Why Do Some Bands Have 3 Guitarists? People who are interested in rock bands are wondering why most of their favorite groups have three guitarists. Usually, bands play with only one or two guitarists, and those are electric and bass guitar. If you have the same question in mind, here a short read that can answer your curiosity.

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Why do some bands have three guitarists? Having three guitarists in a band allows a fuller sound. One of the guitarists plays rhythmic chords while the other plays the lead with solos, single-note melodies, and among others. The last guitarist plays the bass, providing the heartbeat of the song.

Rhythm Guitarist

The rhythm guitarist is the one responsible for performing a combination of functions to provide a part or all of the rhythmic pulse together with other instruments that fall under the rhythm section, such as bass guitar and drums. It also provides a part or all of the harmony, including the chords from the chord progression of a song.

To put it, the rhythm guitarist works by holding down a collection of chords by suing the fretting hand. At the same time, he will be fingerpicking or strumming rhythmically with the other hand. More developed rhythm guitar techniques are damping, arpeggios, chord solos, riffs, and complex strums.

Lead Guitarist

The lead guitarist plays melody lines, guitar solos, instrumental fill passages, and sometimes riffs in a song structure. It usually plays double stops or single-note-based lines in heavy metal, rock, jazz, blues, fusion, punk, some pop, as well as other music genres. The lead guitarist is typically assisted by the second guitarist who plays the rhythm guitar.

In a band, the role of rhythm and lead guitarists have an unclear logical division. The two guitarists can play as a tandem or switch from rhythm to lead and the other way around.

Bass Guitarist

As mentioned earlier, the bass guitarist will work closely with the drummer. It provides a bridge between the rhythm and lead guitarists, and the drummer, allowing them to communicate throughout the song.

The bass guitar provides the groove and power to a song. These characteristics of a bass guitar are applicable for funk and busy rock drum beat.

In any live performance, the bass guitarist brings the thunder. It is usually highlighted to live concerts and performances.

And when it is amplified and connected with a decent sound rig, you can feel the very ground to resonate. This fascinating instrument makes a live band alive.


To summarize, bands who fall under pop and rock music genres usually have three guitarists, including rhythm, lead, and bass. Having three guitars in a band provides a fuller sound by individually highlighting the rhythm, melodies, and the beat of a song. In live performances, the bass provides the communication between the singer, lead, rhythm, to the drummer. On the other hand, the rhythm and lead guitarists can work together to provide an acoustically or electronically unique sound as well as switch roles when they need to.

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