How to Choose the Right Music Genres for Your Guitar Playing Style?

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The great guitarists have been the source of inspiration and motivation for most people who want to learn to play this type of instrument.  Does everybody start with a question inside their head: “How can he play such a nice melody? Can I do that?”, and really wants to start right away. However, once you pick your guitar up and play the first note, you know that it is not going to be as easy as you thought. You don’t know where to start, which technique you need to know, which type of songs you have to listen to and especially you don’t know which type of music genres are suitable with your playing style.

Some styles are quite easy, others are challenging even with experts. In this post, I will show you some of the most common guitar playing styles so that you can see which pathway is the best for you to find your inner music voice.

Guitar styles

As you may know, one doesn’t need to be good at both singing and playing guitar to be an expert for performs on stage. Some just focus on playing this instrument and play the songs by adding notes. That is one of the most common differences between guitar playing styles that we are going to find out right away.

  1. Rhythm Guitar

Rhythm guitar is known as the background of the performance. It has to combine with other melodies and instruments to create a complete performance. The leading role of rhythm guitar in a band is undeniable. In this play style, the player uses his left hand to hold the chord shape (which can be simple or complicated in terms of player’s level) and the right hand is the strumming patterns. The role of rhythm guitar in a band is very crucial since it keeps the pace of the whole performance as well as giving the right key for the parts. You can imagine a performance is like a cream cake, then the rhythm guitar in association with drums and bass guitar create the cake, while the vocals and lead guitar is the cream part. That’s the reason why it has to be a firm base.

Depending on the music genres, rhythm guitar can be acoustic or electric. People often use the acoustic guitar as the rhythm guitar in Pop ballad songs or country songs while Rock tracks require something more powerful and fantasy. That’s why the electric guitar is considered the King of Rock music.

  1. Lead Guitar

The lead guitar is something harder and more “magical” because the riffs and melody lines from this instrument are quite vital. It can also be the connection between vocal, background music and other parts of the song. The call and respond play style of lead guitar is irreplaceable when you are forming a band.

Guitar Lead

The lead guitar playing style can be varied according to the genre of the song. It can be gentle and touch if playing as a part of a pop song or blue song or it can be a stunning combination of notes and chords for a Rock concert. People often use the electric guitar for leading because of the sound modification and the purpose of the performance.

Learning how to play guitar lead is really hard comparing to rhythm guitar, but when you master the skills, you will see that it’s one of the sharpest weapons to win audience’s, heart.

Lead guitar is a kind of decoration for the performance. It is not the background – the base of the song, but without lead guitar, the song can’t be good. A good lead guitarist is the one who can catch the emotion of the performance and bring it to the audience by playing notes. If one doesn’t have firm knowledge about guitar and music theory, playing guitar lead is nearly impossible.

  1. Fingerpicking

Normally, lead guitar and rhythm guitar have to rely on each other to form a complete performance with both melodies and note, but with fingerpicking guitar, it’s a different story. Fingerpicking style (or fingerstyle) is one of the new guitars playing style which makes use of the guitar to make various sounds from other instruments even drums. The techniques and hand skills of fingerstyle are very difficult to handle but very impressive. That’s the reason why there is more and more artist following this pathway to seek their career milestones. In fact, fingerstyle is considered as a standalone music genre as other genres such as Pop, Classical, Rock… since the sounds created on guitar like no others.

Basically, fingerstyle player uses his left hand to play chords – easy or complicated – while right-hand uses both fingers and hand gestures to make multiple sounds at a time, not just strumming or picking separately. Fingerpicking requires hundreds of hour practicing to achieve the co – ordination between two hands as well as master advanced skills.

Fingerpicking artist often plays solo and tracks of their own, but sometimes it can be used to combine with other types of music genres such as Pop, Blues, and Jazz. There is no limit when playing fingerstyle since it can be a cover of a well – known song, a piece of music with some modifications or even a new song made only for guitar. The guitar used for fingerpicking is always acoustic guitar. Some guitar players even have some guitars made only for them to play their music.


Playing guitar is hard, but choosing the right style to stick with is even harder. That’s the reason why you should have a look at all the play style as well as music genres to make sure your choice is right. If you are the one who likes Pop music and wants to be the companion of a good singer, learn to play rhythm guitar and don’t underestimate the power of the chords. On the other hand, you are into Rock and want to bring out your best, challenge yourself as a lead guitarist of a Rock band, I’m sure you’re going to be addicted to it.