When playing guitar, you want to make sure that you learn the 5 top tips to great rhythm guitar playing. This will allow you to set up a solid foundation for your guitar playing that will benefit you for years to come.
Tip #1 Learn your common open chords.
C A G E D & F major. Along with a few minor chords like E minor, A minor & D minor. These chords are important to know as they are commonly found in many songs. Like they say “learn a few chords and you can play hundreds of songs” which is true because a lot of very popular songs on the guitar are made up of only a few chords. Sometimes only 3 or 4 to be exact.
Tip #2 Know how to move them up the fretboard.
Knowing how to move the open position guitar chords up the fretboard gives you more diversity and ability for rhythm creation. This is done by learning to create barre chords, or by using a capo. These two things take the place of the guitar nut. Which is what holds the guitar strings in place.
By using your index finger to represent the nut you can take the open chords and move them along the fretboard. This allows you to create different shades of color in your rhythm playing as well as be able to create chord embellishments.
Tip #3 Learn proper strumming and picking patterns.
Strumming and picking the chords is very important as well because it is this technique that actually creates the rhythm. Your fretboard hand is designed to form, hold and move the chords once you learn them and the picking hand is designed to create the rhythm of the chords by either strumming them or picking them individually.
These two techniques (or a hybrid of both) are what really bring the chords to life and give the elements of the music, a listening quality to them. This is what makes the listener want to tap their toe, get up and dance or just sit back and listen.
Tip #4 Learn chord embellishment theory.
Chord embellishment theory is what allows you to build upon the basic chord shapes mentioned in the first tip. It is what allows you to make a major chord into a minor, diminished or augmented. It is what allows you to create 6th chords, minor 7th chords, #5b9 chords and so forth and so forth.
By knowing your notes on all six strings along the entire fretboard you can form any chord you wish in nay type of inversion. This is the science of music. Especially for a rhythm guitar player. The more you understand chords and how they are constructed, the better you’ll be.
Tip #5 Play in time.
I can’t tell you how many musicians over the years I’ve met who know the chords but can’t play in time and don’t have a good rhythm. It is quite sad really. This is a skill set that must be worked on. You must work daily on developing good timing.
Good timing is everything! Especially if you plan on playing with anyone in the future. There are three ways to do this.
Use a metronome
Use a drum machine
Play along to the song
Any of these three techniques will allow you to develop this important skill. This is a must! Because without it, all the other skills of knowing the chords and being able to play them all over the fretboard to create music will be useless unless you can play in time.
Rhythm Guitar Secrets
Since these skill sets are so important to play great rhythm, I have created a free training guide that helps in this are called Rhythm Guitar Secrets. It goes into more detail exactly what has been taught here today. So if rhythm guitar playing is something you are working on mastering, I recommend you grab my training guide.
To be a great rhythm guitar player takes time, patience, and effort on a daily basis. It requires you to study the concepts, techniques, and principles related to rhythm guitar playing. It requires you to experiment with these concepts and formulas very much like a scientist.
Develop a well in-depth understanding of chords, timing, rhythm sequences and how to put these elements together. This will teach you what great rhythm guitar playing is all about. By keeping it simple, you will understand the fundamental principles of rhythm guitar playing.
That is why I wrote the book “Rhythm Guitar Alchemy”
An easy step-by-step method of study that is fun & easy to learn. With secret elements, formulas, and properties that cater to the scientific development of rhythm guitar playing in theory and practice.
A comprehensive course on the inner workings of rhythm guitar playing. From learning notes, forming chords, establishing timing and creating rhythm. Rhythm Guitar Alchemy will provide you with a progressive training guide that will help you to develop an intimate understanding of playing rhythm guitar.
You can find this book, along with all others I have authored, on Amazon in print and Kindle format. As well as in my eBay store Dwayne’s Guitar World where if purchased here you will receive a personally signed author copy.
And as always, if you have any questions about what I teach or are interested in taking private guitar lessons, feel free to reach out to me through my website Dwayne’s Guitar Lessons.
Best of luck with your learning.