Learning how to play electric guitar can be a challenging, yet very rewarding thing to do. It can be fairly easy to pick up the basics though, and actually, with the right guidance, you could be playing some of your favorite songs in next to no time. To get on the game and fully master the instrument however, can take years of practice and dedication; indeed, it can take an entire lifetime. How far you want to take it is up to you. In this article, we are going to discuss some of the key things you will have to know if you want to learn how to play electric guitar, and cover some of the techniques that are used by professional guitarists.
An electric guitar is a very versatile instrument, and it can be heard in many different styles of music. Whatever the type of music though, broadly speaking the electric guitar will usually fulfill one of two roles – either that of an accompaniment or rhythm instrument, or that of a solo or lead instrument. First of all then, I will explain briefly how to play electric guitar effectively as a rhythm instrument, to accompany a solo voice or any lead instrument.
The rhythm guitar forms part of the rhythm section of a band, usually along with the drums and bass guitar. The role of the rhythm section is to provide a backing over which the lead instruments or voices can be played or sung. Because of this, it is very important for all instruments in the rhythm section to play together in perfect time, in order to keep a steady tempo to what is being played. If you hear a band with a good, tight, rhythm section, it is a sure sign that they are very competent musicians, whereas one of the biggest giveaways of a starter band is sloppy timing amongst its rhythm players. To achieve good timing when learning how to play electric guitar you should always use a metronome when practicing. This will make you sound much more professional when you come to play in a band.
You will find that in a lot of music, the role of the rhythm guitar is primarily to play chords in a rhythmic pattern so, for this reason, learning as many chords as possible, and being able to change between them fluently is an essential part of learning how to play electric guitar. You will need to learn different strumming patterns and rhythms as well as the chords themselves, but strumming is not the only way chords can be played. Particular notes of the chord can also be picked, one at a time, either with the fingers or with a pick, as arpeggios, or broken chords. This is another very common thing to hear rhythm guitarists playing. It is a lot more difficult than simply strumming in time, so will require a lot of practice. A lot of care are should be taken to play all the notes cleanly and evenly, and in time, in order to sound professional.
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