Guitar lessons: In this lesson we look at three general concepts for rhythm guitar. The first is the idea of combining rhythm guitar and lead.
Most musicians do it and groups with only one guitarist are the main representatives: Rush, Van Halen and Jimi Hendrix for example. This is a broad subject, so it may be best to focus your practice on rhythm and direction separately and rely on inspiration to put your ideas together.
We are also looking for odd and sixteenth note style funk beats. And if you’re bitten by the weather bug, Soundgarden’s Outshined weaves the 7/4, 4/4, 6/4, and 5/8 time signatures, so it’s a good idea to dive into it!
1. Combine rhythm and lead guitar
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Few guitarists are as adept at combining rhythm and lead as Eddie Van Halen. Our EVH-inspired line features melodic flourishes at the end of bars 2 and 4. It’s a great way to kick-start your riffs, so if you’re struggling, try skipping the chord. D previous to start rather than abandoning the colorful melodic pieces.
2. Odd hour
Any guitarist working on their rhythm skills should think about common time and odd time. The first is the 4/4 beat, where you typically count to four to keep the beat.
Our riff is in the “odd” time signature of 5/4, so you count to five. Listen to bands like Soundgarden and Rush for some weird time inspiration.
3. Be funky
Nile Rodgers and his Fender Stratocaster (nicknamed ‘The Hitmaker’) have featured on countless top 40 hits, first with Chic but also with Duran Duran, David Bowie and Daft Punk.
You will need a stable down-up style strumming approach to get closer to his style. Try to hit only two or three strings at a time for full funky effect.