The rhythm section is a curious thing when it comes to composing music. In the world of twentieth and twenty-first century popular music it is largely what we identify as the core of almost any band. Chordal instruments such as guitar and piano; bass guitar or double bass; drums and percussion – they have all become recognisable to us as rhythm section instruments for the role they have played in countless forms of music over the last hundred years.
This tutorial deals with the rhythm section in the context of folk and traditional music, but also applies to world, indie, jazz, rock or just about any other genre from the endless list that exists outside the classical music establishment. That’s not to say that it doesn’t apply to classical music, just that it is less relevant in my experience. As this is intended as a brief introduction, it focuses on bass, guitar, piano and drums. Of course there are many other instruments that can be considered part of the rhythm section, such as bouzouki, harp, mandolin, cello, accordion and a myriad of percussion; but much of what is discussed is applicable to any of these instruments.
Download Dave Milligan’s tutorial.