View Full Version : Need to learn rhythm guitar

12-11-2003, 04:20 PM
I've started playing in my church band and although I've been playing guitar for about 15 years, I've discovered that I need to work on my rhythm playing a lot more. Basically the music itself is pretty easy, major chord progressions mainly. But I think I need to work on two and three note chords to fill in during verses. Can anyone recommend any good rhythm links or offer any tips on playing rhythm?

I read something the other day that struck me as true. A typical guitarist in a band plays solos only about 10% of the time. The rest of the time they're playing rhythm. This made me rethink how much time I spend practicing solos vs. rhythm!


12-11-2003, 06:10 PM
Hi hawk,

First of all have you checked out these articles? - there might be something in it for you.


Otherwise, you might wanna have a look at all the triads, their inversions and adapt these to the guitar.


12-11-2003, 11:47 PM
Those are great articles with good examples, thanks.

12-12-2003, 02:08 AM
hey, great to see another church band player on the forum. i too play at the church i attend on sunday nights, and yeah, if the songs you play are anything like the songs we play then they will be very basic major progressions.

the thing i find about playing these types of songs, especially with the slow ones, is that if they do give you the thumbs up to solo it really has to be played with feeling. solos without feeling with songs of this type generally sound really inappropriate (like most solos without feeling i guess);) .

rythm playing i have found with these sorts of songs is so easy, you almost need to change the way you play them each time to keep it entertaining (for yourself at least). i tend to use alot of inversions and stuff like would be in those articles guni mentioned. because of the way most church music is arranged, you have alot of options as to how you want to play them.

i experiment all the time with these songs, even when im playing during a service. learn as much theory as you can from this website and youll reap the rewards like i have.


12-12-2003, 03:26 AM
Hi ash, and good to hear from you. That is good advice about the solos. The band I'm playing with has an acoustic player as well so I have freedom to solo and noodle around pretty much whenever I want while the acousic player strums out the chords. Tha'ts kind of my problem though, what to play?

A few of the songs are pretty fast. "Never Gonna Stop," and "Forever," keep my fingers moving. I can use my Crybaby and some distortion on those for a funky rock sound. Some are slower, perfect for a clean Strat with a touch of chorus.

What kind of playing do you find works best for this kind of music? Since our acoustic player plays mainly open chords, I've been working on 3 note chords on the D, G, B strings higher on the neck. I might pick the notes or bring them in with the volume pedal duing verses to compliment his strumming. Other than that, though, I don't have many ideas. Guess I'll figure out as I go :) I'm definately going to be doing some reading here.

12-14-2003, 03:48 AM
we have the same sort of set up. there is a guy who plays acoustic and i play my electric, and this gives you alot of freedom as to what you can do epecially if the acoustic player is just playing open chords. playing chords on those strings you mentioned is a good idea, but dont just box yourself into using those ones. you can use any huge number of different ways of playing the same chord to create different feels. also, i find playing natural harmonics creates a nice effect in some of the slower songs that we play.

another good way to create different ways of playing these songs is to incorporate playing styles that you like. because most of the songs we play are a bit ballady, i use alot of the techniques they used for power ballads in the 80's!! it sounds funny and cheesy but there are some sweet effects in those ballads, anyone from def leppard to whitesnake can give you some great ideas to toy with. for the faster songs i would do the same thing. i tend to get bored playing power chords for bars on end, and so to break it up i might use e or a string muting ala 80's metal to create a different effect.

it sounds bad but my best advice would be to listen to songs that are like the ones you play and use the techniques involved in them. toto are a good example. very little guitar work but when there is you know about it.

sounds like you already have a few options because you have a volume pedal which i really should get myself. as soon as you develop a good theroy base which you will get from the website, your playing will become much easier, and you will come up with new ideas on the spot and it will almost become second nature to do so.