September 19th, 2011, 07:52 AM
About 50% of the services that I play, my role is to play rhythm (the other 50% I play lead). We typically have at least one key player, 1-2 acoustics, bass, and drums to hold down the rhythm & overall chord progression in addition to the electrics. Given all of this sonic foundation, we electrics have a little more leeway. However, in the context of modern worship, most rhythm work seems to be playing full chords.
How do you keep rhythm playing interesting in the context of modern worship?
September 19th, 2011, 08:27 AM
Accents, short melodic scale runs and arpeggios seems to be a common route most take. Have at it!
September 19th, 2011, 08:29 AM
I guess it depends upon what music you're playing... what style, and the arrangements, and most importantly, what the acoustic guitar(s) and keyboard players are doing. Unless you're doing New Christie Minstrels or Folk Mass, you may not need three guitars all playing chords in unison.
With drums, bass, acoustic and perhaps the keyboard player all holding down the rhythm and chord progression, why is there a need for the electric guitar to play chords? I would suggest playing arpeggios, but the keyboard may (or should be) doing the arpeggiating.
If it were me, I would want to play counterpoints, fills, and compliments to the vocals.
Here's my idea of electric guitar "rhythm" work. . It's not worship music, but Rags and Bones (http://youtu.be/oLRUUBjj7Sg) is an uptempo number with bass, drums, synthesizers, electric piano, with the electric guitar playing counterpoints. To me, this is electric rhythm guitar. Sounds to me like a Les Paul.
It Makes No Difference (http://youtu.be/L8psjQDqDsE) is a slow ballad with a descending bass line, not unlike some slow praise songs. Bass, drums, piano, and synthesizers. The electric guitar plays fills throughout that compliment, rather than step on, the vocals. Then he plays a solo, and then a counterpoint to the saxophone solo. Obviously a Strat.
September 19th, 2011, 03:44 PM
Man the way I keep the rhythm changed up is I use different chord variations. . . I play G chord in Open, at the 3rd fret, at the 3rd fret NOT using the bottom 2 strings, at the 7th fret in a D shape, at the 10th fret in a Barre, at the 12th fret with just barring the G B D string.... I try to know as many variations to each chord as I can and just go from there by hitting and picking on them, and I do a lot of pull offs and stuff during chord changes.... I do not know the real terminology sorry
September 19th, 2011, 04:04 PM
I would add one thing. I have been guilty of playing, even leading an entire worship set, and never once thinking of God, thinking only of my performance. That is really a sad confession. If the playing is easy, great time to get close to God, get into the words and the message, get into the worship. Work on your vocals, even if you are not a vocalist or miked.
September 19th, 2011, 05:03 PM
Good thread.... :)
Often times, I find myself as the only guitarist, with drums, bass, synth and piano. When we have another guitarist, he is usually on electric, so I switch over to acoustic to do more straight rhythm. But when I play electric, I enjoy adding flavor when I can (arpeggios and different chord shapes like mentioned above) being mindful of what is happening on the keys etc... and then digging in with more full-ish chords on the big parts.
Also, to keep the rhythm interesting, I really like either delay or tremolo when appropriate - especially with broken chords or arpeggios. Trem can add such nice movement to the sound without making it seem too busy (like delay can sometimes do).
September 19th, 2011, 06:18 PM
Triads. I play them higher up over our rhythm player's full chord rhythms to punch those parts.
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September 19th, 2011, 07:57 PM
Appreciate the input. In my situation, most time the two electrics are sonically out front. To keep it interesting, I use a lot of non-standard chord voicings (rarely open chords), inversions, & some arpeggios depending on the rest of the group and generally try to stay out of the way of the guy playing lead (which I appreciate when I'm doing lead) and hold my own sonic space. Keep the ideas flowing!
September 19th, 2011, 11:26 PM
Different guitars, 12 string acoustic and tele's and a lefty strat. Also some times the chords are linear runs up and down the neck, instead of just three chords across the top. Flip some diff effects for a diff feel... Actually I try to simplify everything I do, since I'm also the male lead singer... but it's an awesome thing to just FEEL when the dynamics are going to change and to be able to steer it vocally and with the rhythm guitar... everyone in the band kinda keys off of me, by their request my vocals and guitar are in all the monitors ( our setup, 2 guitars, a bass, acoustic piano, elec keyboard, a drummer and 2 singers, male and female) Really, some of my favorite parts are when there's no vocals and we're just jammin', and I can sneak in some riffs...
September 19th, 2011, 11:44 PM
Every chord resides in many places on the neck. Learn 'em and use 'em.
Listen to the way bobby weir plays rhythm with the dead.
The idea that you have to "strum" 3 or 4 chords "because that's what p and w guitar players do" is ridiculous and boring. Don't let anybody tell you that.
September 20th, 2011, 01:39 AM
I play in a band where the lead vocalist also plays acoustic and pretty much sticks to first position chords with the occasional barred F. What this means is that most of the time I'm playing lead. However, in a typical worship context, lead playing still has to be very rhythm centric. What I'm usually doing as the "lead" player in a worship band would most likely be considered rhythm in most other "rock and roll" settings.
My solution to keeping rhythm playing interesting is to never, EVER play full first position chords. Except when I do. That way I can use those big full open chords to make a statement in that one spot, in that one song where it really sounds great to have two guitars playing those chords together.
The rest of the time (95%) I use a combination of chords and shapes I've picked up from The Edge, Keith Richards and other great rock rhythm guitar players. Typically, two and three string chord shapes higher up on the neck. I also try and vary my strumming. Usually I'll try and follow the snare while the bass player is keying in on the kick drum.
This also allows me to switch to a true lead style when appropriate, without hearing the song die away when I quit playing my rhythm part. Something which tends to happen if your hammering away at cowboy chords.
September 22nd, 2011, 04:38 PM
If you know the music well, try adding fuller chords that still fit with what everybody else is playing, like use certain notes from the alternative 7th, it's built off the 3. Lots of tonal variations out there. It depends on whats going on with the other musicians mostly. I try to keep the frequencies of the vocalist open for mixing purposes, that way they cut through and can be isolated so u dont have to boost the volume to get a better mix. Also if u have 2 guitars playing chords, imho u should both be playing in different position for the sake of the mix. IMHO
October 7th, 2011, 11:03 AM
I'm in the youth P\W band at my church, and we have three guitarists. Two electrics and one acoustic. I come from a punk background so I like to palm muted a lot. Also just to mix it up I like to play different octaves from what everyone else is playing. For example, when everyone else plays E, instead of playing it normally I'll play a power chord E on the 7th fret of the A string. I think it gives the song a little more dynamics. Hope it helps atleast a little
November 9th, 2011, 05:46 PM
Accents, short melodic scale runs and arpeggios seems to be a common route most take.
you may not need three guitars all playing chords in unison.
Man the way I keep the rhythm changed up is I use different chord variations. . .
What THESE guys said...