What You Need to Know About Rhythm Guitar

Welcome back! My goal for this article is to help you understand the question you and many other beginners guitar players have been asking “ what is a rhythm guitar ?”. To define a rhythm guitar we first have to define rhythm. Rhythm is a repeated pattern over a period of time. For example, we can have a guitar that is not a rhythm guitar but that still has a rhythm, like the following: what-is-a-rhythm-guitar_1.png You can see that I am using the same note values and patterns every bar. I am always starting with a Dotted Quarter note and then immediately follow it with an Eight note that is tied to a Half note. I do this in all of the 4 measures. This is rhythm; it is repeated over a period of time. But still, this is not a rhythm guitar. A rhythm guitar does include a rhythm part, but it’s way more than that. When guitar players or any other musician talks about rhythm guitars, they are actually referring to a different concept. See, a better name for rhythm guitar would actually be “accompaniment guitar”, why? because that’s what it is. A rhythm guitar is an accompaniment guitar. It is the part of the song that does not stand out or solo, it is the part that simply accompanies the main melody, embellishing it and supporting it. For example, we could use the rhythm of the exercise above and combine it with full chords like this and it would be a perfect rhythm guitar: what-is-a-rhythm-guitar_2.png Why is this a perfect rhythm guitar? because it is clearly there to support a melody. It is not strong enough to provide a melody, thus it is simple enough to support one. For example this rhythm guitar would go perfectly fine a melody or solo like this: what-is-a-rhythm-guitar_3.png See, a melody on its own could get a bit boring, so we usually add an accompaniment instrument that provides the harmony (chords) to support the melody and make it more interesting. This is all for today. I hope you’ve enjoyed this article and please remember to check out our entire database of videos.


Chords and Rhythm Guitar Lessons

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