best rhythm guitar

How To Choose The Best Rhythm Guitar For Beginners – Top Reviewed

If you are a beginner guitarist, then you might be wondering what the best rhythm guitar is for you.

There are a few things to consider when choosing a guitar, such as the style of music you want to play, the type of guitar, and of course your budget.

It’s important to also know what role you are looking for when playing the guitar.

In this article, we will go over some of the best rhythm guitars for beginners so that you can make an informed decision on which one to purchase.

We will also discuss some pros and cons of each so that you can get a better idea of which guitar is the best fit for you.

Why is Rhythm Guitar Important?

Rhythm guitar is an important element in almost any style of music.

It provides the foundation that the other instruments build upon, and it can also be used to create a variety of different textures and rhythms.

Rhythm guitarists often use a variety of techniques, such as strumming, picking, and palm-muting, to add interest and variety to their playing.

In addition, rhythm guitarists often have to switch between different chords quickly and accurately.

If you’d like to learn more about chords, check out our article here: 7 Guitar Chords that a Beginner Should Know!

What to Look for When Choosing a Rhythm Guitar

Rhythm guitars are the backbone of any good band.

They lay down the beat and keep the groove going.

But how do you choose a rhythm guitar that’s right for you?

Here are a few things to look for:

Style of Music You Want to Play

First, consider the type of music you want to play.

Rhythm guitars come in all shapes and sizes, from the acoustic guitar, acoustic electric, to electric guitars.

Each has its own advantages and disadvantages, so it’s important to pick the one that’s best suited for the style of music you want to play.

Budget

Next, take a look at your budget. Rhythm guitars can range in price from hundreds of dollars to thousands of dollars.

Again, it’s important to pick one that’s within your budget so you don’t end up overspending.

Tone

The tone of a guitar is important, especially if you’re looking to eventually play lead guitar as well.

Some guitars have a brighter sound, while others have a darker sound.

It’s important to experiment with different tones to find the one that’s right for you.

Pickups

Pickups are an important consideration, especially if you’re looking for an electric guitar.

There are a variety of pickups available, from single coils to humbuckers. Each has its own unique sound, so it’s important to experiment with different pickups to find the one that’s right for you.

You can check out our article on pickups right here: Types of Pickups explained.

What I Look For

Okay, but what do I personally look for in a rhythm guitar?

This is what I look for:

  • Bold Sound
  • Larger Size Frets
  • Humbucker Pickups
  • Solid Body Type
  • Fixed Bridge

To each their own with regards to the semi-hollow or solid body.

However, I like the bigger sound the solid body guitars make and mixed with a good humbucker your going to be able to really lay down a nice foundation for the rhythm section.

Now that doesn’t mean the list won’t have a single-coil guitar. That is just my personal preference.

Does a Rhythm Guitar Player Exist in All Musical Genres?

Rhythm guitarists are the backbone of any band.

They provide the driving force behind the music, keeping the beat and propelling the song forward. But what happens when a band doesn’t have a rhythm guitarist?

Is it possible to create great music without one?

It turns out that rhythm guitarists exist in all musical genres, from country to metal.

They may not always be called “rhythm guitarists,” but their role is the same: to keep the band locked into a groove and moving forward.

In some cases, the lead guitarist may also double as the Rhythm guitarist, providing both lead and rhythm parts.

In other cases, the bassist may take on this role. But no matter who is playing it, the Rhythm Guitar is an essential part of any band.

Acoustic or Electric

Another thing you will have to decide on as to if you want an acoustic or electric guitar for playing rhythm.

I have both and I enjoy the acoustic for its unplugged sound. However, if you are in a band chances are you will have to go with an electric.

You can read more about that decision here: Acoustic or Electric Guitar – The Ultimate Guide.

Our Top Picks For Rhythm Guitar

Now let’s look at our top picks for the best rhythm guitar.

Epiphone Les Paul Standard

The Les Paul Standard is one of the most iconic electric guitars out there, and for good reason.

With its humbucking pickups and classic Les Paul body, this guitar can dish out some serious sound.

You’ll love the minimal feedback when you plug it in, and the 3-way pickup switch makes it easy to get the sound you want.

Whether you’re playing heavy metal or just jamming with friends, the Les Paul Standard is a great choice.

Pros

  • Iconic electric guitar with great sound
  • Humbucking pickups for minimal feedback
  • 3-way pickup switch for easy sound control
  • Classic Les Paul body style

Cons

  • Higher tier range of cost for an Epiphone Les Paul

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Fender Player Telecaster HH Electric Guitar

The Fender Player Telecaster HH Electric Guitar is a great choice for any musician looking for an instrument that provides authentic Fender tone with a punch.

This guitar features two Player Series humbucking pickups for crystal-clear sound and modern C”-Shaped neck profile for easy playability.

The hardtail bridge with bent-steel saddles also provides excellent sustain and intonation.

Pros

  • Authentic Fender sound
  • 2 Player Series humbucking pickups for clear sound
  • Modern C”-Shaped neck profile for easy playability
  • Hardtail bridge with bent-steel saddles for excellent sustain and intonation

Cons

  • Not ideal for heavier music

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Squier J Mascis Signature Series Jazzmaster

Are you looking for a guitar that can do it all?

Then you need the Squier J Mascis Signature Series Jazzmaster.

This signature model is from the Dinosaur Jr frontman.

This guitar is perfect for any music genre.

With two single-coil pickups and a classic dual-circuit design, this guitar has all the power and versatility you need.

Plus, the adjusto-matic bridge and vintage-style tremolo tailpiece make it easy to get the perfect sound every time.

So if you’re looking for a guitar that can do it all, the Squier J Mascis Signature Series Jazzmaster is a perfect choice.

Pros

  • Can do it all
  • Two single-coil pickups
  • Classic dual-circuit design
  • Adjusto-matic bridge and vintage-style tremolo tailpiece make it easy to get the perfect sound every time

Cons

  • Action may need to be adjusted

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Ibanez Artcore Series Hollowbody Electric Guitar

I wanted to include a hollow body even though I would prefer a solid body.

However, some may be playing blues or jazz, and a guitar like this might be looking at.

The Ibanez Artcore Series Hollowbody Electric Guitar is a truly unique and beautiful instrument.

With its full-hollow body and maple top, it has a warm tone that is perfect for rock, blues, and jazz.

The beautiful flat black finish with gold trim is sure to turn heads whenever you play.

Pros

  • Full-hollow body for a warm tone
  • Maple top for a beautiful look
  • Perfect for rock, blues, and jazz
  • Flat black finish with gold trim is eye-catching

Con

  • Hollowbody tends to cause more feedback

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ESP LTD EC-256 Electric Guitar

Looking for an affordable way to get into the look and feel of an all-time great guitar?

Check out the ESP LTD EC-256 Electric Guitar.

This single-cutaway guitar features a mahogany body and neck for great sound and sustain.

Plus, it comes equipped with ESP Designed LH-150 passive pickups for even more tone options.

And for added durability, the EC-256 features set-neck construction and a three-piece neck.

So whether you’re a beginner or a seasoned pro, this guitar is a great option for any style of music.

Pros

  • Single-cutaway guitar with great sound and sustain
  • ESP Designed LH-150 passive pickups for even more tone options
  • Set-neck construction for added durability
  • Three-piece neck for a great feel

Con

  • None

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Is There Anything Additional That You Need To Play Rhythm Guitar?

Obviously, the guitar is the main piece of equipment needed. However, there are always accessories that you can purchase in addition.

Guitar Strings

While not technically an accessory, guitar strings are a necessity.

They come in different gauges and materials, so you’ll want to experiment to find what works best for you.

Guitar Picks

Picks come in different shapes, sizes, and thicknesses. Again, it’s all about personal preference. However, I recommend starting with a medium-gauge pick.

Guitar Strap

You’ll need a strap to keep your guitar in place while you’re playing.

There are many different styles and materials available, so take your time in choosing one that’s comfortable for you.

Guitar Amp

An amplifier is not strictly necessary, but it will allow you to play your guitar at a higher volume.

There are many different types and sizes of amps available, so you’ll need to decide what’s right for you based on your budget and needs.

Guitar Effects Pedals

Effects pedals are not necessary, but they can be a lot of fun to experiment with.

There are many different types of effects pedals available, so you’ll want to do some research to find the ones that interest you.

What Is The Difference Between Lead Guitar and Rhythm Guitar?

Rhythm guitar is the foundation of any band. It provides the basic beat and pulse that drives the music.

Lead guitar, on the other hand, is used to provide solos and embellishments. While both roles are important, they require different skills and techniques.

Rhythm guitarists need to be able to keep a steady rhythm, while lead guitarists need to be able to improvise and create interesting melodies.

In addition, rhythm guitarists need to be able to play chords, while lead guitarists need to be able to play single notes.

As a result, each role demands a different set of skills and abilities.

While both lead and rhythm guitarists are essential to any band, they play very different roles.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is There Any Shame in Being Strictly a Rhythm Guitar Player?

You know I struggled with this for years when I was in a band.

The answer is NO!

There’s a lot to be said for being a rhythm guitar player.

For one thing, it’s a vital role in any band.

Without a strong rhythm section, the whole thing falls apart.

Plus, it’s a great way to stay in shape – you get a workout just by standing there and strumming away.

The only downside is that the lead guitarists will get the accolades. However, more two-guitar bands have the rhythm guitarist as the singer and songwriter.

There is something to be said for both.

Rhythm guitar players are an essential part of any band. Without their steady beat, the music would quickly fall apart.

Rhythm guitarists are the unsung heroes of the music world, and their contribution should not be underestimated.

As a result, there is no shame in being a rhythm guitarist; in fact, it is something to be proud of.

Does a Rhythm Guitarist Play Solos?

Some rhythm guitarists may occasionally play a fill or lead riff during a song.

Fills are usually brief passages that help to transition between sections of a song.

Lead riffs are more extended solos that are often played over the top of the main chord progression.

Ultimately, whether or not a rhythm guitarist plays solos is up to the individual musician and the style of music being performed.

Rhythm guitarists play an important role in any band or musical group. Their primary responsibility is to provide the main Rhythm or pulse of the music.

This can be accomplished by playing chords, strumming, or picking patterns.

While Rhythm guitarists typically do not play Solos, there are exceptions to this rule.

What Makes For Good Rhythm Guitar Playing?

Timing and you guessed it….rhythm.

They must be able to play tightly with the drummer.

They also need to be able to switch between different rhythms quickly and easily, as the song may require.

In addition, rhythm guitarists need to have a good ear for harmony, as they often double or provide accompaniment for the lead guitarist or vocalist.

A good sense of dynamics is also important, as too much or too little volume can throw off the whole band.

With all of these elements combined, a good rhythm guitarist is an essential part of any successful band.

Who are Some of The Greatest Rhythm Guitarists of All Time?

It’s such a subjective question as everyone will coin what one means by “greatest” differently.

With that said, I will list some of my favorites.

John Lennon – The Beatles

James Hetfield – Metallica

Scott Ian – Anthrax

Johnny Ramone – Ramones

Joe Strummer (kind of in the name right?) – The Clash

Malcolm Young – AC/DC

All of these guitar players have something in common.

Precise timing!

This leads to perfect rhythm guitar playing.

They were/are the backbone of their rock and roll bands and you can see how it transcends to the different genres such as metal, punk, hard rock, etc.

Final Thoughts

So, there you have it.

Our guide to choosing the best rhythm guitar for beginners.

We looked at some top choices and discussed the pros and cons.

Then there were some heart-to-heart chats about if there is any shame in being a rhythm guitar player.

Remember there isn’t. In fact, this is the form of guitar that I’ve learned to love as it was my role in the band.

My guitar teacher once told me that there are two types of guitarists:

  1. The freak of nature virtuoso type that dedicates themselves to learning every aspect of the guitar.
  2. The timing and rhythm specialist tends to be more of a songwriter and composer.

At the end of the day, both are great places to be!

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And finally, good luck on your musical journey and HAVE FUN!

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Frank DeMaria

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