Rhythm is a vital thing in music. Although, many little known people disagree, rhythm guitar is as important as a lead guitar.

For musical development, rhythm guitar is the most important because it builds the song.

If you think the same and want to learn the rhythm guitar, then I can help you start your journey.

In this article, I will show you the basics of playing a rhythm guitar. I hope this guide you along the path.

What Is Rhythm Guitar?

Rhythm guitar performs two basic functions. If provides the whole or a part of a musical pulse with the other musical instruments. And, produces all or the part of a harmony. It also supports the melodic lines. It has application in virtually all type of music.

The basic mechanism of a rhythm guitar is to hold a series of chord down with one hand while strumming with another hand.

How to Play Rhythm Guitar – Learning the Chords

Playing rhythm guitar is all about the chords and timing. If you learn the basic of the chords and how to use them maintaining a proper time, you are good to go. To start playing, you have to learn the following chords, strumming, and timing.


Power Chords    

The power chord is consists of the root note and the fifth. It is the most essential chord that you will need to play rh

How to Play Rhythm Guitar

ythm guitar. It also has a wide range of application in all type of music.

First, you have to learn the basics of the power chord. There are 12 types of power chords and you have to be familiar with them.

The next step in the power chord is to master the application of the power chord. The more efficiently you can move your power cord, the efficiently you can use them for rock, punk and metal music.

Barre Chords   

After you have learned the power chords, it’s time to learn the barre chords. Learning barre chord is not easy and your index finger will go through a lot of stress.

Barre chords are mainly of two types, major barre chords, and minor bare chords. You can play each barre chord in twelve different keys.

To play bare chords you have to press down all the strings at a time on the fretboard. By doing so, our index finger turns into a capo and you can play the guitar with the remaining.

Common Chords

Common chord is also called as triadic chords and as the name suggests, it is the most widely used chord. It involves (I–IV–V–vi–ii) chord progressions and you will need them for every pop music. Splitting them, there are three-chord progressions, (I–IV–V), (I-V-vi-IV) and (ii-V-I). You can use the barre chord that you have learned earlier to play with these common chords.

If you want to play a song that you don’t know, the common chord will help you the most. If you learn both the common chord and barre chord, you can play in any key

Open Chords     

Open chords are the easiest, but the most important chords. Why?

Because all the barre chords are derived from the open chords.

Open chords include the unfretted strings. You have to keep one or more strings open in this chord. Say you want to play the Em chord, in that case, you have to keep 4 strings open. But this is only one for the D major string.

To learn the open chords, you have to apply them to a song as soon as you learn them. This will make the process easier.

Strumming Patterns

Strumming consists of strumming up and strumming down. Strumming is necessary for timing and solid rhythm.

In total, there are five strumming patterns. To be a master of strumming you have to learn the all downstrokes, up and down strokes, muted complex and normal rest strumming.

Two important tips for strumming –

  • Keep you strumming elbow out of the way of the string. This will let your wrist to strum.
  • Support the guitar neck with the fretting hand. Position your thumb bust at the back of the neck.

After learning the basics of strumming, you need to learn the dynamic strumming. It will let you spice up even the simplest chords of progression key.

Good Timing

As a rhythm guitarist, the most important thing that you have to master is timing. If you want to play rhythm guitar in a bond, you must maintain good timing. If you can’t maintain the timing, everything that you have learned will be valueless.

For good timing, you can use the metronome. The metronome will do three things,

  • It will improve your ability to play in a band.
  • It will improve your ability to play rhythm and strum.
  • The sound of your guitar will be much better.

Taking Your Rhythm Guitar to the Next Level

If you have learned the above chords properly, it’s time to take your rhythm guitar playing to the next level. For this, you can –

  • Take lessons from a professional guitar teacher. It will be best if you can get yourself to a music school or local teacher.

If this is not possible, you can take lessons online. Masterclass and Udemy have many quality courses on Rhythm guitar. They don’t cost so much. It will also give you some time flexibility if you are busy with daily tasks.

  • Another thing you can do is to record your music when you can play some sort of music. Play it over and note down the mistakes. Improve where it is necessary.
  • Focus on the little things and make the necessary steps to improve them. Identify these things, analyze them and practice them over and over again.
  • Finally, the most important thing is passion and emotion for it. Take it from the core of your heart and you will surely do noticeable change the way you play rhythm guitar.

I hope this article was helpful for you to start your journey of rhythm guitar. My final suggestion will be, start as soon as you can when you are at the peak of your motivation and never stop in the halfway.

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