Common Rhythm Guitar Problems
There are common issues rhythm guitar players face that come up again and again. Often, just noticing these issues exist is the first step towards implementing a solution. Sometimes, an experienced teacher can help you notice issues you didn’t know you had.
Here is a short list of some common problems Rhythm Guitarists face, and how to solve them.
1. The rhythm guitar part clashes with the vocals, or doesn’t sit with the rest of the band.
This is very common. The guitarist has some awesome riff, but in the context of the band it somehow is missing something. That is actually the opposite. In fact, it probably has TOO much of a good thing. The first thing the guitarist should do is listen to what the drummer is playing, then cut their riff to fit with the drums better. This might mean making significant change, but in the end, does the song sound better? If yes, that is the correct move.
2. The rhythm guitar tone gets lost in the mix of 2 guitars, drums, vocals, keyboards.
Another common issue. The solution is NOT more volume. The only thing that happens when doing this is what I like to call the band loudness war. Whoever can get the loudest is the only one that’s heard. First thing to check is your guitar tone. Is it similar to the other guy? Change it. Make each guitar a much more distinctive voice, instead of a wall of sound. How about the part you’re playing? Is it the same as the other guitar? Play it up or down and octave. Are you clashing with the bass? Less bass, more mid. Mids are what the guitar is. Even if you’re tuned down, your mids will cut through and your bass will compete with the actual bassist.
3. My rhythm tone sounds great by itself, but in a band context it doesn’t work.
You likely have too much of a good thing. Too much reverb, delay, distortion, chorus. All those things make your tone sound cool, but also muddy in context at times. Experiment with turning anything non-essential OFF.
Although there are many more problems that occur, these 3 are the most common. What types of problems have you encountered?