Stop spending all your practice time on soloing: rhythm playing is even more important – and embellishing chords will seriously up your game

John Mayer
John Mayer is a master of adding hammer-ons and pull-offs to add interest to his chord work (Image credit: Kevin Winter/Getty Images for LiveNation)

Rhythm guitar can be an overlooked part of an electric guitar player’s skill set, with soloing taking the lion’s share of valuable practice time. However, all of us guilty of this should redress that deficit, as the rhythm element is vitally important, and immensely satisfying when played well.

Listening to great rhythm guitarists is an education in itself, as they seem to create layers of often sublime chords combining different technical and musical approaches.

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Andy Saphir

Andy Saphir has been a professional guitar player and teacher for over 25 years. Graduating with distinction from London’s prestigious Guitar Institute in 1995, he has gone on to gain a reputation as one of the UK’s top country guitarists. Specialising in country and blues, Andy is a versatile, multi-genre player and has a successful international performing career, touring with numerous shows and bands, including the Blues Brothers Approved. Andy taught on the guitar faculty at London’s ICMP for many years, and is a longtime contributor to Guitar Techniques Magazine, as well as being a Jam Track Central artist. Andy teaches in-person guitar lessons from Cambridgeshire UK, or remotely globally.