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Which do you guys think is more important? Learning leads or learning rhythms


alcorn429

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I started playing with a group about 8 weeks ago and myself and the other guitarist have been having some disagreements over who would be playings lead parts and who would be rhythm. I've tried to learn in a balanced way but I'm better at playing rhythm because I'm more confident at it. I've kinda just geared my learning toward that when practicing on my own and then during my lessons i try to get help with solos during my lesson every week. I've seen some posts sayin rhythm is "dead" so I figured I'd ask. Which do you guys thing is the best to focus on?

 

Also, I'm kinda lookin to start playin some Zepplin. So if anyone has any suggestions on songs and or tab books to look at, I would greatly appreciate it.

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Learning rhythm is more important IMO. You should learn the rhythm part, and once that's mastered, learn the lead.

 

In my case, I like to be creative and improvise, so I usually just solo in the same key of the song, that way I don't have to learn the lead, and I get to be more creative and have my own style. I play solo's similiar to a song, the same feel, but in my own way.

 

As for Zeppelin stuff, just google tabs for songs, and find one that sounds good to you, or if they have "star" rating accuracy, find one with a high star marking.

 

Good Luck!

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One thing the guitar can do that most instruments can't do is play chords. (Keyboards are one exception). You and the other guitarist should be able to switch back and forth between lead and rhythm effortlessly.

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Some of rock's best "lead players" were really amazing at playing rhythm....Hendrix, Van Halen, Page, Rhoades, etc. I remember when I arrived at college, and a guy saw me with my ax and said "whaddaya play, lead or rhythm." I simply replied "Neither. I play guitar."

 

Seriously, the most interesting parts of most rock/pop songs are the rhythm parts, especially when you get into inversions, voice leading, substitutions and mixing chords and single-note riffs. And, most of the really great leads are played over interesting rhythm guitar parts and/or chord progressions.

 

Plus, if you've ever sat around and played solo guitar, there's nothing better than being able to 'combine' lead and rhythm parts, something you'll have a much more difficult time doing simply by copping solos.

 

My $.02.

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Rhythm! Got to have that! Leads..as fun as they are, are totally optional.

Too many soloists play solos WAY too long. Especially younger, more inexperienced

players. It may be a "kick" for the player, but the audience soon tires of excessive,

and/or unstructured leads...guitar, sax, trumpet, anything. It's often, not what you play,

but what you don't play...knowing when NOT to play, and using "leads" judiciously.

Otherwise, it seems way too much like "musical masturbation!" Rhythm drives a song,

and allows the singing, and forms it's "groove!" "Leads" are like punctuation, or should be, anyway...

IMHO. Also, as has been previously stated, great guitar players are equally edept, at BOTH...

often blurring the line, even.

 

CB

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rhythm is "dead"??????

 

Er... Keith Richards, Hendrix, Jimmy Page ....? IMO rhythm is not just about chords. Some of the greatest riffs ever are down to rhythm techniques.

 

I also agree with all of the other posts. Learn your chords first, then move onto lead.

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Great topic! Two guitar players in a band need to work together. If you compete, the sound suffers. There's room for both, but with some caveats. You should play in different registers, never chunking out the same chord at the same time. If your bandmate is playing open chords, you should be playing bar chords or two note bass string rhythm. If you work together, you can find complimentary riffs, chords, and solo opportunities that combine to form pleasing passages.

 

Rhythm is basic stuff and builds the foundation. Solos and fill riffs are icing on the cake. Too much is distracting, too little is boring. And, dead air is a good thing in the right places. If the other guitar player is chunking away on a chord, you could lay back and add some accent chords.

 

Inside chords are great as well. You can punctuate the sound by using variations on six string chords to add color to the mix. Lead-in two note riffs are nice. If you are doing covers, listen to the song carefully with headphones. What are the guitar players doing simultaneusly? If you are a cover band, you need to cover it well and that means copying what is on the original recording. Free form expression is great and you'll hear that in concert CDs, but don't free form it to the point that the audience wonders "What the heck song is that?" Get the TAB and learn it, THEN add your own expression, but learn it before you decide to play your own version.

 

Bottom line, learn the rhythm first, and if you can, learn the lead. If one of you are sick one night, the other has to pick up the slack. Don't wait until you have to play everything on 60 songs to try to catch up.

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By reading these posts I think you will gather that Rhythm is first to be learnt, solo's are great fun but can take a lot more time to master. Don't stop learning solo's however, I love solo's (small ones) but also really love great rhythm riffs, think of some of you favourate songs what stands out the most?

 

It's your choice but most all of us have said rhythm first, some one has already said to improvise the solo in the key of the song, that is another fun part of playing a guitar, making your own solo.

 

If some one wants to do solo's really bad let them (if they mess up it really stands out a rhythm guitarist can get away with a OOPPSS), you can always add some nifty riffs under them which can sound really cool.

 

My .02 worth

which is deflated at the moment

 

Cheers Ken.

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Rhythm. The world is full of wankers.

 

When I was starting out on guitar, I read an interview with Jim Hendrix where he said something like, "Lots of cats can play lead, but the rhythm is the important thing." I took those words to heart. Of course, I do need a reminder from time to time...

 

A few years ago, I was doing a studio session with a producer here in St. Paul. I was overdubbing a solo, and he had me do several passes at it. I wasn't sure what he was looking for, so I was pulling out my bag of tricks. He came out and told me, "You know what? The problem is you're trying to blow people away with the solo. Well, the world's already BEEN blown away...and by people much better than you. So given that, why not play something that is rhythmic and on the beat?"

 

The light bulb went on over my head. I played a stripped down solo with double stops and nailed it in a couple of takes.

 

There are tons of guys who can play at blinding speed...and are legends in their own basements. The guitar player who can play the rhythm and support the music...they're out gigging in front of people. I know where I'd rather be.

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I jam with my best friend and fellow guitar player regularly, going on 20 years. When we started playing together, there was no discussion as to who would do leads or rhythm. I love chords and arpeggios, and he's better at the soloing stuff. I can't read notes worth a damn, and he's had lessons and knows a lot more theory than I do. Yet, when we jam, it's sort of that Rolling Stones vibe, where it sounds like one guitar. We don't step on each other's toes, preferring to allow each other the space to play what we feel.

It's not like this with everyone. I've played with musicians where the vibe is not there at all. In my opinion, most people remember a good rhythm over a blazing solo anyway.

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a wise old music teacher/friend told me that a musician should be able to play on his own just using chords and the voice. therefore, rhythm and vocal structure are important in order to get a feel and understanding of music's overall structure. lead and soloing is not essential but, can be very tasty. like icing on cake.

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