Can electric guitar technique hamper my classical technique?

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Fredonia_Guitar_11

Re: Can electric guitar technique hamper my classical techni

Post by Fredonia_Guitar_11 » Thu Sep 20, 2012 3:46 pm

There is a lot of stuff already written and I didn't read all of it. So I apologize if I mention something already stated earlier:

I say go for it. If you want to play electric guitar and classical then do it. There is actually a decent amount of new music being written involving electric guitar and being well rounded and able to perform on electric as well as classical is an asset in my book. I think what your teacher's concern is that you will "lose" the stuff you get out of studying classical. There have certainly been many promising and talented students who are "seduced" by the electric guitar at the detriment of their classical studies. However, this does not have to be the case. It sounds like you are very dedicated to your classical studies and so it seems to me that you will not "lose" anything by playing electric guitar as well.

On another note, your description of "electric guitar technique" is on for many rock stars, but that technique is not standardized. Many rock stars are self taught and through sheer time and effort can play very well with very poor technique. There is no rule saying that you have to play electric guitar like these rock stars though. You can play an electric guitar with your thumb all behind the neck and your fingers approaching the strings from straight on. It works just fine. Personally, I play electric guitar with mostly classical technique and I think it improved my electric playing. Obviously, playing with the plectrum is very different, but practice techniques learned from classical can be applied to electric as well.

All of this being said, I want to mention that being an excellent classical and electric guitarist is completely possible. I have been playing electric guitar concurrently with my classical studies for my entire career. I am currently getting my Masters at the Eastman School of Music for Classical Guitar Performance and I am very confident that both my classical and electric abilities and technique are solid. And I would be willing to back that up to anyone who thinks no electric player can be a competent classical guitarist as well.

So in the end, you have to decide if you can balance the two and if it is worth it to you. You might not want to play electric like anything more than just a hobby, which is fine. There are lots of classical guitarists who have hobbies outside of guitar. Christopher Parkening likes to fly fish. Other guitarists like to cook, work out, run, play piano, etc. Everyone is different, but why should pursuit of electric guitar be so looked down upon? I think to many, it is a sense of superiority and jealously simultaneously felt by many classical guitarists. Many feel that the hard work they have done to achieve what they have is superior to any rock star, yet rock gets the attention, the rockers get the girls and the glory for considerably less effort in many cases. This is frustrating to many. Now maybe this is the case and maybe not. But either way, classical guitar and electric guitar are not as far apart as many classical guitarists would like them to be. And it is entirely up to you if you feel you can be great at one or both. Don't let the second-class citizen status of the electric guitar in the classical guitar world keep you from becoming the musician and guitarist you want. Ultimately, you control your own destiny and who knows. Maybe you and I can change a few minds.

haunting_nylon

Re: Can electric guitar technique hamper my classical techni

Post by haunting_nylon » Thu Sep 20, 2012 5:05 pm

Richard Christie wrote:I wish to point out how much playing lute, vihuela and baroque guitar messed up Julian Bream's classical technique.


I suppose that was sarcasm right ?

haunting_nylon

Re: Can electric guitar technique hamper my classical techni

Post by haunting_nylon » Thu Sep 20, 2012 5:17 pm

Fredonia_Guitar_11 wrote:There is a lot of stuff already written and I didn't read all of it. So I apologize if I mention something already stated earlier:

I say go for it. If you want to play electric guitar and classical then do it. There is actually a decent amount of new music being written involving electric guitar and being well rounded and able to perform on electric as well as classical is an asset in my book. I think what your teacher's concern is that you will "lose" the stuff you get out of studying classical. There have certainly been many promising and talented students who are "seduced" by the electric guitar at the detriment of their classical studies. However, this does not have to be the case. It sounds like you are very dedicated to your classical studies and so it seems to me that you will not "lose" anything by playing electric guitar as well.

On another note, your description of "electric guitar technique" is on for many rock stars, but that technique is not standardized. Many rock stars are self taught and through sheer time and effort can play very well with very poor technique. There is no rule saying that you have to play electric guitar like these rock stars though. You can play an electric guitar with your thumb all behind the neck and your fingers approaching the strings from straight on. It works just fine. Personally, I play electric guitar with mostly classical technique and I think it improved my electric playing. Obviously, playing with the plectrum is very different, but practice techniques learned from classical can be applied to electric as well.

All of this being said, I want to mention that being an excellent classical and electric guitarist is completely possible. I have been playing electric guitar concurrently with my classical studies for my entire career. I am currently getting my Masters at the Eastman School of Music for Classical Guitar Performance and I am very confident that both my classical and electric abilities and technique are solid. And I would be willing to back that up to anyone who thinks no electric player can be a competent classical guitarist as well.

So in the end, you have to decide if you can balance the two and if it is worth it to you. You might not want to play electric like anything more than just a hobby, which is fine. There are lots of classical guitarists who have hobbies outside of guitar. Christopher Parkening likes to fly fish. Other guitarists like to cook, work out, run, play piano, etc. Everyone is different, but why should pursuit of electric guitar be so looked down upon? I think to many, it is a sense of superiority and jealously simultaneously felt by many classical guitarists. Many feel that the hard work they have done to achieve what they have is superior to any rock star, yet rock gets the attention, the rockers get the girls and the glory for considerably less effort in many cases. This is frustrating to many. Now maybe this is the case and maybe not. But either way, classical guitar and electric guitar are not as far apart as many classical guitarists would like them to be. And it is entirely up to you if you feel you can be great at one or both. Don't let the second-class citizen status of the electric guitar in the classical guitar world keep you from becoming the musician and guitarist you want. Ultimately, you control your own destiny and who knows. Maybe you and I can change a few minds.



I'd like to Thank you tons for taking the time and effort to write this. I think we have very little control over the 'destiny' part, there is strong evidence from neuroscience and biology that suggests that most of our actions or decisions are simply the result of our set of genes and environment, which implies that we have no free will. I personally, have come to conclude that we have some free will, even though it's very little. My genes, environment and education is compelling me to seek rational advice which is based on objective evidence. Your experiment of trying both and not failing at any is a great example. Thanks again :)

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

Post by Richard Christie » Thu Sep 20, 2012 9:37 pm

haunting_nylon wrote:
Richard Christie wrote:I wish to point out how much playing lute, vihuela and baroque guitar messed up Julian Bream's classical technique.


I suppose that was sarcasm right ?


Not in the slightest, think about 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

henders
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Re: Can electric guitar technique hamper my classical techni

Post by henders » Fri Sep 21, 2012 4:46 am

robin loops wrote:
henders wrote:Classical should be your sole focus. Rock guitar technique will interfere with your progress on the classical. It will also take away precious hours of practice time. A final point: the electric guitar and rock music will likely become less important to you as you age. Sorry if that sounds harsh, but you asked for opinions.


Based on personal experience? Or is that just "your opinion" based on personal preferences?



Yes. That is based on personal experience. I, like countless others, played rock music as a teenager and young adult before getting involved in classical guitar in my twenties. It's true that my interest in playing rock music had begun to wane by then, but I also realized that the differences between the two things were so vast -- not just technique-wise, but a completely different universe musically -- that continuing to play steel string guitars was going to interfere with my progress on this new instrument in a big way. The other thing that I realized, and I mention this in my first post, is that there is a time issue here. In short, when you are playing the electric, you are not playing the classical. There is an opportunity cost involved. One is only allotted so many practice hours in this world. Professional, amateur, whatever, the hours one has for this are finite, fixed. And when you are talking about something as massively difficult to master as classical guitar, every minute counts. If you want to be any good that is. Encouraging the original poster, who stated that his goal is to enter a conservatory and pursue a career as a professional classical guitarist, to continue playing electric is, I think, doing him a disservice. My personal experience, "opinion" and preference.

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Denian Arcoleo
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Re: Can electric guitar technique hamper my classical techni

Post by Denian Arcoleo » Fri Sep 21, 2012 6:16 am

henders wrote:Yes. That is based on personal experience. I, like countless others, played rock music as a teenager and young adult before getting involved in classical guitar in my twenties. It's true that my interest in playing rock music had begun to wane by then, but I also realized that the differences between the two things were so vast -- not just technique-wise, but a completely different universe musically -- that continuing to play steel string guitars was going to interfere with my progress on this new instrument in a big way. The other thing that I realized, and I mention this in my first post, is that there is a time issue here. In short, when you are playing the electric, you are not playing the classical. There is an opportunity cost involved. One is only allotted so many practice hours in this world. Professional, amateur, whatever, the hours one has for this are finite, fixed. And when you are talking about something as massively difficult to master as classical guitar, every minute counts. If you want to be any good that is. Encouraging the original poster, who stated that his goal is to enter a conservatory and pursue a career as a professional classical guitarist, to continue playing electric is, I think, doing him a disservice. My personal experience, "opinion" and preference.


I absolutely agree with this.

Gruupi
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Re: Can electric guitar technique hamper my classical techni

Post by Gruupi » Fri Sep 21, 2012 2:08 pm

From a purely physical sense, there can be some detriments to playing electric guitar. I tend to use a hybrid picking style on electric and it does rough up my nails a bit. I agree that there is a limit to the amount of practice your hands can take also. But, I think the time spent playing other instruments in the long run is going to make you a better musician.

If you still enjoy playing electric guitar, then it seems silly to completely abandon it. I may only pick up the electric for a few minutes a month now, but I feel I could keep my chops up with 10-15 minutes a day if I so desired. So the question is, if you are putting in 1-2-3 4 hours a day in classical guitar practice a day, is 15 minutes spent on another instrument hurting that much. Probably not. Is putting 15 minutes a day playing a different instrument or style of music helping that much. Probably so.
Last edited by Gruupi on Sat Sep 22, 2012 3:23 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Tiago

Re: Can electric guitar technique hamper my classical techni

Post by Tiago » Fri Sep 21, 2012 2:34 pm

Denian Arcoleo wrote:
henders wrote:Yes. That is based on personal experience. I, like countless others, played rock music as a teenager and young adult before getting involved in classical guitar in my twenties. It's true that my interest in playing rock music had begun to wane by then, but I also realized that the differences between the two things were so vast -- not just technique-wise, but a completely different universe musically -- that continuing to play steel string guitars was going to interfere with my progress on this new instrument in a big way. The other thing that I realized, and I mention this in my first post, is that there is a time issue here. In short, when you are playing the electric, you are not playing the classical. There is an opportunity cost involved. One is only allotted so many practice hours in this world. Professional, amateur, whatever, the hours one has for this are finite, fixed. And when you are talking about something as massively difficult to master as classical guitar, every minute counts. If you want to be any good that is. Encouraging the original poster, who stated that his goal is to enter a conservatory and pursue a career as a professional classical guitarist, to continue playing electric is, I think, doing him a disservice. My personal experience, "opinion" and preference.


I absolutely agree with this.

So basically what you're saying is that playing electric guitar hampers your technique to a degree, but the main problem is playing a second instrument because it steals time from the... first. Right?

I don't necessarily agree with the first because if you reach a certain level of development on the classical guitar i find it hard to believe that playing electric guitar will hamper the classical technique, though at the beginning i'm sure it does. The second problem we can't escape it, but i still don't see any issue playing more than one instrument, unless you want to be the best player in the world and not just good on both. But if you're a professional i can understand it.

Perhaps it depends of what the second instrument is? Baroque guitar, vihuela, lute, teorbas, etc., doesn't seem to be a problem, the technique is almost the same.

haunting_nylon

Re: Can electric guitar technique hamper my classical techni

Post by haunting_nylon » Fri Sep 21, 2012 4:09 pm

Well i just wanted to play the electric as a hobby for a couple of minutes a day, I was about to sell it. So I don't have plans to sound anything like Guthrie Govan. I mostly play electric blues, whenever i get a chance. Right now, it appears that I am playing it once a week :)

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SmurfDaddy
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Re: Can electric guitar technique hamper my classical technique?

Post by SmurfDaddy » Thu Jan 26, 2017 10:35 pm

I must would even say some classical pieces even sound great on electric...

Having both classical and electric is a must!

Cheers
SS

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Cronulla
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Re: Can electric guitar technique hamper my classical technique?

Post by Cronulla » Fri Jan 27, 2017 7:47 am

Good question. I think it totally depends on your goals. It sounds like practising 5 hours a day you are very focussed on Classical perfection. I really enjoy playing my Fender Strat as a change of musical scenery. If you love the blues and like SRV, Joe Satriani, Steve Vai etc why give up such a pleasure. I don't agree with Segovia who called electric guitars horned beasts. It's a case of pleasure. I have never seen a classical guitarist play blues with feeling but with a bit of reverb, the tone turned up on a good tube amp and some fretboard knowledge the possibilities are endless. I must say though that when I play my electric at the moment I seem to damage my index nail. I tape it for protection. Problem solved.
All the best for your studies.
:)
A little music soothes the soul.........

TheRoadGoesOn4Ever
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Re: Can electric guitar technique hamper my classical technique?

Post by TheRoadGoesOn4Ever » Sat Feb 18, 2017 2:57 pm

NO!!!! KEEP THE ELECTRIC!!!! Especially if you enjoy playing it. I still play mine a good hour each day, along with the classical guitar for about 3 hours.

One won't hamper the other. Just be consistent in your practicing.

On the weekends when not giving CG concerts, I play my electric in a 10 piece R&B corporate band. I love it! It's fun and we make good money. It brings in an extra chunk of income every month which helps me to stay afloat as a full time musician. The point I'm making is if you want to play music full time, versatility is a good thing. It also keeps me connected to my "youth", and the reason I started. I always kept playing my electric. I made some good money with it and am glad I stuck with it along with the classical guitar. If you enjoy it, keep playing it. Trust me, you won't regret it at all.

A story to keep in mind:

When I was in 7th grade, I studied French (foreign language class). The teacher was great and knew how to run a good class.
In 8th grade, he was my English teacher. He was just as good teaching English as he was French.

Versatility is key. Good luck.
"Not all those who wander are lost." - J.R.R. Tolkien

FHC
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Re: Can electric guitar technique hamper my classical technique?

Post by FHC » Sat Feb 18, 2017 4:02 pm

TheRoadGoesOn4Ever wrote:NO!!!! KEEP THE ELECTRIC!!!! Especially if you enjoy playing it. I still play mine a good hour each day, along with the classical guitar for about 3 hours.

One won't hamper the other. Just be consistent in your practicing.

On the weekends when not giving CG concerts, I play my electric in a 10 piece R&B corporate band. I love it! It's fun and we make good money. It brings in an extra chunk of income every month which helps me to stay afloat as a full time musician. The point I'm making is if you want to play music full time, versatility is a good thing. It also keeps me connected to my "youth", and the reason I started. I always kept playing my electric. I made some good money with it and am glad I stuck with it along with the classical guitar. If you enjoy it, keep playing it. Trust me, you won't regret it at all.

A story to keep in mind:

When I was in 7th grade, I studied French (foreign language class). The teacher was great and knew how to run a good class.
In 8th grade, he was my English teacher. He was just as good teaching English as he was French.

Versatility is key. Good luck.



Nicely said :merci:

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rojarosguitar
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Re: Can electric guitar technique hamper my classical technique?

Post by rojarosguitar » Sat Feb 18, 2017 5:00 pm

If you really like electric, it can only enhance your musicality. The classical and electric are technically so far apart that I don't think any confusion would ensue, and close enough to support each other. I always believe different instruments widen the musical perspective!
Music is a big continent with different landscapes and corners. Some of them I do visit frequently, some from time to time and some I know from hearsay only ...

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

Post by robin loops » Sun Feb 19, 2017 12:38 am

Plus I find playing the electric also keeps my scale knowledge fresh. Something that can often suffer when we spend so much time playing predetermined sets of notes that generally only include small scale runs if any at all.
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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