get me wrong though,im not diggin at shredders I love that too,but I prefer the other
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well I started playing guitar at the age of 15, and a good few years later and looking back at how I started out, all I wanted to do was play lead, be at the front and play the riffs people recognise, but after going to a few partys, you soon realise that doing a lead break or shredding as its called gets no real party spirit, and you realise that when someone who can simply strum and sing a bit, for example the 4 chords of knocking on heavens door, takes the attention and comments, it is a balance...

I started to learn the rhythm about ten years down the line of playing lead, studying music theory and scales, but still kept thinking about taking my guitar to a party, the beach or gig and entertaining people, somebody stood there with a small amp and metal thrash sound does nothing for many, and as much as I tried, the basics of learning a few basic chords / rhythm soon worked.

The list grows, starting at knocking on heavens door, to beautiful by james blunt, brown eyed boy by van morrison and so on, playing the lead from brown eyed boy may kill a few seconds, but the whole song, chorded through, rhythmically played, allows a great piece of entertainment and great fun.

So its got to be a balance of both, with a mix of timing, thoery, and lots of practice, so long as you and those around you enjoy it...