Welcome to Masters of Rhythm Guitar.
Even though since Chuck Berry (or at the latest, since Jimi Hendrix) there has been no such thing as pure "rhythm guitar" or "lead guitar", the guitarist today spends most of his time working on improving his solo playing. There are countless books and methods for every imagineable style with which one can learn "how to play great guitar solos". Although this is extremely worthwhile and important, rhythm guitar often gets the "short end of the stick", despite the fact that in almost any playing situation, rhythm playing is 90 % of the job. And, just by the way, consider this: if you play a wrong note in a solo, only a few listeners are likeley to notice. If you, on the other hand, loose the groove, everybody notices! So, in rhythm playing there is, in fact, a lot to do.
My intention with this book is to expand your repertoire of authentic rhythm grooves in a number of popular styles. Using different examples of the playing styles of the influential guitarists, I'll show their characteristic sounds, playing techniques and harmonic approaches. This, combined with background information and a discography will provide you with a comprehensive view of the work of each guitarist. This book should serve as a reference work which you can draw on as you need or choose to.
The great number of musical styles and guitarists make it almost impossible to write a definitive work on the stylistic development of rhythm guitar. To keep a reasonable amount of control over this project, I've restricted my choice to 22 "masters of rhythm guitar". The playing of these guitarists, which has been just as important to the success of record production as the lead guitar work, has made the guitar into one of the most important elements in music and is responsible for rock's establishment and subsequent development.
Mixing many different musical styles together came naturally to me, as I personally don't generally categorize music so much by style, as by whether it is good or bad music. All styles have their own worth and influence each other. It often happens that one style flows over into the other or that two styles join forming a new one. A clear separation between musical styles is simply impossible to make. Terms like rock, soul or jazz, or the order in which they appear when combined, are in this book only "working" expressions used for the purpose of organization.
However you choose to work with this book, I hope you have fun reading, listening and playing. With the necessary diligence and patience you'll find that a well rounded vocabulary of rhythmic ideas will become available to you, leading you to success in the studio, in bands or as a teacher.