Metal Guitarist Forums banner

1 - 17 of 17 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
14 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I was wondering if someone should know classical guitar to know their instrument.

Cause a musician told me that the best way to learn a instrument is to learn classical.
 

·
Read Only
Joined
·
1,264 Posts
If your instrument is classical guitar, then sure.

If it's electric guitar, is it really your instrument?
 

·
Bah. I still suck.
Joined
·
1,323 Posts
Nah- I don’t see it. The playing styles are completely different. Certainly the finger dexterity you would develop playing classical guitar would be a benefit on electric but, otherwise? Nah.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,184 Posts
I own a Ibanez 6 string electric
I'm pretty sure astrocreep wasn't rhetorically asking what your physical instrument is but rather what you consider to be the instrument you want to learn.

If you want to learn classical guitar, as in the style of playing and the music that comes with classical guitar, then yes learn classical guitar. It would be a waste, in my opinion, to learn classical guitar with the idea that you will be better at playing rock/metal/blues/jazz.

If you want to be better at playing guitar, as in the general techniques, theory, and notes on the neck, then take some lessons or watch some YouTube lesson videos on those things.

You will also learn a lot by learning from your guitar heroes. For me I learned a lot of my style and how I like to phrase things by learning solos and riffs from guys John Mayer, SRV, Jimi, John Petrucci, and more I can't remember right now.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
14 Posts
Discussion Starter · #6 ·
I want to be better at playing guitar, as in the general techniques,theory, and notes on the neck.
 

·
Hates Richie Kotzen
Joined
·
14,719 Posts
Nah, there are only twelve notes. The theory behind every genre is pretty much the same. There is no difference between classical theory and metal theory. Shit is universal. Modes and scales and all that.

The major difference with classical is the vast, vast majority of metal guitar is a single voice. Traditional classical is quasi dual voice. Because your thumb is filling a different function in the lower registers while your fingers are doing shit on the upper strings.

Honestly, it's it's own thing. There are a couple metal guitarists who are sick at it. I play classical, and I can play fingerstyle, because I started on bass, but grasping true classical technique that revolves around your thumb in the lower registers and your fingers in the upper ones is its own skill. Hard to learn too.
 

·
Hates Richie Kotzen
Joined
·
14,719 Posts
Also, worth noting, you can't play real classical without being sick at sight reading. Which is a great skill to have, but rare, and takes a lot of discipline.

You can play awesome sounding shit on a classical just knowing general guitar techniques. But playing actual classical guitar where you are sight reading and understanding on the fly what bits the thumb does and what bits the fingers do is fucking tough. That takes years and years to master. You are better off just learning general scale shapes, unless you want to be a legendary classical guitarist in its own right. Sight reading music where the thumb and the fingers are doing two different voices has pretty limited useful applications in pick style metal.
 

·
Bah. I still suck.
Joined
·
1,323 Posts
Then again, you never know when you’ll be in a guitar duel with Jack Butler.
 

·
Tarantula Lobbyist
Joined
·
5,281 Posts
I would say it's good to know a few classical pieces to go with everything else you do. It was very common back in the 70's, where guys like Steve Howe had 'Mood For a Day', Steve Hackett had a few actually, 'Blood On the Rooftops' is a great one with vocal;, it used to be pretty common. You don't have to really "learn" classical, as Greg said, but it's definitely worth knowing a piece or two IMHO. If you're feeling adventurous, you can find tabs for Greg Howe's 'Desiderata' on line, though I would caution the quick parts would be very, very challenging for a beginner. 'Sunburst' is another popular one that is unfortunately a bit trickier to play than it sounds but is very impressive when done well.

There's sooo many great styles with the guitar, the more you can play the less bored you'll get practicing. You could also try Country guitar 'Working Man' playing, which is a lot of fun as well. Check out this free lesson from Johnny Hiland -

Never stop learning is the take away here :)
 

·
Hates Richie Kotzen
Joined
·
14,719 Posts
Classical is its own school of thought for sure. It's a different mindset than pickstyle electric. It's not a single voicing, it's closer to piano in many ways. The style is the interplay between two voices.

There's not the absolute independence of what the right hand and the left hand is doing like piano, but the style is the interplay between the notes the thumb is striking on the treble strings, and the notes the fingers are striking on the treble strings.

Much different mindset than pickstyle electric.

Flamenco is also different from classical, a lot of people don't pick up on that distinction.

The brilliant thing about double voiced instruments like piano are you can give the feeling of blistering speed. Because each voice only had to move half as fast as on a mono voiced instrument to give the same feel.

The downside, of course, is you have to have a mind that is capable of splitting up the tasks like a pianist. On piano you have to understand that the style is based on knowing that the sum of what you are playing comes from the interplay of the right and left hand, but to an extent, they are also independent of eachother. So in a sense you are accompanying yourself at times, and at times when things are super complex, doing two independent things.

You pretty much have to be able to sight read to do a dual voiced instrument. Improvising parts on a double voiced improvising parts on a double voiced instrument on the fly is obviously twice as hard as just jamming out improv parts on single voiced pickstyle. If you can't sight read, I wouldn't really bother with getting *too* into "proper classical". It's a prerequisite.
 

·
Is Actually Recording
Joined
·
32,765 Posts
Nah, there are only twelve notes. The theory behind every genre is pretty much the same. There is no difference between classical theory and metal theory. Shit is universal. Modes and scales and all that.

The major difference with classical is the vast, vast majority of metal guitar is a single voice. Traditional classical is quasi dual voice. Because your thumb is filling a different function in the lower registers while your fingers are doing shit on the upper strings.

Honestly, it's it's own thing. There are a couple metal guitarists who are sick at it. I play classical, and I can play fingerstyle, because I started on bass, but grasping true classical technique that revolves around your thumb in the lower registers and your fingers in the upper ones is its own skill. Hard to learn too.
Great post.

In a vacuum/ideal world, it's absolutely worth learning classical technique. it's a very different approach from a lot of rock and metal technique, it'll get you thinking in different ways compositionally, and will help you look at the neck in different ways than you might otherwise.

In a practical world... I barely have the time to practice a lot of the techniques/approaches that are important to me as a guy who combines blues, rock, and metal influences. If I had nothing else to do but hang out and practice guitar, it might be a different story, but all the time I could be spending on fingerstyle technique and practicing juggling 2- ad 3-part melody lines as part of a single composition is probably better spent working on keeping my legato technique smooth, smoothing out some inefficiencies in my picking technique, and writing.

Practice stuff that makes you better at the music YOU want to play. If your prioroty is rock or metal, but you want to learn more theory, I'd probably steer you to jazz before classical, but you could just dive straight into theory on its own without trying to learn it via studying a genre with all its own conventions and approaches.
 

·
Shredding 'till dead
Joined
·
236 Posts
Really jazz teaches you better how chords and scales all relate to each other and how to move all those things around and really manipulate them through imrpov, composition and what not. The whole you gotta learn classical music to be a real musician or 'hey, look I was classically trained and am so great, so superior of a music guy' usually comes from a snobbish mentality.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,838 Posts
I've heard people say that you should start on a nylon string, but not that you should learn classical guitar. In a way I can see the point of starting on a nylon string, because it's a bit more forgiving for your fingers, but if you really just want to play heavy metal then starting on an electric makes more sense to me.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2 Posts
Actually it's funny I saw this thread, I started off learning about Bass from my pops, and as a kid trombone etc in school, eventually I came across electric and never looked back, especially after I made it past the Metallica/Pantera stages into the Children of Bodom/Dimmu stages etc.

I've never really branched out much guitar-wise, but I had always wanted to play classical, and I recently picked one up to learn finally after so many years, and my reasoning was, I could branch out not just on guitar but musically in general, and just get that much more depth of understanding of relationships on the fretboard between chords/scales/modes, utilizing open strings, seeing it in a different way that can help your guitar playing on any kind, as well as have something to play when I'm not super psyched to jam some metal, and I gotta say, itdid exactly what I thought. It's a thousand percent worth it, you can do the same things on an electric but it just isn't the same and it won't be as fun. Definitely get a classical, doesn't have to be a $5k master class, just grab like a $300 or hit a shop and try some out see what plays alright enough so you can experiment with it and not break the bank.
 
1 - 17 of 17 Posts
Top