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 Post subject: Studying Classical, Blues and Rock at the Same Time?
PostPosted: Wed Aug 10, 2011 7:09 pm 
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Joined: Tue Aug 09, 2011 3:42 pm
Posts: 5
I've been playing guitar for a few years, but only the last year has been what I would call "really applying myself". I've been taking classical instruction for almost a year and the last 3 months have been learning blues guitar. My instructor is exceptional, having attended a Master Class with Christopher Parkening; my instructor is also a shredder who can play Randy's stuff fluently. Here's my situation:

I'm 47 years old and probably will never be able to play leads like Randy, or any other shredder. I am actually getting good on classical guitar and making decent progress with the blues. Is there a point where trying to learn too many genres can actually diminish progress? I always feel that by practicing one style, the other style can remain stagnant. What's the old saying..." I'd rather know a lot about a little, than a little about a lot". I just don't want to spread myself too thin I guess. Hope this makes sense.


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 Post subject: Re: Studying Classical, Blues and Rock at the Same Time?
PostPosted: Sun Aug 14, 2011 6:32 pm 
Mass Poster

Joined: Sun Jul 15, 2007 8:57 am
Posts: 3565
Hi Chaz

This is only my opinion; but as someone who plays several genres myself (classical gypsy jazz and blues rock) I would say yes, it is possible to study music holistically like this, but I found I had to make a very serious decision many years ago about which style was my main focus...and for me that was and is classical guitar. The back bone of all the other styles I play, has been created by my love of classical music and the technique of classical guitar. I think it is possible to sound excellent to a layman at several styles, but to someone who is a real expert, you have to ultimately decide what is going to be your focus.

Like I say this is just me and we have such a varied bunch here, no doubt others have VERY different outlooks, but thought I would share. By the way congratulations on your passion and interest in what you are doing. It is really never too late to learn - I have a guy I teach who is 82 and a beginner when he begun teaching himself at aged 80! He is progressing well!



Having a break from online activity for a while to concentrate on music. Please email if you need to get in touch. Matt

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 Post subject: Re: Studying Classical, Blues and Rock at the Same Time?
PostPosted: Tue Aug 16, 2011 3:34 pm 
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Joined: Mon Mar 20, 2006 10:19 am
Posts: 5199
Hi Chaz...

I think learning multiple styles is a great idea, but I've got to agree with Matt, there has to be one main focus with the other styles branching out from it. Like a tree where each branch is a style and each shorter twig being a variation on that style - you can't have the branches without a trunk, which would be your main focus.

I believe Randy Rhoads had a magnificent transformation when he chose classical guitar as the trunk of his tree.. prior to that, he learned basic rock from a teacher and added to it by learning songs off of the radio and from the selections his students brought in to learn. When he consciously chose to study classical playing, that influenced everything he already knew and he created a phenomenal sound.

I myself have been playing for years (I'm 45) and recently decided to make rockabilly my main focus. It's been an uphill struggle because it is so different from the metal stuff I've always played. On thing that is helping is playing metal songs without distortion to a rockabilly drum beat & with a rockabilly rhythm... along the lines of this version of AC/DC's You Shook Me All Night Long done by Full Blown Cherry.

Hope that helps a little.

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