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Playing rhythm guitar is something you can do on every single model available today. With that said, some of these are going to be better suited for the job than others.
We’ve decided to try and find 4 of the best rhythm guitars and also show you just what kind of variety exists out there. We have used several criteria for our search. For one, we looked for models that have humbuckers (with one exception, which we’ll go into later). Single coils can play rhythm as well, but humbuckers often have more girth for most things.
The models we have chosen are going to be divided into several price bracket, so you can check out what is best aligned with your own budget. So, without further ado, here are our selection of the top rhythm guitars.
Ibanez and humbuckers are a pair made in heavens. Rhythm capabilities of their axes have been legendary so far. Whether you are into metal, which is frankly what most of the RG series was designed for, or you just need a solid rhythm guitar, you can’t go wrong with Ibanez RG450DX. It is simply that good.
This particular model comes with a basswood body (see full specs) that comes mostly in solid colors. The pick guard is there to provide some type of a contrast, and it comes in white pearl. Pickups are a whole different ballgame. You get a humbucker-single coil-humbucker combo that is mostly comprised of in-house built components, but the quality of these shouldn’t be something to worry about.
It being dominantly a metal ax, rhythm comes naturally to the Ibanez RG450DX. There is plenty of width, girth and that cutting edge tone you definitely want to have if you are into metal. Even though it is somewhat of a niche guitar, Ibanez RG450DX brings the level of performance that will allow you to use it in just about any genre of music. It’s a truly versatile guitar—and one of the best rhythm guitars also.
Now that we have covered a great general purpose guitar, let’s be a bit more genre specific. Our next pick is a guitar made by Schecter Sound Research, and it is every metal player’s wet dream. This bad boy comes with a killer appearance, great components, and an even better sound. Do you need heavy driving rhythms that are layered with multiple distortion effects? Try this Schecter on for size.
On a grand scale of things, Omen-6 ranks right around the middle of the list. However, considering its initial purpose, Schecter OMEN-6 does a great job when it comes down to value for the money. The body is a basswood design, and the finish is just incredible.
The tone of Schecter OMEN-6 is fatter in some areas, while other parts of the frequency band are either neutral or trimmed in terms of bass. The whole guitar is optimized for metal right out of the box, but with some work you can definitely turn it into a great general purpose electric guitar.
If heavy distortion is the name of your game, then Schecter OMEN-6 among the few real answers in this price range. You might not get the clean tones you would like to, but the distorted one is going to sound like a million bucks as soon as you plug yourself in.
Long gone are the days when Epiphone was considered to be just a low-cost version of Gibson. Sure, they’ve been bought for this purpose alone, but things are way different these days. Epiphone still produces cheaper Gibson designs, but the quality of sound you can expect has risen to a pretty decent level. SG model we are looking at today is a perfect example of that claim.
If you are familiar with the original Gibson SG, almost all of the features on this guitar will be easy to understand and control. The body features that legendary SG shape and comes in several different colors. Clean lacquered ones are the most popular by far, but there’s also a black version. Humbuckers are Epiphone’s in-house design, and they work pretty well when it comes to experiencing a portion of the older Gibson tone.
Lots of heavy driving rhythm distortion and even better response to even the subtlest of inputs tells you all you need to know about this guitar. It packs a pretty decent punch for the price you are asked to pay, on top of delivering a good taste of what a genuine Gibson SG feels like. It’s among the best rhythm guitars for the money.
Fender Classic Series ’70s Stratocaster
Before you roll your eyes since this is a single coil guitar and we specifically said in our intro we wanted none of that, you need to understand that Strat is always going to be a special case. See, there are rules, and then there are things that break the rules. This is one of them. And just how widespread and popular this model is shouldn’t have to be explained by now.
The instrument’s timeless design combined with top-tier performance says more about the legendary Strat than any words could. As a rhythm guitar? A standard on its own.
This particular Stratocaster (see full specs) features an ash body that is treated with a clear coat, which gives it a very natural appearance. The neck is made of Maple and comes with a lacquered Maple fretboard. The Fender Classic Series ’70s Stratocaster is a Mexican Strat.
Even so, it sounds just as you would expect from an original Fender guitar. The pickups come in form of vintage style single-coil set that deals away with most of the coil buzz while retaining that yummy texture and tone color.
In terms of performance, this guitar is offers something you will have a hard time finding elsewhere. In the context of rhythm guitars, you probably wouldn’t want to use this Strat (or any other for that matter) for distortion-heavy metal (which is why we included the Schecter above). However, once you enter the blues or rock territory, this guitar feels completely at home. It’s a classic that keeps on rocking.
All of the models listed here can be considered among the best rhythm guitars. We were careful to select those that have both the humbucker pickups as well as overall build quality (and, in the case of the Strat, an exception was made on the humbuckers since the guitar itself is so spellbinding). The sound quality will always remain our No. 1 criteria, but since that is a fairly subjective factor we decided to sift through a variety of sonic domains and find a little something for everyone’s needs.
Additionally, we went for the highest possible durability and value for money. In simple terms, we wanted to get you the best bang for the buck experience you can afford. Good stuff, a thumbs up from here!