One of the greatest, but also most perplexing, things about guitar playing is that it can be as simple or as complicated as you want it to be. And, as a result, your relationship with the guitar will inevitably ebb and flow over time. There are many paths and avenues you can take with your playing approach and sound. Want to learn your favourite solo note for note? Go for it. Trying to develop your own versatile style by studying parts of different genres? Knock yourself out. But there’s one universal guitar truth that should always be your guide in everything you play: rhythm.
The mainstream idea of a great guitar player can often be dominated by the expectation to hear head-turning lead pyrotechnics, but we all know there’s much more going on than that. Eddie Van Halen, Jimi, SRV – all great rhythm players first and foremost. And it was their use of rhythmic dynamics, original ideas and their relationship with other instruments in their bands that enhanced the unique character of their playing. And you can inject so much personality and nuance into your own rhythm work because there are so many facets to it. That’s why we’ve taken a toolkit approach in our feature; studying the signature rhythm techniques of great players so you can create your own palette of rhythm tricks that will make you a better guitar player.
And talking about players with big personalities, this issue is also proud to host Billy F Gibbons talking blues with his esteemed bandmates in our round table feature, and Billy Corgan returning with a reunited and reenergised Pumpkins. I hope you enjoy it all.