Guitar Essentials: Six Required Techniques for Rhythm Guitarists

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Angus Young has said his brother Malcolm was a better guitarist, because although Angus could solo, it was Malcolm whose rhythm playing held the band together.

“Sometimes I look at Malcolm while he's playing, and I'm completely awestruck by the sheer power of it,” Angus wrote in his “Let There Be Rock” column for Guitar World magazine. He's doing something much more unique than what I do—with that raw, natural sound of his.”

That said, rhythm guitarists rarely get their due, and many rhythm players are themselves unaware of all the possibilities they have with their role in a band.

Which brings us to the video shown below. In it, Jim Lill outlines “six go-to moves” that every good rhythm guitarist should know.

“Rhythm section tightness doesn't just come with more band practices,” Jim notes in his YouTube post. “It comes with discipline, sudying, and memorization by the members of the rhythm section. There is a big difference between changing chords on the 3+ of the bar and the 4 of the bar. If you take the time to learn the song and step up to the plate to make sure the bass player and drummer are learning the song, it'll make you and your band streets ahead.”

In addition to his YouTube channel, Jim has now has a page on, where he’s offering gear giveaways, Skype lessons, guests passes, and more. We encourage you to check out both for more of his informative videos.

While you’re at it, take a look at his Guitar-Lick-A-Day Instagram, where you can learn a new lick every day, with tab available for each lick.

Then head over to Jim’s website, where you can find more lessons and MP3s and purchase his e-book, The Graphic Guide to Country Guitar. You can also join his mailing list to get immediate updates on videos.