How To Play Rhythm And Lead Guitar At The Same Time

Posted by Mike Schuck

When playing guitar, there are two main instruments you can play; lead or rhythm guitar. The term “lead” is usually associated with one chord that you play for a while before moving onto another chord. This type of song writing is very common in music today!

The other instrument, which some refer to as the “back-up band member,” plays chords more frequently than the lead guitarist. These chords typically move around more quickly so they seem to flow naturally into the next part of the song.

Some songs have both lead and background guitars. For example, in the classic rock song I Was Made To Love Her, John Lennon does not play a lead guitar solo but he does contribute several riffs during the middle portion of the song.

Join the JA team and grab a cool t-shirt!

Check out our Jam Addict attire and become a part of the team that has been training drummers and musicians for years!
Jam Addict Course

How do you become good at playing both? By practicing and by understanding how each instrument works. In this article, we will discuss how to play rhythm and lead guitar simultaneously.

Use your voice and face to communicate with the person playing rhythm and lead guitar

how to play rhythm and lead guitar at the same time

When someone is singing, you can usually tell when they are not paying much attention to their vocal chords because their tone has decreased or their volume has diminished. If you pay close attention to what angle their mouth is at, whether it is closed or open, how wet their lips are, and if you hear any noises coming out of them, this correlates to when they are struggling to feel relaxed while performing.

When people play guitar, the strings need to be pressed down in order to produce sound. When one hand presses down on the string without having something to hold onto, that player will typically have to shift around to find a place where the finger fits and is stable enough to press down firmly. This shifts focus away from just the string and the position of the finger as both needed maintenance.

It also takes concentration away from the next note being played since the mind is thinking about which finger goes where, why it needs to be there, and how to make sure it does not slip off. In addition, when players lose track of their hands, their arms start to move more, making the music less steady and crisp.

By incorporating some simple tricks into your rhythmic playing, you will see major improvements in the quality of your playing.

Practice playing rhythm and lead guitar simultaneously

It is possible to learn how to play both rhythm and lead guitar at the same time, but you have to know what it means! Technically speaking, this isn’t really doing either one of them well because you can only consider yourself fully trained in one if you are able to do the other equally well.

However, we will talk about some strategies for learning how to play each independently so that you can be considered advanced as a guitarist! And hopefully, your ability to put these two skills together will improve with experience.

Rhythm guitar

You already know how to play the very basics of rhythm guitar. You must be familiar with picking patterns, note numbers, and timing!

So, why not practice more complex rhythms? That is definitely something you should work on! There are many ways to approach this. Some people pick an easy pattern and take it up a notch by changing the pulse or the style. Others choose a difficult pattern and try to figure out the notes and the order they go down.

Whatever method feels most natural to you, just make sure to keep time! This may mean using a metronome to help you find the right beat, or using a software instrument like GarageBand to get inspiration.

Use the same finger technique for both rhythm and lead

how to play rhythm and lead guitar at the same time

There is an easy way to learn how to play guitar using your left hand only! This method uses the same fingering pattern for either playing a chord as a root or playing a note as a leading tone, which makes it easier to switch back and forth between the two.

A common beginner’s mistake when learning this trick is trying to use their index fingers instead of their middle fingers to press down on each string. By not having enough strength in your index finger, you will have to push with more force, making it harder to properly depress the strings.

To make sure your index finger has enough strength, practice pressing just one strummed chord with no accompanying notes. Once that feels natural, add a second chord with a bass note. Then move up into some simple licks and chords.

This article will show you how to do all of that! Keep reading until you are able to master the art of doing everything with just your middle finger.

Play using a metronome

how to play rhythm and lead guitar at the same time

The best way to learn how to play rhythm guitar is by playing along with a music-metering device. A good meter is one that doesn’t feel forced, where you can easily add in extra notes and restings depending on what part of the song you are practicing.

A common method for creating a steady pulse is to count out each note as either an AND (onset) or ANTECEDENT (basis). For example, say there was a chord consisting of the first two notes of the major scale, which goes like this: G Dm Am.

To practice this chord, start by counting down from six to zero, then hit the second half of the chord, then back up to seven, then down again, and repeat. This creates a steady pulse that matches the chords in the song.

You can do the same thing in reverse to create an even more stable pattern, which we will call the PREMETER! To practice this, start at five, go up to ten, then back down to five, and keep repeating. This also works well for songs that have an irregular timing structure, such as ones with a verse followed by a chorus.

The easiest way to use these rhythms effectively is to simply pick them up quickly through repetition. Once you have mastered their basics, you can apply them to any style or genre of music, not just those containing a preestablished beat.

Practice playing with a partner

how to play rhythm and lead guitar at the same time

It is very helpful to play guitar in a group or with people, this is called practicing with a partner. There are many ways you can practice playing together as a pair. You can be paired up with your friend who already plays well and learn from each other, you can meet someone at a local music studio where professional musicians hang out, or you can find people online that share your passion for guitars and learning how to play together.

The best way to learn how to play rhythm and lead guitar at the same time is by teaching yourself through practice. By just working on it on your own every day you will get better faster!

It’s important to know what key your song is in before starting. Then, choose one of the instruments (like the piano) to be the lead instrument and the other (rhythm guitar) to be the accompaniment. This way you won’t have to think about which notes go along with what chords, and you can focus more on writing your lyrics and singing.

Ask friends to critique your playing

how to play rhythm and lead guitar at the same time

As mentioned earlier, you can get some great insights into how well you play by having people listen to you or even watching you perform!

Some of the best ways to do this are by joining groups that have members with different levels so that you can learn something from each person’s technique and then you can apply what you learned to your own style.

You could also just be more conscious about how you behave when you play and what strategies you use to make sure other musicians notice how well you play.

Learn to focus on one instrument at a time

how to play rhythm and lead guitar at the same time

It is very difficult to do this when you are starting out as a guitarist. You must learn how to focus solely on one instrument for a length of time before moving onto the next.

When your mind has a break, you can shift your attention to the other instrument. But if your hands keep getting in the way, then it will be hard to let go and focus on something else!

Removing these barriers to playing takes practice, so don’t worry about it too much early on. Just work on it every day until you feel that you have mastered it. Then slowly add more tasks to manage simultaneously.

There are many ways to learn how to play rhythm and lead guitar at the same time. Here we will discuss some strategies for doing this effectively.

Practice consistently

how to play rhythm and lead guitar at the same time

It takes practice to play rhythm guitar at a comfortable speed, and it also requires some level of lead playing under your belt before you can combine the two. If you’re looking to expand your repertoire as a guitarist, trying out different styles and genres, then learning how to play both rhythm and lead at the same time is something that you should look into!

There are many ways to learn how to do this, but the one thing everyone will agree on is that practicing is key. Make sure to set aside enough time to give yourself adequate amount of time to really master this technique.

And don’t worry if you make a mistake – music makes mistakes! Sometimes musicians call these errors “intellectual property” because they feel that what was just done has an element of creativity to it. Mistakes help us grow!

What people usually recommend is to take a few minutes each day to work on either rhythm or lead guitar. You can even start off with only five minutes of combined rhythm and lead training per session until you get more familiar with the techniques.

envelope linkedin facebook pinterest youtube rss twitter instagram facebook-blank rss-blank linkedin-blank pinterest youtube twitter instagram