Better to Have Good Rhythm Rather than Bad Lead

I was figuring out some riffs for songs this Sunday and was really struck by the selection- I think silence on my behalf is going to be there for most of the set. Silence, or light ambience. I have found a couple of fills that fit, but NO solos, no defining riffs, nothing of the sort. The most I could come up with is to emphasize a dynamic; I play rhythm- on top of the lines already being played.

Which brings to my discussion: It is better to be silent or play a small good rhythm part than play bad lead. “Bad Lead” as in “can’t play a lead part” or “overplaying”, or “playing distractingly”.

Take a look at this vid I found: (thanks to

How many of these mistakes did I do when learning to play with others? How many of these mistakes do I make NOW!?? I can say that I really began to listen to my parts and try differing parts, or none at all- but only just recently.

I think its key to realize the electric guitar – in worship setting- is an “accent piece” rather than a main instrument. Generally the acoustic guitar is the main piece. So unless all guitars are electric, you are the only one with effects, fills, etc… Make it dynamic, ENHANCE the music. Please, do NOT just “play along.”
I really have been struck lately with musical integrity. I will not play unless its necessary to the song. I will not play a lead, unless it fits. I will not “stand out” if it distracts. And mostly- I will not attempt difficult leads/fills/what have you- unless I have practiced until proficient. Not “until i feel comfortable” or “I can do this.” I want to be able to do it at the 7:00am service without coffee with my eyes closed in sleep and my hands already having the part memorized. THAT kind of proficient.

Well… back to practicing the one riff I do need for Sunday.



4 Responses

  1. Brillian video and good thoughts all around.

  2. good video concept although i do not agree with everything on the video. replacing a riff with simple chords would be better than playing out of tempo again! and i think doubling-up with the acoustic if done in the right part can actually thicken/liven up a part (maybe bridge or chorus).

    back to your question, its better not to play a part if you can’t play it. i wouldn’t say to be silent completely. if you can add some riff, as long as, again, not bad or not interfering with somebody else. especially another guitarist 🙂

  3. hey, it’s guitarpraise.blogspot btw =)

  4. chew—- thanks. Properly cited now!

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