Can electric guitar technique hamper my classical technique?

Classical Guitar technique: studies, scales, arpeggios, theory
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haunting_nylon

Can electric guitar technique hamper my classical technique?

Post by haunting_nylon » Fri Aug 24, 2012 2:00 pm

I am a very serious classical guitar student who is currently doing grade 6 / 7 studies and preparing for studying Classical Guitar from an University in Germany. I had my first music lesson on an acoustic steel string guitar around 7 years back. The reason which had made me pursue the guitar at that point was simply the wish to play classic rock solos, Blues etc. which I would eventually be playing on the electric. For the last couple of months I've been only focusing on classical and have been planning to sell my electric, which i can play very well. But recently my electric guitar brought back memories, I had actually played my first blues scales on it, improvised, jammed with other musicians and enjoyed it. Since my classical guitar teachers here are against the idea of playing electric guitar, I get no encouragement to play. I am fully aware about the technical differences between classical and electric, for example - the thumb of the left hand for the classical guitar has to be at the back of the neck resting behind the 2nd finger ( which can change ) but cannot come up and grab the neck or appear above the neck which is used in electric guitar string bending technique or in jazz technique. Also in classical left hand technique the fingertips have to fret the strings in a more horizontal manner along with the different position of the knuckles and the wrist as opposed to playing electric in a rather angular manner. In terms of Right hand technique and tone-production both are almost poles apart from each other. But if Classical Guitar is my top priority, then is it OK to play electric for an hour a day when i practice the classical for 4-6 hours a day ? Can it hamper my classical technique even if I'm careful ?

I think Professional musicians who have /had to play both classical guitar and electric guitar to make a living can answer my question very well. :)

I am personally very comfortable with my Rg series Ibanez electric and string bending is a technique that I don't want to forget and it's also something that you cannot incorporate in classical guitar ( I know some classical virtuosos do it, but seriously do they sound anything like Stevie ray Vaughan :mrgreen: ??? lol )

For the left hand technique on the electric guitar I am doing it almost the same as my classical but at times placing the thumb slightly above the neck when i am bending the string. For the right hand I am using a pick, as steel strings can affect the quality of my polished nails. So what do you think, Can I still be a perfectionist on the Classical Guitar without having to completely quit the electric ?

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Kent
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Re: Can electric guitar technique hamper my classical techni

Post by Kent » Fri Aug 24, 2012 2:10 pm

Do not get rid of your electric guitar! You will just anguish nightly until you buy another.
The techniques used with the two types of guitars are different, but if anything, it will enhance your playing. It is fantastic to be able to master both electric and classical guitar.
They do compliment each other, and you will transfer little skills you learn on both. There is no rules against focusing on just one.
You have a concern that most people would love to have. :elec:
Last edited by Kent on Fri Aug 24, 2012 2:46 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Alan Green
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Re: Can electric guitar technique hamper my classical techni

Post by Alan Green » Fri Aug 24, 2012 2:36 pm

haunting_nylon wrote:Can I still be a perfectionist on the Classical Guitar without having to completely quit the electric ?
You'll be surprised how much CG improves your rock guitar technique.

Paul O'Dette switched to CG to improve his rock guitar technique, and now he's one of the world's leading lutenists. Proof that CG is good for you.

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Aucaman
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Re: Can electric guitar technique hamper my classical techni

Post by Aucaman » Fri Aug 24, 2012 3:24 pm

Rock and classical guitar? You'll be in good company with many amazing people like Michael Chapdelaine. I've heard him in concert and he's truly wonderful. He is the only guitarist ever to win First Prize in the world's top competitions in both the Classical and Fingerstyle genres—the Guitar Foundation of America International Classical Guitar Competition and the National Fingerstyle Championships at the Walnut Valley Bluegrass Festival in Winfield, Kansas. His performances, played on both steel string and classical guitars, include musical styles ranging from blues to Bach to country to rhythm 'n' blues.
Some of us envy your dexterity!! :D

barry haywood
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Re: Can electric guitar technique hamper my classical techni

Post by barry haywood » Fri Aug 24, 2012 3:46 pm

Play both CG and electric. we humans are versatile creatures who can adapt to many diverse circumstances.
I play CG, electric, mandolin, 5 string banjo, bass and violin. The differences in technique between these instruments is marked, but I feel each adds something to the other.
CG is my main instrument, and I have been teaching this for 38 years.
If you don't grow up, you'll never grow old.

Praeludium
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Re: Can electric guitar technique hamper my classical techni

Post by Praeludium » Fri Aug 24, 2012 5:10 pm

On the top of what has been said, there are classical guitarists specializing in contemporary music who actually happen to use electric guitar a lot (since nowadays and since 40 years at least, contemporary music is written for electric guitar).
An example would be Elena Casoli, who is teaching at Bern MusikHochschüle in classical guitar and contemporary music interpretation. There are others of course but that's the first name which comes to mind.
Cette dernière trahison m'a été également reprochée. Ce que je trouve à répondre, c'est:"merde aux conventions!"

- Ligeti

MatthiasYoung

Re: Can electric guitar technique hamper my classical techni

Post by MatthiasYoung » Fri Aug 24, 2012 6:34 pm

If you're being told by your instructor not to play the electric, it sounds like they are the stiff, academic type. That is not the type of mindset to have. Life is too short. If you want to play electric, then play it. Playing both will make you a more well-rounded guitarist. Look up guitarists like Chris Broderick—classical guitar training in college, and now one of the leading guitarists in metal from Megadeth!

Todd Tipton
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Re: Can electric guitar technique hamper my classical techni

Post by Todd Tipton » Fri Aug 24, 2012 6:47 pm

Don't give up the electric. Do focus on your classical. Many classical guitar teachers falsely assume that classical guitar technique is the best technique for all styles and similar instruments. While they may be very sincere, and have great information, they are not necessarily qualified to make false analogies where none exist. For a few examples, it actually takes spending some time with a lute to better understand their right hand technique. Likewise, it takes spending some time with an electric guitar to better understand why some of the greatest shredders in metal do what they do. Well meaning classical guitarists often wrongly judge these techniques because they do not understand the intimate differences.

You know what? You may be surprised to find the great number of classical violinists who love bluegrass fiddle, or the great number of classical cellists who picked up rock guitar as a hobby. I may be going out on a limb here, but I feel that sometimes, people in the classical guitar community still have an inferiority complex from a generation or two ago; they want to live up to the standards of the rest of the classical music world. What they may not be aware of is that the rest of the classical music world isn't necessarily so uptight.

Keep on playing.
Dr. Todd Tipton, classical guitarist
Cincinnati, OH, USA

dogonjon

Re: Can electric guitar technique hamper my classical techni

Post by dogonjon » Fri Aug 24, 2012 7:43 pm

A guitar is a guitar. It doesn't matter what style or materials but what matters is that you are a guitarist. Adaptability takes practice. It may seem like pieces don't translate from one instrument to another but the transitions aren't that difficult to work through, with determination you can play any style on any instrument.

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robin loops
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Re: Can electric guitar technique hamper my classical techni

Post by robin loops » Fri Aug 24, 2012 7:45 pm

Alan Green wrote:
haunting_nylon wrote:Can I still be a perfectionist on the Classical Guitar without having to completely quit the electric ?
You'll be surprised how much CG improves your rock guitar technique.

Paul O'Dette switched to CG to improve his rock guitar technique, and now he's one of the world's leading lutenists. Proof that CG is good for you.
Very true. I have also found the reverse to be true as well. Rock by nature is very easy to play 'musically' and when I jam on some classic rock it helps me bring a musical feel to my classical repertoire. So while classical improves my technique when playing rock, rock improves my 'feeling' and interpretive ability for playing classical. Another benefit to playing other styles is that they aren't as demanding on the hands and can provide much needed breaks and rest for hands by alternating. Or using rock chords to warm up for example. I find myself hardly ever playing my electrics but I won't ever get rid of them becuase I did that once before and ended up having to spend money all over to get them back (I'm pretty picky and have to have both a les paul style and a strat). Also you could find yourself in a situation where someone wants to actually pay you money to play rock ;-)
One Ring to rule them all, One Ring to find them, One Ring to bring them all, and in the darkness bind them.
-James-

mk49
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Re: Can electric guitar technique hamper my classical techni

Post by mk49 » Sat Aug 25, 2012 3:08 am

I played rock for over 25 years, before I started playing classical. Only problem with playing electric guitar is that my left hand's finger tips get really hard, mostly from bending the strings. That causes a lot of string noise from the bass strings on classical guitars. Other than that, I don't see any problem playing both.

BTW, I haven't played electric gutiars for a while, but I still keep about 20 electric guitars + a few electric basses. Oh, I also have eight tube amps and a lot of speakers.:lol:

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robin loops
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Re: Can electric guitar technique hamper my classical techni

Post by robin loops » Sat Aug 25, 2012 4:00 am

I use a finger nail file to soften the tips (when I play a lot of electric and steel string). Best of both worlds because you can leave enough callous so that they are still really firm and solid but take enough away so they are smooth and soft.
One Ring to rule them all, One Ring to find them, One Ring to bring them all, and in the darkness bind them.
-James-

Richard Christie
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Re: Can electric guitar technique hamper my classical techni

Post by Richard Christie » Sat Aug 25, 2012 1:47 pm

Can electric guitar technique hamper my classical technique?

Yes, but only if you let it.
The guitar, causes dreams to weep.
The sobs of lost souls, escape from its round mouth.
And like the tarantula, it weaves a great star
To snare the sighs,
Which float inside its dark wooden cistern
- Lorca

Kenbobpdx
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Re: Can electric guitar technique hamper my classical techni

Post by Kenbobpdx » Sat Aug 25, 2012 4:37 pm

Do both. I sold my old Les Paul when I started CG 30 some years ago. While I was a lousy electric guitarist I would still like to rock out every so often. BTW, don't ever let anyone tell you you can't bend CG strings. I do it all the time playing blues on my CGs :wink:

My one regret is that I never studied jazz guitar. You are young and that could be a great addition to guitar skills, knowledge, and improv abilities.
"If I had 8 hours to chop down a tree, I'd spend six sharpening my axe."
Abraham Lincoln

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robin loops
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Re: Can electric guitar technique hamper my classical techni

Post by robin loops » Sat Aug 25, 2012 10:53 pm

I do too, even when I am playing classical pieces. (string bend that is). It is my preferred method of vibrato when playing in first position and I also use it for effect in other places (usually to vibrato an entire chord). But I use it very sparingly and only lightly... I do use more extreme vibrato when playing rock stuff though. Very doable on a classical guitar. The only thing is that the same amount of bending has less effect on pitch (than with an electric)
One Ring to rule them all, One Ring to find them, One Ring to bring them all, and in the darkness bind them.
-James-

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