How To Get A Good Rhythm Guitar TonePosted by Mike Schumacher
A rhythm guitar tone is one that gets away from having lots of high frequencies and instead, has lower ones. This is because most music uses both strong bass notes and rhythmic patterns to set the mood or emphasize part of a song.
When playing a note, you should always keep time! By doing this, your mind will connect the note with how long it needs to be pressed down, and then release back up again. This creates an effect where the pitch stays steady but feels changing due to time passing.
This article will go more in depth about what different parts of a rhythm guitar tone are and some strategies for each.
Use a guitar amp with a good amplifier
Most people start playing music by holding their hands still, using open strings to create chords and fingering those chords in time.
Color Away the Country Blues: Unwind with the Ultimate Country Music Star Coloring Book!
Discover a creative escape with our Country Music Star Coloring Book! Featuring 20+ beautifully designed illustrations of your favorite iconic artists, this printable PDF offers endless hours of relaxation and fun. Perfect for unwinding and rekindling your love for country music!
But doing that doesn’t work if you want to play something more than just simple melodies!
To get a good rhythm tone, you need to use closed string tones either as bass notes or as treble sounds. These can be achieved by using an instrument amplifier!
Amping up your guitar
An amplifier is not only used for listening to music, it also boosts the power of what you are recording and playing back.
Most guitarist don’t use them because they are expensive and sometimes difficult to use. However, there are many types of amplifiers out there, each one suited for different uses.
Some amps have buttons and menus designed specifically for musicians, making settings easy to find and altering features slightly – even creating new effects.
In addition to using different types of guitars, what kind of guitar amplifier you use can make a big difference in your musical style and tone!
Amplifiers are gadgets that help transmit power from the source (in this case, your guitar) to the speaker or device being powered (your ears). Amplifier types include low-powered ones for home practice like headphones or those that work with computer software, medium-power models for music production studios, and high-powered professional studio equipment.
The most popular type is called “gain” amplification. A gain amp increases the volume of an input signal by adding electricity to it. The more gain an amp has, the louder its output becomes. More gain means higher intensity sound — which some people love and others may not.
Gain comes in two forms: linear and exponential. Linear amps increase the amplitude of a signal proportionally as they add electricity to it, making it very loud but not necessarily having good quality overtones. Exponential amps do something else: As they pour out ever-increasing amounts of electricity, they eventually reach a limit where no further expansion occurs, so the volume stays the same but the bass gets stronger and sharper. This is why some people call them “loud ass bass monsters.”
Most people use either one depending on the genre of music they play.
Getting a good rhythm guitar tone is more than just using your equipment correctly!
Effects are one of the most important things you can use to shape your guitar sound. There are many types of effect, with different purposes, but all work by altering some part of the music or the signal being played back into the microphone or earbud.
Amplifiers have settings that modify how much gain the device has (amplification), how high or low frequencies it produces, and sometimes even whether it is active (closed) or passive (open). These settings vary depending on what type of amplifier you have, so check those out!
Other common effects include reverb (machines like The Room always seem to taste better with a little bit of echo!), distortion (like with a sizzling amp pedal!), chorus (the repeated voice in songs…why not give yours a try?), and flange (no, this doesn’t mean “flame coming from the amp!”).
Record using a good microphone
The quality of your recording can make a big difference in how your music sounds, and the way you get that sound depends heavily on what type of mic you use.
A phone or computer microphone will not provide enough quality for professional music production.
These devices are very affordable, but they will not have the needed features to produce quality audio. They may even cause noise interference when used together.
By comparison, professional microphones have special technology designed to enhance and improve the quality of the sound. These advanced mics are more expensive, but they are worth it!
There are many types of mics out there, so do some research and find one that is comfortable to use. You want to be sure it works well with instruments before buying it.
Some examples of budget friendly microphones include the ones from Amazon or Target. More expensive models such as those mentioned above are totally fine to use if you know what settings work best.
Listen to your recording
In our last lesson, we learned how to use the tone ring as a tool for getting different guitar tones. While that is a very helpful technique, using it in isolation can sometimes lead to poor results.
After all, if you take the settings of the tone ring out of context, you may not be able to tell what effects your guitar has. For example, say you have an acoustic guitar with no pick or metal stick, but you still want a bluesy sound. You could put the tone knob up as far as it will go and get some nice overtones, but those would probably be unusable because they are too strong.
You might try setting the middle control to see more bass, but then the notes would be really dark and lack quality. And while having lots of treble is good for getting higher pitched sounds such as melodies and licks, none of that would matter if the rest of the instrument was missing enough lower end rumble.
It takes practice to know when to push the limits of the equipment you have and when to find another way to achieve your goal.
Learn to use your ear
A lot of guitarists get hung up on using different types of guitars, their number of strings, or how they shape their hands when playing certain notes, but not many know what to do with all of these parts.
The thing about music is that it is really an art form that relies mostly on perception and interpretation of what you are listening to.
If you can’t tell why something sounds good, then it is hard to be successful as a musician!
That is why it is so important for aspiring musicians to learn how to listen to music effectively. You should pay close attention to lyrics, melody, rhythm, and tone (loudness) of the song, as well as how each part fits together.
It may sound like a hassle, but this will take some time to perfect. However, once you do, you will see great results in your musical development.
You will also start finding new songs that contain cool sounds, rhythms, or melodies that you can copy and add to your repertoire.
Practice playing along to songs you like
One of the most important things for anyone who wants to learn how to play guitar is to practice. There are many ways to test your skills, but one of the best is practicing by ear. This means listening to music and trying to figure out what notes go with another set of notes or whether a new note goes well with a familiar one.
You can also try to identify and reproduce the rhythm of a song. It’s easy to forget how to do this, so it’s a good way to refresh your skills!
There are several resources available to help you begin learning how to play by ear. Some of these focus more on teaching you the basics, while others are more advanced.
Find a good guitar teacher
Finding a great guitarist isn’t easy, but you can now find many ways to do it! You can go through YouTube or music streaming apps and look for tutorials or lessons. There are even lots of online courses that have you reading beginner material and then adding onto it from there.
All of these methods can be very helpful in learning how to play the guitar. The best way to learn is definitely by doing, so just start playing! Some may feel more comfortable with one style over another, so try out different ones to know which ones work for you.
There are also plenty of books available at any bookstore or online site that teach you the basics of the instrument. Many people begin their journey here as they cannot take all day to learn and there are some great primer guides for beginners.
The Jam Addict team is a revolving door of writers who care about music, its effects on culture, and giving aspiring artists tools and knowledge to be inspired and keep on creating.
If you have any questions or concerns or just want to drop us a line, don’t hesitate to contact us! We always appreciate the feedback.