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Rhythm players

Discussion in 'Sidewinders Bar & Grille' started by guitarface, Jun 11, 2019 at 10:45 AM.

  1. guitarface

    guitarface Senior Stratmaster

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    who here considers them self a rhythm player, as opposed to a lead player?

    How'd that come about?
     
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  2. rocknrollrich

    rocknrollrich Senior Stratmaster

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    In a band setting (well, in any song oriented setting), you will hear rhythm guitar for most of the song, and a few bars of a lead.

    So, I spend 95% of my time playing rhythm guitar. I get to blow some leads, but not much.

    Some players mix them together simultaneously (little wing kinda thing). I always loved that sound.
     
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  3. Malurkey

    Malurkey Senior Stratmaster

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    I consider myself a guitar player first, in my mind there is no clear distinction between the two.

    Having said that, guitar is usually my secondary instrument, as I often do the vocals. So it’s mostly rhythm.
     
  4. sam_in_cali

    sam_in_cali Scream for me Strat-Talk! Strat-Talk Supporter

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    Is it even possible to play lead without first knowing how to play rhythm?? o_O
     
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  5. dogletnoir

    dogletnoir WBLV Strat-Talk Supporter

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    When i worked in the jazz duo with the soprano sax player,
    it was pretty much all rhythm.
    Nowadays, i do a lot of single note stuff, but i still play the chords underneath...
    and the bass parts, and the drum programming too.
     
    Last edited: Jun 11, 2019 at 5:07 PM
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  6. guitarface

    guitarface Senior Stratmaster

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    Sure. Why not? Are we referring to playing with rhythm, i.e. in time, or a rhythm part?
     
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  7. sam_in_cali

    sam_in_cali Scream for me Strat-Talk! Strat-Talk Supporter

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    I dunno...it's your question! I can see someone strictly limited to playing rhythm vs leads but not the other way around. But it is early and maybe I'm just not understanding
     
  8. ido1957

    ido1957 Senior Stratmaster

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    My main instrument is my voice. I play rhythm to accompany myself. I can do both without a lot of thought.
    My lead playing is ok but nothing to write home about. It's getting better now that I am retired and really studying and practicing it.
    I always get compliments on my vocals after a set at the local pub jam.
    I can count on one hand the number of compliments on my lead playing over the past year.
    That is why I keep practicing. D'uh lol....
     
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  9. BallisticSquid

    BallisticSquid Senior Stratmaster

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    A good lead also includes good rhythm...a barrage of 16th notes evenly spaced gets pretty boring sounding until you introduce some rhythmic element.

    @rocknrollrich hit the nail on the head...in a band setting (or any song really) you are playing rhythm guitar for 95% of the time. This may be a shock, but not every song has (or needs) a guitar solo. Heresy to some for sure :D. If you are Satch, Vai, YJM...well that's different, but that's a niche.

    But....rhythm guitar doesn't just mean strumming a steady pattern on cowboy or barre chords.

    I think the role of rhythm guitar and what it is exactly is commonly misunderstood.

    I've told this story before...I was involved in a band (a pickup band really) where the other guitarist said "I'm a lead guy, I only play lead". OK, sure thing buddy :). He got pissy when he had so few parts to play in the various songs. Well, if you can't (or just won't) play rhythm guitar, that's the deal :).


    I'll add that my rhythm skills far outweigh my soloing skills. I still get band gigs as the "lead guitarist"...actually the only guitarist. Solid rhythm skills will can get you far.
     
  10. s5tuart

    s5tuart My Dad used to say.... Strat-Talk Supporter

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    Check out Guitar George, he knows all the chords :D
     
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  11. Textele

    Textele Senior Stratmaster Strat-Talk Supporter

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    We are all Rhythm players.
     
  12. Triple Jim

    Triple Jim Senior Stratmaster

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    Absolutely. When I first started guitar I mimicked lead riffs like in early Clapton. Friends I played with would occasionally say something about my decent leads. Although I could play chords I was never good at rhythm, and no one ever complimented me on it. It was only in the last couple years I realized I needed to do something about my very weak rhythm skill and have been learning to do it better.
     
    Last edited: Jun 11, 2019 at 12:40 PM
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  13. Will Lefeurve

    Will Lefeurve Senior Stratmaster

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    I have the utmost respect for total rhythm players. Well, all the rhythm section really. Lead guitar is the icing on the cake.

    I'm more or less a full on lead player now because my last hand accident took away a lot of my ability to shape chords, arpeggios, etc, and play more rhythm. I'm working on it, but its not easy. Far from it.

    Having said that, I do have the capacity to make my lead playing very rhythmic, and do. I quickly pick up on the melody of a song, and can, and do, use chordal changes using single note lines that don't clash with the chord progression. I will admit though, that's only come about through years of playing and having a good ear. My theory is very limited..
     
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  14. rocknrollrich

    rocknrollrich Senior Stratmaster

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    A good lead also includes good rhythm...a barrage of 16th notes evenly spaced gets pretty boring sounding until you introduce some rhythmic element.

    So true ^^^
    The best leads are rhythmic variations of a theme. You don't even need a ton of notes.
    Just the right ones, at the right time!
     
  15. abnormaltoy

    abnormaltoy Mouth breathin' knuckle dragger Strat-Talk Supporter

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    This.
     
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  16. mjark

    mjark Senior Stratmaster

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    I don't make a distinction. As noted you have to do both. The guitar solo is the least of it.
     
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  17. Muddslide

    Muddslide Strat-Talker

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    I've whipped off some decent "seat of my pants" solos live and to tape, but I'm much more a solid rhythm player. I fingerstyle pick fairly well.

    To be honest, for most of the 40-odd years I've been playing, bass was my main instrument.
     
  18. Dick Blackmore

    Dick Blackmore Senior Stratmaster

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    My own compositions are full of me soloing but my professional playing is best described as 'playing in the pocket' and I have done that in rock bands, country bands and mostly jazz bands. My favorite gig is doing jazz trio or quartet things with an organist or vibraphonist but I have played the 'Johnny Reno' role in many country acts and house bands when I lived in Nashville.

    I enjoy playing chords as much as I do soloing, for me its all part of the package.
     
  19. dirocyn

    dirocyn Senior Stratmaster

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    I'm terrible at lead, and passing mediocre on rhythm. 'Course I mostly play by myself. Singin' and strummin' is pretty straightforward. Singing & playing lead (or bass for that matter) is harder, I tend to trip over myself when I try to do that.
     
  20. Hudman_1

    Hudman_1 Strat-Talker Strat-Talk Supporter

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    I think most beginner / casual players don’t play lead. They stick with basic open chord stuff. That’s my experience with coworkers and friends that play guitar. None of them play solos.

    I play both.
     
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