How to play rhythm guitar and why it is so important.

Think of any great guitarist and you will also find a great rhythm guitarist.

What exactly is rhythm guitar? The Groove.

How to play rhythm guitar? Learn to get into the groove. Grooves are recurring rhythmic and harmonic vehicular patterns that propel you down the path of music.

What does that have to do with rhythm guitar? The rhythm guitar along with bass and drums is a major component of the groove.

It is either the sailboat or the freight train that the lead guitar rides on. Remember grade school? Wooden blocks for rhythm? Some kid playing a catchy tune over that with a kazoo?

Same Idea only you use different patterns of chords and notes instead of smacking blocks together.

So why learn how to play rhythm guitar?

1. It is vital to your development as a skilled guitarist in demand.

2. It's one heck of allot of fun.

3. You can save a ton of money and frustration recording your own backing tracks to learn and play solo guitar.

4. Face it - the singer of the group gets most the attention and rhythm guitar is easier to sing over than lead.

5. If you're a guy Chicks dig a great guitar player. Learning how to play rhythm guitar will send you on your way.

6. If your a girl a secure guy that isn't flaky will dig it too.

Rhythm Guitars -What kind do you need?

The only real choices here that can help you learn hot to play rhythm guitar are these:

1. The type of guitar, acoustic or electric.

2. The type of music

3. The ease of chording and riffing which has to do with:

4. Personal preferences in the shape of the neck.

There are no hard rules just personal preferences and choices which is a personal expression of the guitarists art.

Here's a couple of suggestions for finding your sound.

1. Start with observing artists that you enjoy and take note of what they are using to make their sound. Aim for that.

2.Go to a guitar store that will actually let you try out a few guitars or has a salesperson that will demonstrate the different guitars for you.

3. Find the type of guitar that feels like it's been your best friend for the last 35 years even if your only 16. Good buddies, fishing buddies, a friend you can talk to.

By this I mean it just feels in your hands like this is the one. The weight, the layout of the controls, the tension of the strings, the shape of the neck.

A few personal choices to help you decide.

Like I said above, your choice of a guitar to learn how to play rhythm guitar is both a personal choice and an artistic statement. Your choice might be totally different than mine, but just to give you a place to start in case you need it, here is what I would choose for the following types of music.

Blues rhythm guitar - acoustic - Gibson acoustic blues king.

Blues rock rhythm guitar - electric - Gibson or Epiphone Les Paul reissue. Fender Telecaster and Stratocaster.

Rock rhythm guitar - Gibson ES 335 or Gibson Les Paul or Epiphone Dot or Les Paul.

Country Rhythm guitar - Gretsch Country Gentleman or G5122DC Electromatic Double Cutaway Hollow Body.

So how hard is rhythm guitar to learn?

It can be as simple as strumming on muted strings or it can go right into the most complex jazz chord progressions. Your choice.

Every style of music has its own rhythm guitar grooves.

Rock, Blues, Jazz, Country, Your name it.

Oh man, where do I start?

It matters where you want to end up.

Choose the type of music you want to play and learn the rhythms of that music. That will keep you busy.

How to play rhythm guitar - The importance of drum machines to learning rhythm guitar.

One of the most important tools that you can have to learn how to play rhythm guitar besides your guitar is a drum machine.

Important tip: You can't do everything yourself.

A good drum machine will help instill a sense of rhythm into your nervous system so that after awhile you become one with the beat.

Being able to keep the beat is a vital part of learning how to play rhythm guitar. Essential. A drum machine is the best way I know to do it.

Fortunately, drum machines are more affordable and easier to get than ever.

They not only come as stand alone units but build right into quite a few effects units. Ask you music sales person to demo a few for you. Get the best unit you can afford.

Oh, yea, you can use a metronome but they are not nearly as fun.

Rhythm Guitar Chord Progressions

I am going to keep the part simple. Each song that you can play will have what is known as a chord progression. A group of chords from the major scale. These chords will sound right played one ofter the other.

A simple way to start on rhythm guitar is what is known as the 1 4 5 progression. Baby steps.

More to come soon - Basic blues rhythms, chord progressions and beats.

Links to useful websites.

Return from how to play rhythm guitar on home page - Learn to play guitar

Roy Barnett

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