Classical guitar technique's effect playing on other types of music.

Talk about things that are not necessarily related to music or the guitar.
Stan
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Classical guitar technique's effect playing on other types of music.

Post by Stan » Mon Apr 16, 2018 3:30 pm

Not sure if this should be in the Technique section or here but anyway....

I was on Youtube this morning listening to one of the members here, Andrei Krylov playing blues on his nylon string guitar. It was freaking awesome. It got me thinking about how beneficial learning to play classical guitar with the correct technique can be and how it can open up playing other types of music. I have been struggling along with steel string guitars for decades, mostly self taught and since I made the decision to learn to play classical guitar, I have discovered just how much I was doing wrong. I am hoping that learning how to play properly will open up my guitar playing in blues, pop music, etc.

But to get to the point, I can picture in my mind a great classical guitarist slamming some blues like Andrei did or playing rock music or country but I am not sure that it works in reverse. As great a musician as Robert Johnson was, I can't picture him playing Asturia like Ana Vidovic. On the other hand guitarists like Michael Lucarelli can go from a great version of Maleguena to Stairway to Heaven and not bat an eye.

But now that I finally discovered classical guitar music at this late stage in my life, it is pretty much all I want to listen to and maybe someday play. I haven't touched my steel string guitars in several weeks. Opinions?
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Rognvald
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Re: Classical guitar technique's effect playing on other types of music.

Post by Rognvald » Mon Apr 16, 2018 4:53 pm

This is a good question, Stan. In my opinion, exposure to the greatest variety of music is essential to developing one's musical character. However, the difficulty in playing two different styles well without "bleed-through" is not possible for most. Wynton Marsalis, famous Jazz trumpeter, is also a very respected Classical trumpeter. However, few people of Wynton's caliber are playing that can do both well. Yo-Yo Ma tried it without much success; Pavorati made a fool of himself singing with Rockers as well as Lang Lang and then the poor Jan Vogler in collaboration with comedian Bill Murray was the piece de resistance. So, if you want to be great in any genre, you must devote your life to that genre. However, there are many hybrid musicians today that play both styles well albeit with some unavoidable "bleed-though". For the record, I am a bleeder. Playing again . . . Rognvald
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celestemcc
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Re: Classical guitar technique's effect playing on other types of music.

Post by celestemcc » Mon Apr 16, 2018 5:38 pm

The topic here, though, is CG technique, and it's effects on playing other styles of music. We can separate the technique from the genre... our technique was developed for the demands of the music. It (really, any instrumental technique) is simply a means to the ultimate end of musical expression. A Classical technique doesn't prevent anyone from playing any style or genre they want to play. It can't hurt and maybe it can even help. That said, there's plenty of amazing guitarists with non-CG technique who can do things lots of us can only dream of: but usually they're not playing classical guitar music as such.
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Andrew Pohlman
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Re: Classical guitar technique's effect playing on other types of music.

Post by Andrew Pohlman » Mon Apr 16, 2018 6:42 pm

I play classical on nylon and rock on electrics. I can tell you that classical will make your hands stronger in some basic ways, like holding barre chords. But you will never develop the note bending strength you need for rock/electric on a nylon string. Right hand technique does not match up well - maybe depending on the piece. The left hand technique is really very similar for either and only changes somewhat to accommodate the different instruments' scale lengths and neck dimensions. Obviously, all the chords and intervals are the same shapes.

The precision maneuvers need to be practiced on the intended instrument. The best example is harmonic intervals. They will be very different in plucking technique and location on nylon compared to steel/electric - again accommodating differences in scale length / neck width and string material.

Bottom line for me - there is huge crossover, and I do a lot of rock on my nylon. I cannot do classical on my electrics. Some songs must be played on the intended instrument because the technique is so different. But try out everything and see what works for you!

Good luck !
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AndreiKrylov

Re: Classical guitar technique's effect playing on other types of music.

Post by AndreiKrylov » Mon Apr 16, 2018 8:16 pm

Stan wrote:
Mon Apr 16, 2018 3:30 pm
Not sure if this should be in the Technique section or here but anyway....

I was on Youtube this morning listening to one of the members here, Andrei Krylov playing blues on his nylon string guitar. It was freaking awesome. It got me thinking about how beneficial learning to play classical guitar with the correct technique can be and how it can open up playing other types of music. I have been struggling along with steel string guitars for decades, mostly self taught and since I made the decision to learn to play classical guitar, I have discovered just how much I was doing wrong. I am hoping that learning how to play properly will open up my guitar playing in blues, pop music, etc.

But to get to the point, I can picture in my mind a great classical guitarist slamming some blues like Andrei did or playing rock music or country but I am not sure that it works in reverse. As great a musician as Robert Johnson was, I can't picture him playing Asturia like Ana Vidovic. On the other hand guitarists like Michael Lucarelli can go from a great version of Maleguena to Stairway to Heaven and not bat an eye.

But now that I finally discovered classical guitar music at this late stage in my life, it is pretty much all I want to listen to and maybe someday play. I haven't touched my steel string guitars in several weeks. Opinions?
Thanks for your nice words , Stan!
Yes, I play many different things...
I published about 4600 pieces on WWW.
Most of it original, but there are pieces of renaissance, baroque, classical, romantic, new age, world, folk, gypsy, blues and other styles...

Classical guitar technique could bring interesting colors in playing of music of different styles.
I am also implanting all kind of suitable technique from "non classical" styles, from steel string and electric guitar in my classical guitar music interpretation.

Andrew Pohlman made a very good point about differences with playing other "guitars".

For me most important difference is that classical guitar is a fine instrument for solo player, because one usually play bass, chords solo at the same time on it, while on electric guitar it is usually only one of above mentioned roles...
Steel string acoustic on other hand seems basically the same as classical, yet because strings are steel - it make more complicated for a right hand of guitar player...using any size of fingernails much more difficult - steel strings break them, playing with no nails at all is not easy too...
Therefore yes - you are correct - classical guitar as instrument which gives you a small ensemble in your hands is in a way more fulfilling...
all nice old music for guitar been created for this type of guitar.. and for playing modern music - you have a small orchestra in your hand!

Pat Dodson
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Re: Classical guitar technique's effect playing on other types of music.

Post by Pat Dodson » Mon Apr 16, 2018 8:29 pm

I should not and will not generalise from a sample of one so I’ll just note my own recent experience.

After 13 years of classical tuition and pretty much only playing classical to an intermediate level I had a two year gap from lessons after my classical tutor Maurice Cope died. I am now having jazz and blues lessons and enjoying them greatly. My fretting hand skills and my reading skills are very helpful and tab’s not a problem. However I have found it very hard to stick with a plectrum as I can usually play things much more easily and fluently with my plucking hand fingers. And I have really struggled to cope with swung rhythms, syncopation, playing off the beat etc. Getting there (and I am 64 so perhaps not so quickly as I might once have) but it’s tricky. As is not playing with fingers parallel to frets. :lol:

quavers
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Re: Classical guitar technique's effect playing on other types of music.

Post by quavers » Mon Apr 16, 2018 9:59 pm

I have heard all kinds of music played on nylon string guitars - there are very few limitations. Players will no doubt need to alter their technique to preserve a particular sound or create one that is unique to a nylon sting. You will likely not produce a bend effect that you would get from a Stratocaster but there are so many other overlaps. I do not believe that anyone should ever fear trying to play different kinds of music on a classical guitar; and for those who play electric guitars, I wouldn't mind hearing a little bit of Sor or Rodrigo. Never be afraid to play.

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prawnheed
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Re: Classical guitar technique's effect playing on other types of music.

Post by prawnheed » Mon Apr 16, 2018 11:00 pm

I don't think the technique is as important as the musicality. Of course good technique helps on any guitar, but good technique for electric playing is different to good technique for classical playing. The shape of the neck makes different demands on the left hand and playing with a pick or even fingerpicking an electric is quite different to what you need to do to get a good tone from a classical guitar.

As a guitarist, you can get by in some styles of music with playing very simple harmonies and rhythms and in others by playing fairly simple melodies. What classical guitar does is force you out of those comfort zones and, if you want to, understand much more about what makes music interesting and how to phrase and express youself.

What it is bad for is teaching you to play in time with others - ask some classical guitarists to play rhythm guitar in a rock band and, even some very decent players, are arpeggiating everything behind the beat rather than being locked in with the drummer and bass player.

Pat Dodson
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Re: Classical guitar technique's effect playing on other types of music.

Post by Pat Dodson » Tue Apr 17, 2018 10:44 am

prawnheed wrote:
Mon Apr 16, 2018 11:00 pm

.....
What it is bad for is teaching you to play in time with others - ask some classical guitarists to play rhythm guitar in a rock band and, even some very decent players, are arpeggiating everything behind the beat rather than being locked in with the drummer and bass player.
Interesting! Several years ago my son who teaches drumming got quite cross with me for just that. Nice to know I’m not alone...though sadly it doesn’t solve the problem. :wink:

AndreiKrylov

Re: Classical guitar technique's effect playing on other types of music.

Post by AndreiKrylov » Tue Apr 17, 2018 12:06 pm

prawnheed wrote:
Mon Apr 16, 2018 11:00 pm
I don't think the technique is as important as the musicality. Of course good technique helps on any guitar, but good technique for electric playing is different to good technique for classical playing. The shape of the neck makes different demands on the left hand and playing with a pick or even fingerpicking an electric is quite different to what you need to do to get a good tone from a classical guitar.

As a guitarist, you can get by in some styles of music with playing very simple harmonies and rhythms and in others by playing fairly simple melodies. What classical guitar does is force you out of those comfort zones and, if you want to, understand much more about what makes music interesting and how to phrase and express youself.

What it is bad for is teaching you to play in time with others - ask some classical guitarists to play rhythm guitar in a rock band and, even some very decent players, are arpeggiating everything behind the beat rather than being locked in with the drummer and bass player.
never had any problems with anyone or any bands...
but yes there is something like that.. I experienced that when I was working with some "classical" singers... they were absolutely out of rhythm...

jonah523
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Re: Classical guitar technique's effect playing on other types of music.

Post by jonah523 » Tue Apr 17, 2018 12:29 pm

As a guitarist who started with rock, blues and jazz and segued into Classical later on, I think a fair amount of technique carried over. Certainly my sightreading wasn't so good, and hand position and right hand technique are different, but my left hand finger independence and strength were both well on their way when I decided to pick up classical. What I lacked in traditional technique, I made up for with a pretty good ear, which came mostly from listening to recordings of music that I enjoyed and figuring out how to play it.

I think it probably goes both ways. As a private teacher, I've taught classically trained kids who struggle with rock and blues because it's a little too free. Conversely, I've had guitarists who were focused on rock and blues struggle with reading and right hand technique. End of the day, it's all about practice and dedication, imho.
“I would teach children music, physics, and philosophy; but most importantly music, for the patterns in music and all the arts are the keys to learning” - Plato

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Tom Poore
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Re: Classical guitar technique's effect playing on other types of music.

Post by Tom Poore » Tue Apr 17, 2018 12:43 pm

prawnheed wrote:What it is bad for is teaching you to play in time with others - ask some classical guitarists to play rhythm guitar in a rock band and, even some very decent players, are arpeggiating everything behind the beat rather than being locked in with the drummer and bass player.
That’s not a problem unique to classical players. Rather, it’s a problem for musicians of any genre who do most of their playing alone, particularly those who’ve never practiced with a metronome.

When I was young, I recall an electric guitarist who spent all his spare time alone practicing every scale known to man. He was a wizz at them. Ask him to play any scale or mode, and he could do it at incredible speed. But if you put him in a band, he couldn’t function. He couldn’t keep a beat. And why would he? It’s something he never practiced.

Classical guitarists as a group, especially self-taught amateurs, tend to play alone. They’re often the ones who can’t keep a beat. That’s a problem that can be resolved if they work with a teacher who insists on a lot of duet playing. (Assuming, of course, the teacher can keep a beat.)

The main reason I don’t do online lessons is that playing duets with students is an indispensable part of my teaching. (Latency issues with online teaching make duet playing impossible.) Further, we’re seeing guitar orchestras pop up everywhere. I suspect that with improvements in teaching standards and ensemble opportunities, classical guitarists who can’t stay on time will become less of an issue.

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Pat Dodson
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Re: Classical guitar technique's effect playing on other types of music.

Post by Pat Dodson » Tue Apr 17, 2018 1:15 pm

Thank you for that insight Tom; that does sound helpful. I’ll get out the backing tracks and also speak to my jazz tutor.

:merci:

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Re: Classical guitar technique's effect playing on other types of music.

Post by MaritimeGuitarist » Tue Apr 17, 2018 1:19 pm

I think that this thread plays into a myth that learning classical guitar technique will somehow provide the technical foundation, or 'correct technique', for playing all styles. Many times when I've mentioned to people that I play classical guitar, they often respond by saying, "Oh, well you must be able to play anything then." This is simply not true. Though some skills will most certainly transfer, learning classical guitar technique from a good tutor will provide you the correct technique to play CLASSICAL guitar. Other styles will often employ different technical practices that are neither incorrect or impractical. For instance, blues and rock players tend to grip the neck in a way where their thumb is very high and almost over the fingerboard. This facilitates bending and allows the player to grab some bass notes with their thumb. Rockabilly/Atkins style player will often have the right hand very close the body of the guitar (no arch) in order mute the bass strings. These two examples may be considered 'wrong' technique in the traditional classical guitar world, but are certainly appropriate within the genres with which they are used.

In the end, I think it is misguided for beginning guitarist interested in rock, jazz, country, etc. to seek out classical lessons with the notion that they will somehow learn the foundation needed to play their preferred style. One needs to decide what they wish to learn and find a strong teacher who teaches that particular genre.

P.S. What I really like about Andrei is that he is able break down these technical (and interpretive) silos I described above and has developed a playing style that is unique and truly his own (I wish I could do the same). If you are someone looking to create your own unique sound, then perhaps you can disregard some of the above comments--just don't expect classical lessons to necessarily be the springboard into all styles.
Last edited by MaritimeGuitarist on Tue Apr 17, 2018 1:21 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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prawnheed
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Re: Classical guitar technique's effect playing on other types of music.

Post by prawnheed » Tue Apr 17, 2018 1:21 pm

It is more than just simple, personal timing. You can play perfectly along with a metronome and still not understand the subtleties of how your timing and what you are playing fits with other, different instruments and how to follow the lead of other instruments.

For example, a chord played with a pick can never be a set of simultaneously played notes - it's a strum. So there are other factors that determine how tight you are with the rest of the rhythm section - how fast do you strum a chord and in which direction, which part of the strum is actually on the beat (the initial attack or the swell), when do you let chords (or parts of chords) ring and for how long, when to anticipate or syncopate, ...

There are differences between playing an istrument with significant sustain as part of a rhythm section from playing a classical guitar solo or in a duet.

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