How To EQ Rhythm And Lead GuitarPosted by Mike Schumacher
When guitarists play lead, they usually use either their hands or their feet as main instruments. With your hand, you pick notes using your picking fingers (index, middle, ring, pinky). Your thumb can be used like a normal finger for lower pitched strings or as a brush to sweep across the string surface to add vibrato or tone color.
Your foot is an excellent choice when learning how to lead with rhythm guitar. By pressing down on the pedal board with your front heel, then rolling up with your back leg, you create a steady beat that can easily be added onto already existing rhythms.
Learn some chords
Even if you’re not planning to play lead guitar in a band, it is still important to know how to do this!
Knowing how to strum simple chord patterns or learn your favorite song’s main chords can help boost your self-confidence as a guitarist.
Many people start playing by learning how to hit simple notes on a keyboard or bass instrument first. But the more complex next steps are often keeping time with a metronome or rhythm box, and then adding higher pitched strings like the violin or guitar.
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These are great ways to begin for someone who already knows how to use a stringed instrument but just cannot get the hang of reading music and timing properly yet.
And even though we talk about beginner level concepts here, knowing the basics of rhythm and lead guitar will make your skills look much better!
Never give up. If you ever feel that you have tried everything and nothing seems to work, keep trying! There are so many resources available these days where you can find almost any type of musician material.
Music theory books, YouTube videos, forums, and blogs are all excellent places to look for answers.
Practice making chords with different fingers
A lot of guitarists only know how to play using their hand as an instrument, by pressing down on the string with their first finger and then picking up the note with their second or third finger.
But what if we took that one step further? What if we were able to use our other fingers to press down on the strings in ways not already done before?
This is something new wave guitar players do in order to create more interesting sounds. And it’s great for beginner guitarists because it doesn’t require too much advanced knowledge!
You can try this out by placing your index finger on the fourth fret (A4) of the top string (E), middle finger on the fifth fret (G), ring finger on the third fret (D), and little finger on the second fret (C). Now you have made the open chord GDC!
Practice taking notes from this article and trying them out here: http://www.guitarlessonforme.com/how-to-play-open-chords-on-the-guest-lead-position/.
Try using your fingers to make different shapes
A lot of guitarists start off playing rhythm by tapping their foot or hand, but this is not a good way to learn how to play rhythm guitar!
Using our hands and feet as drumming instruments can help you get the hang of timing music, but only if you are doing it correctly.
You should be able to tap out a steady beat without getting too stressed out!
Mostly people mess up when they use their hands and feet for the drums. They either overdo it and it doesn’t sound nice, or they under- do it and it sounds very strange.
Either way, it won’t work.
Luckily, there are other ways to achieve that perfect rhythm! More advanced musicians usually learn how to do these trickier rhythms through practice, repetition, and creativity.
Listen to music to learn how others do it
It is impossible to tell if you are doing an okay job as lead guitarist unless you have someone to listen to! You can either be learning by yourself or from YouTube videos, or both!
Music has rhythm, and there’s not much use in knowing how to play rhythm guitar if you cannot hear it. So, try listening to some songs that feature lead guitars!
You can also look up song structures on sites like Song Structure University to get a better understanding of what parts of a song each instrument contributes to.
And lastly, read other people’s solos! Many musicians share their tricks for playing leads beautifully.
Learn how to read chord shapes
Chords are one of the most fundamental parts of guitar music. Almost every song contains at least one, and there are many ways to learn how to play them!
One way is by learning how to read basic chords. This article will go into detail about some easy applications of this technique. Let’s get started!
Reading chord shapes
So what is a chord shape? A chord shapeis the outline or diagram of a given chord. For example, the first position major third chord has an octave-bass second degree (or root) note as its bass, a minor sixth interval as its middle tone, and a major seventh interval as its top tone. These three notes make up the first position major third chord.
Similarly, the second position dominant seventh chord has a suspended fourth as its bass, a flattened fifth as its middle tone, and a sharpened ninth as its top tone. These four notes make up the second position dominant seventh chord.
Converting these chord diagrams into actual songs requires reading their basses. The bass in a chord determinesthe key of the piece being played.
For instance, the first position major third chord we mentioned before was determinedby the major third note of the chord. In this case, that would be the third note of the string set –A.
Knowing the key of a song allows you to determine what other chords fit within that space.
Try using an app that shows chords
In addition to learning how to play guitar by ear, or through chord charts, you can also use software to help you learn your chords! There are many apps that offer this feature, but one of my favorites is Chord Proximity.
Chord Proximity helps you identify which notes in a chord belong together and gives you tips on what position each chord should be placed in. This is very helpful as you do not have to know the exact strings for a given chord, only where they fit into the song.
By learning this concept earlier, you will save yourself time later when trying to figure out songs! The app is free to download, and all features work fine without having to purchase anything extra. You get 5 minutes per chord of practice time, which is more than enough for most people to start from.
Use a metronome
A very helpful tool for developing your rhythm guitar skills is a metronome. A metronome works by timing how quickly you play a note. Most have short, medium, and long beats that can be set and modified depending on what song you are practicing or what style of music you want to learn.
The easiest way to use a metronome in conjunction with learning lead guitar chords is just to start listening to some songs! There are many free resources available via YouTube and Spotify.
You could also find a metronome app for your phone or computer which has similar features. The one I recommend is Tempo Trainer since it is easy to use and has lots of features.
Practice making beats and keep a consistent tempo
A rhythm guitarist does not necessarily have to know how to play lead guitar to be considered advanced, but it is always helpful to learn at least the basics of this instrument.
A lead guitarist creates licks or small pieces of music that are typically sung along with. They usually start by playing a note, then add another note, and so on until the song has been fully written.
These notes are called chords because they combine into one larger tone or sound. For example, the first chord most people use in a blues song is the major chord, which consists of three notes — the second highest being the root, the lowest being the fifth.
The roots of these chords are typically either natural minor, augmented, or diminished chords. By learning what kind of chords make up an authentic blues riff, you will already have some starting points!
After mastering those, move onto other types of chords such as power chords, diads, and suspensions. There are many sites online that can help you dive deeper into each type of chord.
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