Talk:Rhythm guitar

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Instrument vs. role[edit]

Don't think this should be categorized as a musical instrument; it's not an instrument per se, more a role played by an instrument. Bschoner 17:48, 18 Nov 2004 (UTC)

Keef, rhythm and lead[edit]

I would never have thought of Keith Richards as a rhythm guitarist - lead guitar, surely?

Keith Richards is both a rhythm guitarist and a lead guitarist.
Keith took lead occasionally, but he was the rhythm guitarist. The lead guitarist was Brian Jones/Mick Taylor/whoever else.
Keith Richards is most definently primarily a rhythm guitarist. One of the very best in fact. His occasional "lead" work fades into insignificance compared to his wonderful skills as a rhytmn guitar player and songwriter I'm getting no where by saying this so i think I'm going to be quiet now. (ED Jan 06)
It's possible for a rhythm guitarist to take the lead without departing from the chord+strumming technique. Perhaps that is causing the confusion.

1Z (talk) 15:36, 18 August 2011 (UTC)


Inappropriate use of a pronoun "it just depends on how he plays the guitar," as lead guitarists are not gender-specific. Should use "it just depends on how they play the guitar."

Otherwise a great definition.

Um... It's correct English to use "he" for a singular person, so the definition was not sexist at all; it's just the English language in general. "They" implies multiple people, and there are multiple rhythm guitarists in the world, so "they" would also be correct in the given context. But, left unchanged, it would also be correct.

--Thanks for listening, WikiBrit

'They' is a third person personal pronoun. It can imply a formal singular, just as 'vous' in french can mean a formal singular or an informal plurality. OP is correct, please, read the "Usage" segment of the linked Wiki article.

Thanks, --Thisisthewill (talk) 17:44, 19 July 2010 (UTC)

'Vous' can also be used as a formal plural. 'French' should be capitalized. Singular 'they' is still contested (by admission of the very article you linked), so to declare it unilaterally "correct" and to think that a poorly-sourced Wikipedia page proves your point is not at all justified. Aren't you supposed to be a "Grammar Nazi"? — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 19:39, 10 January 2012 (UTC)

How to play rhythm guitar[edit]

As far as I'm aware, the sound for a rhytm guitar is achieved by playing a chord, is this correct? It needs to be made clearer Jackpot Den 13:47, 13 May 2006 (UTC)

Rhythm guitar is usually about playing a chord progression, but not always. If the accompaniment to a guitar solo is a riff (without chords), that part is often played by the rhythm guitarist. If I think of any examples, I'll post them. Boris B 02:27, 1 August 2006 (UTC)

Physical Differences[edit]

Are there any physical differences between a lead guitar and a rhythm guitar?

No, there are no physical differences between a lead guitar or a rhythm guitar. You can play rhythm or lead on any guitar. (fender stratocasters, fender telecasters, fender jaguars, gibson sg's, gibson firebirds, gibson explorers, gibson les pauls, etc) The difference is sonically. Example: the rhythm player may be playing a Fender Stratocaster and the tone controls may be set to where it has more bass and mid range on the neck pick up and the lead player who may be playing a Gibson Les Paul with the tone controls set to more mid range to high (trebel) on the bridge pick up to cut through the rest of the band for bite. (talk) 19:01, 14 April 2009 (UTC)Mike65.13.103.175 (talk) 19:01, 14 April 2009 (UTC)

Not clear[edit]

It isn't very clearly defined what is rhythm and what is lead. I had always been under the impression that the lead guitarist provided the signiture riff while the rhythm guitarist usually played what the lead singer sung. Yet this article seems to suggest the opposite. For instance, in Back in Black was the signiture riff the work of Angus Young (lead guitar) or of Malcolm Young (rhythm)? Was Keith Richards (I can't get no) Satisfaction riff considered lead or rhythm? YankeeDoodle14 05:43, 13 January 2007 (UTC)

The difference between lead and rhythm guitar is by no means black and white as this article seemed to stress before I did some somewhat heavy editing.

The terms "lead guitarist" or "rhythm guitarist" applied as adjective to any person should be avoided. The term "lead" and "rhythm" describe "roles" a guitarist and his/her instrument might fill at any given time during a performance, and freqently those roles change, overlap or are even duplicated during the performance of a song.

Rico402 (talk) 16:14, 18 April 2008 (UTC)

trends section[edit]

I have removed this as it's mostly nonsense. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 10:01, 12 September 2007 (UTC)

Acoustic or electric doesn't define instrument's role[edit]

Whether an instrument is acoustic or electric doesn't define it's role. In this context, consider how absurd the opening sentence begins: "Rhythm guitar is the use of most commonly an electric guitar or sometimes an acoustic guitar..."

Even with no hard data at my disposal to rely upon, if I were to make a reasonably well-informed estimate on the numbers of acoustic and electric guitars being played around the world at any given time, by everyone from the most raw amateur to the consummate professional, I'd venture the number of acoustic guitars would heavily outweigh the number of electric guitars. And among the guitarists playing those instruments, most would being playing essentially a rhythm sequence.

Rico402 (talk) 09:03, 18 April 2008 (UTC)

Solos not by definition "improvised"[edit]

It's inaccurate to refer to guitar solos as "improvised" or "improvisations". A solo passage on any instrument in any genre is often - and in most genres nearly always - rehearsed by the musician well ahead of a performance, and played in similar if not nearly identical fashion during subsequent performances, with alterations frequently accruing as the composition is repeated, although many musicians will often select from a catalogue of solos or phrases for solos during a performance. Even in jazz ensembles, musicians frequently include familiar phrases in the context of an improvised solo performance.

Rico402 (talk) 10:17, 18 April 2008 (UTC)

Equipment section needs work[edit]

Jeez-Louise have any of the contributors to this article other than myself ever even seen a guitarist or band perform? It sure doesn't read like it.

I'll re-write this section later.

Rico402 (talk) 15:45, 18 April 2008 (UTC)

Roles other than "guitarist" irrelevant to this article.[edit]

Whether a guitarist also sings or plays other instruments is irrelevant to this article. From 1972 on I've been associated with rock bands and acoustic combos whose rhythm guitarists nearly always played additional instruments during a performance, even within the context of a single composition. One "mainly rhythm" player in a rock band I worked with also played lead guitar, keyboard synths, violin and percussion, and sang lead and backing vocals as well. A rhythm guitarist in an acoustic combo I worked with a couple years ago did very nearly the same: everything but the syths, but also played harmonica. In fact, I can scarcely think of a rhythm guitarist I've worked with who did not also sing and/or play an additional instrument.

Given the above and the title of this article, it is simply unnecessary and inappropriate to list the other contributions a guitarist may bring to a performance.

Cheers, Rico402 (talk) 15:40, 21 July 2008 (UTC)

"and is used almost exclusively in folk music."[edit]

It's worded too broadly and thus incorrect. - Reanimated X (talk) 19:10, 7 September 2010 (UTC)

Well. this a nice article...[edit]

..about rock rhythm guitar. 1Z (talk) 01:21, 18 August 2011 (UTC)


who seriously thinks of Motörhead when hearing wall of sound? i"m sure almost everyone giving input on such a topic can think of better examples anyways, off the top of my head two obvious ones: Portal, Strapping Young Lad TheFIST (talk) 15:49, 8 June 2012 (UTC)

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