How To Play Rhythm Electric Guitar

Posted by Mike Schumacher

Playing rhythm guitar is one of the most fundamental skills you can learn as a guitarist. Once you are able to play some basic chords, and know how to count in time, then your rhythmic abilities will really blossom!

Playing rhythms comes naturally to many people because they have a strong sense of timing. They may be taught at an early age or through music training. Some even manage to make it seem natural for them when playing along with a song.

It’s great to admire that person, but it takes a lot of work to get there. That’s why this article will go into more detail about how to play rhythm guitar. You will also discover tips and tricks to improve your rhythm playing quickly.

Intermediate players should start by learning how to strum. After you have mastered that, you can move onto picking patterns and exercises to strengthen your hand-to-finger coordination. Beyond that, we will talk about using modes to create familiar bass lines and groove frameworks.

This guide will help you become more comfortable playing rhythm guitar, whether you are just starting out or you already feel confident but want to take your game up a level.

Set up your practice space

how to play rhythm electric guitar

Now that you have your guitar, music equipment, and studio space all set up, it is time to start practicing!

When starting out as an electric guitarist, there are two main things you need to know how to do well. The first is playing chords, and the second is playing rhythm.

Playing chords is easy; just think of familiar notes and groups of notes as recipes and you can make any chord or sequence easily.

But playing rhythm takes some work at first.

Buy a guitar

how to play rhythm electric guitar

Having a rhythm electric guitar is not limited to performing songs, you can also be creative with your music! There are many ways to learn how to play rhythm guitar. You do not need to have formal training on music theory or instrumentation skills to start playing rhythm guitar. Many people begin by learning how to strum chords and then adding some other chord shapes to go along with them.

There are several types of guitars that can help beginners get started. The best beginner level guitars for rhythm are solid body electric guitars. These have an easier time staying in tune as they do not contain hollow spaces where air could escape.

It is important to choose your tone very carefully. A bass heavy sound is better for some styles of music while treble tuned notes are needed for others. No matter what style of music you want to perform, know what equipment will give you the right sound.

Learn to read music

The second most important thing for you to do as an electric guitar player is learn how to read music! Most advanced players can pick up rhythm guitars and play songs quickly because they are able to recognize what notes go into which chords, and how to get those sounds.

Reading music is like learning another language — it takes time, but once you have learned how to listen and understand music, everything else becomes much easier.

There are many ways to learn how to read music, so whatever method feels comfortable to you will work just fine! Some of the best methods include taking lessons, buying resources, or finding YouTube videos that can help you learn how to read music.

Any way you choose to learn, just make sure your basics are covered first – pitch, note length, position, and tone/volume! After this, you can move onto reading rhythms.

Learn to sing along with music

how to play rhythm electric guitar

One of the most important things to learn as an electric guitar player is how to play rhythm! This includes learning how to sing songs that have rhythm, or even writing your own rhythms and melodies.

There are many ways to achieve this. Some people start by playing simple patterns over and under each other, which is called drumming. Others pick up where they left off on their first instrument, singing while tapping out the beat on a table or floor surface.

Whatever method you choose, keep it fun! If you’re more comfortable using one technique than another then try switching up between them to see what works for you.

Memorize chords

how to play rhythm electric guitar

Chords are one of the most important parts of playing rhythm guitar. There are many types of chords, but we will only focus on major, minor, and seventh chord shapes here!

Chord shapes can be learned by looking at some examples or by practicing them via exercises like this one. Once you have mastered those, you can move onto other chords!

There are three main things that make up a chord. The first is the root, which is the note directly next to the bass (or lowest) pitch in the chord. For example, with the second measure’s Dm7(#9) chord, the root is the A natural.

The second part of a chord is the third interval — in this case, it is the B flat above the root. This creates the harmonic balance of the chord, as well as another name for the chord, such as ii-V-i or second-tone-major-third-fifth.

And lastly, the fifth interval from the root is what makes the chord feel good. In this case, it is the E five steps higher than the root. This adds brightness to the chord and helps describe the tone of the chord. You can also call this the leading tone or sometimes referred to as an appoggio.

Practice regularly

how to play rhythm electric guitar

After you have learned how to play rhythm guitar, your next step is to practice! The more you practice, the better you will get!

Practicing for this lesson was difficult because there are so many different styles of playing rhythm guitar. There are very formal ways to do it, such as using a metronome or recording yourself to listen for mistakes. Or you can just use common sense and look at how well you play your instrument and add some features to it!

The most important thing about practicing is to make sure you do not give up.

Tone your guitar

how to play rhythm electric guitar

After you get your tone down, it’s time to work on your amplifier settings! Depending on what style of music you want to play, there are certain things you will need to have at their best.

For example, if you want to learn how to play rhythm electric guitar like The Strokes or Blink-182, then you will need to strengthen your bass notes.

By strengthening the low end of your sound, it becomes more powerful. To do this, increase the volume of your amp slightly (not much though, as that could hurt your ears) and decrease the treble quality until only bass is heard.

Then, lower your middle control stick (called the gain knob) so that only bass remains. Only turn up the amp once all three qualities are completely silenced.

That way you have strong bass without being overbearing, strong mids without sounding fat, and bright highs that don’t disappear into the ear.

Learn to use a metronome

how to play rhythm electric guitar

A metronome is an instrument that helps you learn how to play music by ticking away at a steady rate. The trick is using it effectively!

A basic beginner’s tip is to listen to music while the metronome ticks along. This way, your brain can match the rhythm of the song with the rhythm of the clock, which makes it easier to pick up on timing.

If you are already familiar with some chords, then adding another chord to the mix will also help you get the hang of timing. By having both a melody and a beat, you will have much more success in learning how to play rhythm guitar.

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