The Frequently Overlooked Skill You Need To Master Rhythm Guitar Playing

by Tom Hess

It’s hard to feel totally confident as a rhythm guitarist when you can’t smoothly change between rhythm and lead guitar. You must master this to be able to play a song all the way through or perform on stage in situations where you have to switch to playing a solo after playing rhythm (and back again).

Good news: mastering this skill is not very difficult.

Here’s a simple way to do it:

Play a measure of rhythm, followed by a measure of lead. Use the tablature below as an example. 

Riff followed by a lead

Audio example

Practice this riff to a metronome and get it super-tight with perfect palm muting, clean transitions between rhythm and lead, controlled vibrato and by keeping it in time with the click (it’s a lot harder to play perfectly than it looks).

After this becomes easy, make the lead guitar phrase harder or the rhythm riff harder or both.

Practicing this exercise helps you feel more confident in your playing by integrating two skills (rhythm and lead) in a way that helps you play more musically and with greater self-expression.

Want to master rhythm guitar fast? Read this article about how to improve rhythm guitar playing to learn many effective practice methods to help you get better.

Want to become a badass rhythm guitarist as fast as possible? Start taking guitar lessons online to play guitar better than ever before.


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