What Kind of Guitar is Right for a Rhythm Player?

If you've ever thought about the kind of guitar choices there actually are , it can be a little overwhelming. Before giving you some help with the kind of guitar that's good for rhythm players, let's focus first on the "choice."

Early on, you may have disregarded your kind of guitar choice and first thought about whether you want to lean towards playing RHYTHM guitar or LEAD guitar. Of course there are pros and cons to both.

If you want to be a rhythm guitarist, your kind of knowledge is all about chords. Learn your chords and learn appealing progressions for guitar tunes. Yes, there are single notes involved, but your specialty is working with the bassist and laying a strong, meaty foundation to any song.

If you want to be a lead guitarist, your kind of knowledge is all about riffs. You need to focus on pull offs, hammer ons, and long strings of notes. For someone like you, it shouldn't be that difficult to get involved in a jam band setting and be able to riff for quite awhile.

After getting past all of this, if you have decided to become a rhythm player, then great! How you picture your next guitar is important for the kind of player that you are. Think of these points here:

* Lean towards guitars with adequate amounts of low end.

A kind of guitar with a natural boost in low tones works very well with the bassist and drummer of a band. (mostly the kick drum) Sure, you can turn up the bass knob on your guitar amplifier during your a set of tunes, but guitars that provide that bass gain tend to perform much smoother than a high-pitched shredding kind of guitar.

* Make sure the guitar has a working tone switch.

These days it's hard to find a kind of guitar without a tone switch, but just make sure. Having a tone switch and knowing how to properly accommodate for the changes in a guitar tune is valuable knowledge. Those switches aren't there to look pretty, (although some are just plain fabulous) so put them to some good use!

* A good rhythm guitar has partial space between the strings and the fret board

Now, some guitars have a perfect amount of space for adequate string vibration and some guitars are just poorly made. If you buy a beginner's kind of guitar to play your tunes and it's difficult to play chords because you have to press down so hard, that string height needs to be lowered. However, you DO want a little space between the strings and the frets if you're going to be doing constant rhythm strumming. You need that room for good, strong vibrations.

* Consider a guitar with more pickups.

If a guitar can provide more tone for output, your sound is going to be richer. If you consider guitars like Les Pauls by Gibson and Epiphone, (honestly I can't tell the difference between them) they brag about their special "humbucking" pickups that are great for rhythm players. Make sure there are good quality pickups on any guitar especially for playing rhythm.

There's going to be obvious similarities between lead and rhythm guitars. (Like the fact that they're both guitars.) But, think of what can give your guitar more depth and smooth tone. That's the real key to a fine rhythm guitar sound.

If you're looking for smooth rhythm techniques that can be used over and over again, check out Jamorama for some great instruction.

Photo from MusicGearReview.com


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