Anonymous asked in Entertainment & MusicMusicRock and Pop · 2 months ago

Are rhythm guitarists pointless and worthless?

Is a rhythm guitar player the outcast of a rock band? He strums an array of chords, keeps time and "drives the song." So what? The lead guitarist (aka the GUITARIST) does all that too, plus he plays all those amazing solos and licks, which the rhythm guitarist can't even do!

The bassist is the backbone of a band (ditto the drummer). The (lead) guitarist is the star musician, and the audience us often fixated on the singer. The rhythm guitarist? Just a poser and generally unloved. 

13 Answers

  • 2 months ago

    It's obvious you know nothing about music. By what criteria do you judge a rhythm player to state that he/she cannot play solo? Every band member plays a part, that does not mean that they're limited in talent. Also, who are you to refer to another human being as useless and worthless?

  • 2 months ago

    Oh look, another little kid who just learned his first minor scale!  

    Thanks for the laugh, junior.

  • Nope. Johnny Marr is a legend.

  • 2 months ago

    Pssshhh...rhythm guitarists do more than simply "strum chords". Rhythm guitarists are far from pointless. There are a lot of rhythm guitarists that made very important contributions to their band's music. Look at Malcolm Young from AC/DC. He was the driving force of the classic era of AC/DC. Or how about James Hetfield from Metallica. Yeah, he's the singer of the band too, but his rhythm playing is a HUGE part of Metallica's sound. So to say that rhythm guitarists are pointless is completely idiotic!

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  • Anonymous
    2 months ago

    Depends on the music. The rhythm guitar can add texture and complexity to the song. It is also pretty hard to play lead guitar and sing at the same time. So, a singer may play rhythm guitar and sing and let his bandmate play lead. 

  • 2 months ago

    Nothing is pointless, I don't think

  • Andrew
    Lv 7
    2 months ago

    Your assessment is laughable. The ignorance you've displayed is truly astounding. Where to even begin with this nonsense... Not all rhythm guitarists "strum chords." That's because there are many different kinds of songs out there - some require single notes - arpeggios, tremolo picking, etc. To suggest that each and every song that has ever been written can be played by strumming chords is just ridiculous. Secondly, the melody is what makes a song a song. It's what gives the song life and character. Many songs share the same basic beat so the drum track from one could easily be transferred to the next. Many basslines are extremely similar. There are even songs out there that have a similar vocal line. But the melody is what makes a song distinct. 

    If you think that all lead guitarists are capable of doing what a good rhythm guitarist can do, you're mad. I doubt Malcolm Young could have played a lead that would rival something Angus could play, but Angus isn't half the rhythm player his brother was. Many lead guitarists don't double the rhythm part - they complement it by playing something that goes along with it, but they don't just play the same exact notes. Haven't you ever seen a band with two guitarists live? Only an idiot would think that music is that formulaic and predictable and unimaginative. 

    I can prove that rhythm guitarists are far more important than lead guitarists by pointing out the plain and simple fact that while it's certainly possible for a band to get by without someone to play leads, they're certainly not going to sound good without a rhythm guitarist. Just because you might personally idolise lead players and fixate on the singer, that certainly doesn't mean that the rest of us do. 

    Most people don't have any idea what goes in to great rhythm playing. Some rhythms are incredibly intricate and complex and extremely difficult to play, not to mention the fact that a rhythm guitarist has to have perfect timing and be able to play those complicated parts over and over and over again while the lead guitarist gets a whiddly diddly solo or two. 

    I've been playing guitar for over 25 years and I'm no slouch when it comes to leads. I still think being a standout rhythm guitarist is a much greater honour than being a snazzy lead player and that the really talented ones who are recognised for being particularly skillful are pound for pound just as accomplished musicians as the lead guitarists people put up on a pedestal. 

    And only poseurs spell it "poser." 

    If you're so confident in these silly opinions why were you compelled to post this tripe anonymously like a spineless coward?

  • ?
    Lv 4
    2 months ago

    Don't you have school work or chores to be getting on with?

  • 2 months ago

    Many great songs wouldn't be half as great as they are without the rhythm guitar.

  • ?
    Lv 7
    2 months ago

    As is the case with any members of a band, it is more how each part is used in the whole. Different songs, different bands may base the part of each musician differently to suit the tune or tunes they play. This can be the base of the sound a band makes, for instance Led Zeppelin .... where would they be without Jimmy Page's part up front ? Others may base their sound on a driving bass line. Where would ZZ Top be without Dusty Hill playing the rhythm line on his bass ? OH, come on ... Dusty is just flat out COOL. Here is a case where the rhythm guitar carries the entire tune, and does ALL the work.

    This is Austin Jenkins playing rhythm, one of the BEST.

    Youtube thumbnail

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