Rhythm Guitar Lessons Comparison
Rhythm guitar is one of the most important elements of the band. It may not be as glamorous as lead guitar, but many times it’s the rhythm guitarist that sings since they aren’t focused on complicated solos.
Taking rhythm guitar lessons can help you become a solid player all around too, so we bought, tested and ranked all of the most popular rhythm lessons, and compared them for you in the table below:
Guitar Lessons Ratings
Rhythm Guitar Lessons
Guitar playing is commonly broken down into two categories: lead and rhythm guitar. If you see a band with two or more guitarists it is likely that one is playing lead guitar while the other guitarist(s) play rhythm.
In order to understand their roles more clearly:
- Lead Guitar: a guitar part which plays melody lines, instrumental fill passages, and guitar solos within a song structure. It’s commonly the part of the song that stands out the most, or, the main melody.
- Rhythm Guitar: the use of a guitar to provide rhythmic chordal accompaniment for a singer or other instruments in a musical ensemble.
The lead guitar, like the name implies, often stands out in the spotlight of the accompaniment, while the rhythm guitar takes a more backseat role. This is not to suggest, however, that rhythm guitar is inferior to lead guitar. It just serves a different, yet equally important purpose.
Why Learn Rhythm Guitar?
While basic melodies may be easy to play on lead guitar some of the more complex solos found on lead guitar are difficult to learn for beginners. These guitarists are so good because they have likely been working on their craft for years.
With rhythm guitar, meanwhile, a musician new to the game can get on stage much quicker and begin playing. Rhythm guitar allows you to help drive the pulse of the music, known as the beat, which is usually laid down at its foundation by the drummer and bassist, and then enhanced by the rhythm guitarist.
If you often find yourself tapping your feet or hands along to a song on the radio, you already have a great sense of rhythm. Now it’s time to explore it on the guitar!
Rhythm Guitar Fundamentals
The rhythm guitar, just like the electric bass, serves two primary functions:
- To provide all or part of the rhythmic pulse in conjunction with singers or other instruments
- To provide all or part of the harmony
When you strum the string(s) in conjunction with the other instruments you are laying down the rhythm of the song. This may or may not be the exact same rhythm as what the bassist is playing. When you play certain chords that fall within the key of the song, you are providing part of the song’s harmony.
Harmony and rhythm are two vital pieces of any great song. Therefore, a good rhythm guitarist, at its most basic function, is able to hold down a series of chords with the fretting hand while strumming to a rhythm with the other hand.
Once that framework is established, then a rhythm guitarist may explore more advanced techniques like arpeggios, damping, riffs, chord solos and complex strums.
Acoustic vs. Electric Guitar
Commercial music has in the last couple of decades leaned more toward electric guitars which also happens to be the easier of the two guitar forms to learn. Electric guitars and acoustic guitars both make great rhythm guitars, though electric guitars are also great for lead guitar making them more of a versatile instrument compared to acoustic guitars.
Acoustic guitar still remains the popular choice for country, western, folk and bluegrass music.
Rhythm Guitar Lessons
In any basic guide, you are likely to encounter some rhythm guitar lessons at the very beginning of your learning experience, which takes us back to why it’s easier to get on a stage quicker by learning the rhythm guitar as opposed to the lead guitar.
Rhythm guitar lessons are available in a number of different formats for a number of different prices. There is a lot of free material available on the Web, and some guitarists have put together some very educational videos on sites like YouTube.
The best rhythm guitar lessons are, however, sold in a combination of book/CD/DVD format. Here you can get expert advice from guitarists in print, watch or listen to the lessons on CD or DVD, and therefore get both a visual, auditory and kinesthetic learning experience.
Popular Genres of Music for Rhythm Guitar
It is important to note that practically every genre of music has a need for rhythm guitar. However, with that being said these genres are notorious for their use of rhythm guitar techniques:
The majority of pop music also uses simple, yet extremely effective rhythm guitar techniques.
Though lead guitar gets a lot of attention, rhythm guitar is an essential part of what we have all come to love about 4-5 person bands.
Luckily, all of the courses we have bought offer rhythm lessons. After running them all through our unbiased rating algorithm, we found JamPlay has the best rhythm guitar lessons.