Rhythm

Okay, be honest. If I were to ask you, as a guitar player, who the most important person/part of the band is you would say, the guitarist. The truth be told, however, is we guitarists are, generally, just the icing on the cake and NOT THE CAKE. If you had to cut one person from the band who would/could it be? Could you eliminate the vocals, what about the bass? What about if we just throw the drummer right out the door, along with all those myriads of cymbals, sticks and toms.

The rhythm of a song is its most critical component. Without rhythm there is no reference point for others to join in and become part of the song. There is no critical structure to keep the sound moving in a progressive and orderly way. Sound just becomes, noise. Without rhythm, and I am talking about solid, metered without skipping beats rhythm, a song just goes nowhere. Rhythm is far more critical than correct notes. You can hit a wrong note once and a while, I just call those "passing" notes, but you can't just go willy-nilly, here-and-there with the rhythm without the whole song just breaking down. If there is one distinguishing factor between a professionally sounding band and a real amateur sounding one, the professional sounding band has GREAT RHYTHM.

One of the SECRETS to playing great rhythm on guitar is recognizing that you do not need to, nor should you, keep your fingers always tightly clamped down on the notes of the chord. You do sort of a grasp and release sort of action. This not only gives your hands a break from always clamping down on the notes, but it also gives a muted sound to your strumming which adds variety and creates a sense of disorder to order, something important to adding levels of texture to your sound.


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