How to Play Rhythm Guitar Creating Dynamic in Your Rhythm Guitar Playing

by | Dec, 2019 | Blog

Creating Rhythmic Changes.

Using rhythmic changes in your guitar rhythm playing is one of the easiest ways to create dynamics. Modifying a simple rhythm from straight eight notes to using an offbeat rhythm pattern will create an interesting effect to liven up your playing.

This technique is called syncopation and not only is it difficult but if you have a mediocre timing it will be a difficult task for you to complete.

This technique is used a lot in jazz guitar playing in a band context. The rhythm guitar player will sometimes play off the beat while the bass player and the drummer are playing on the beat.

Sometimes even the lead guitar player will be playing off the beat while the rhythm, bass, and drums are playing on the beat, again this creates interesting dynamics in a band context.

By altering the number of notes you play in a single bar while playing lead guitar you can create interesting rhythm sounds. For instance, in a technique called 7 over 4 you play 7 notes within a single bar of 4/4 music. This causes a turn around every 3 measures. Play with these different ideas to create interesting dynamics in your playing.

How to Play Rhythm Guitar.

Guitar Rhythm & Technique FD (For Dummies)
  • For Dummies
  • Serna, Desi (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 216 Pages - 04/27/2015 (Publication Date) - For Dummies (Publisher)

Changing Your Guitar Tone.

Use your pick to create changes in volume and the sound of the strings with your pick. By picking the strings very hard you will get a snap sound added to the note to give it a percussive feel. Stevie Ray Vaughn was known for this percussive sound. You can also play very softly creating a gentle sound for smooth almost romantic settings.

You can also choose to use different picks. Picks are made of many different materials and are available in different thicknesses. If you are playing an acoustic rhythm guitar you may prefer a light pick to get a little slap to the sound of the strum. If you are playing lead guitar you may prefer a heavier pick to allow for faster response time when playing fast.

If you are playing the electric guitar you can adjust your tone and volume knobs to create interesting dynamics in the sonic space. Listen to the other sounds in the band. Does it need more highs or lows? Adjust your tone and volume knobs to accommodate the missing elements or to stand out more or less.

Beginner Lead Guitar Method: Learn to play guitar solos - The musical way (play rock...
  • Pratt, Mr Simon (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 120 Pages - 04/01/2019 (Publication Date) - (Publisher)

Dynamics in a Band Setting.

While playing in a band you should start to consider the dynamics of each song. Analyze the song from beginning to end and pay attention to the flow of the song. Like a movie a good song will tell a story beginning with an intro, building on the story and then somewhere along the lines there is a climax and finishing with a resolution.

The band should be able to mimic this flow in a song context with different dynamic techniques. Starting out maybe not all the instruments are playing and they all come in later in the song. Sometimes the guitar will kick in some distortion during the climax of the song or the guitar can start out playing single notes and build towards playing full chords as the song moves along.

The number of ways to use dynamics is literally only hindered by your own imagination. The possibilities are limitless. Take time in your practice routine to think about the dynamics of your playing and work towards building new techniques into your repertoire.

Also, take time to analyze other players and songs and pay attention to dynamics. You’ll be amazed at what starts popping out at you that you never noticed before.
Source by Derek A Odiorne