Guitar Shred – Don’t Ignore the Rhythm

In the world of guitar shred, too many times people are ignoring their rhythm guitar playing. I’ve seen countless players who can jam on Yngwie and Steve Vai all day, but can’t play too many chords. That’s bad.

One thing that great players like Jimi Hendrix, SRV, and Eddie Van Halen all have in common is that they are great rhythm players as well as soloists. Learning some of Hendrix’s rhythms is just as challenging as learning anything else. However, rhythm is still being ignored by some players who spend all their time working on speed and whatnot.

Set aside some time each day during your practice sessions to work on rhythm playing. Learn new chords, new voicings for chords you already know, and new rhythms. Get some good books on rhythm guitar, preferably ones that come with CD’s so you can hear how it’s supposed to be played. More important, make sure you have the “feel” for the rhythm you are playing. It’s one thing to just learn the chords and play along with the track, but more important to really get into the groove of what your doing.

One thing to know is that better rhythm playing equals better soloing – it’s just the way it is. I hope you will add this area of playing to your guitar shred sessions if you haven’t already.

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