#1
Hi everyone,

I plan to begin guitar and the goal is to be able to play the following styles at a deep level.

Metal, classical, jazz, middle eastern, pop, post rock, folk and

My first question is, will this make me a mediocre player and master of none? Or do all these different styles build up guitar skill vertically rather than horizontally, I.e. Skills in classical music improve my skills in metal. How many styles can a guitar player keep fresh in their their daily practice routine before there's no progress?

Also, if each style is better with particular scales, will keeping all these scales in practice make you mediocre and master of none? How many scales can I keep in practice before progress is dead?

Thanks so much!
#2
Really there are two skills at work here (very broadly):

Classical playing and non-classical. Very broadly if you can improve your electric technique that has applications across any and all genres.

As for the stylistic inflections of any given genre, that's really not about scales at all and if it was it would be a whole lot easier to keep it all in your mind. Really though, once you can do a decent impression of a genre it's pretty hard to forget how to do it. Also you'll find that the more different things you learn the less they become distinct things and the more it all just ends up being "playing"; most genres sounds are pretty accepting of stylistic change. Really the only things you need to remember is that metal licks are probably best kept to metal and that jazz soloing over classical sounding backing will probably just sounds bad.

And yes, everything you learn will improve everything else: anything you don't know is a gap in your knowledge so learning anything is an improvement.
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#3
Well not all of those styles benefit the others.

Classical for example is mostly finger picked, so it wont help your right hand much for metal, post rock etc. But one thing all of these styles will do is atleast build your left hand technique, AND you will be able to think in a good amount of different ways when it comes to songwriting and such. (I know a few people that only play metal, sure can play metal rhythm good but everything else falls apart. Like a good chord progression).

To short it down. All of these styles will improve you, if they improve you you´ll get better. If you get better you can learn equally difficult stuff easier OR move on to harder stuff. Progress will never die, it might slow down from time to time, but you´ll always have room to improve.

If you want to play jazz though you´ll probably have to make time for some theory aswell.

Hope this helped, cheers.
#4
Well, I don't think it's relevant, really.

Will playing power chords all day long allow you to play beethoven on your guitar the day after? Not likely. But if you know where the notes are on your fretboard and you've got a basic understanding of scales and how to apply them, you can tackle pretty much any genre. Genres have very little to do with actually mastering an instrument. A great jazz guitarist that never played folk before will probably have no trouble learning an average folk song.

I'd say, play the regular beginner songs first, whatever their genre may be. After that, when you've got basic guitar playing skills, you'll be able to answer those questions yourself with ease.
#5
If you're just starting guitar, you're biting off more than you can chew - just start with your favourite music and go on from there.

If you're serious about learning multiple styles well, you have to have all your fundamentals down. No matter what style you play, certain skills are always useful. You'll need -

A solid understanding of how to find notes, chords and scales.
A good ear.
Efficient and relaxed left and right hand technique (bearing in mind that classical has an entirely different right hand approach, that may be a massive roadblock)
A excellent sense of rhythm.

That said, if you're good enough at the above, there's no reason why you can't learn multiple styles well.
#6
Quote by Freepower
Efficient and relaxed left and right hand technique (bearing in mind that classical has an entirely different right hand approach, that may be a massive roadblock)


I'd also mention that classical left hand technique is drastically different from the ideal left hand technique for electric guitar. Perpendicular fretting for example, would be detrimental to string dampening technique which is absolutely crucial for an electric guitar.

Then there's the fact that playing while sitting in the classical position doesn't translate well to the usual standing electric position, either.
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#7
^ oh, yeah, totally forgot about that. Another huge difference is the fact that generally in classical you want tones to ring out over each other - and that's completely the opposite to electric guitar. It's really weird getting used to holding out chord tones.
#8
I think classical guitar is a great thing to know (and I really don't know much about it), but I think if you really want to get the most out of learning classical guitar (or even steel-string acoustic guitar) aswell as electric guitar, it's best to treat them as different instruments.

I think learning multiple styles is absolutely fine, but I'd warn against biting off more than you can chew. Instead, I'd recommend working on a particular style at a time, either until you reach a level of proficiency in that style that you're happy with, or more likely, until you get tired of it and decide to move on to something else. You can always revisit the style again later. You're unlikely to forget the style after you've spent time learning it.
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#9
My sincere suggestion is to stick to one or two styles MAX... there are more than you can learn in your whole life time... !!
#10
Quote by Zach Eapen
My sincere suggestion is to stick to one or two styles MAX... there are more than you can learn in your whole life time... !!


Why 2 styles?

Many famous players (John petrucci comes to mind) have practiced many different style, but maybe write in one or two.
#11
@Sickz it's just my suggestion, buddy - But if you are really really talented and extraordinary and determined you can master all the styles and genres in the world But I haven't seen any guitarist in the world play more than 2 genres or styles in front of the crowd !
#12
Quote by Zach Eapen
@Sickz it's just my suggestion, buddy - But if you are really really talented and extraordinary and determined you can master all the styles and genres in the world But I haven't seen any guitarist in the world play more than 2 genres or styles in front of the crowd !


Go search for "Guthrie Govan Who's Best" on youtube. If there's something that man can't do (that doesn't involve nylon strings) I haven't heard it.
R.I.P. My Signature. Lost to us in the great Signature Massacre of 2014.

Quote by Master Foo
“A man who mistakes secrets for knowledge is like a man who, seeking light, hugs a candle so closely that he smothers it and burns his hand.”


Album.
Legion.
#13
Quote by WulfByte

Also, if each style is better with particular scales, will keeping all these scales in practice make you mediocre and master of none? How many scales can I keep in practice before progress is dead?


Most scales are just variations of the Major and Minor scales. And no, learning many scales will not limit you in any way since they're so similar.
#14
Thanks guys for the feedback. Glad to see the overall agreement here. Really got me motivated to begin the journey.

I get that music is music, so just keep playing. I like the idea that styles are not as distinct as they seem, interesting music is the stuff that finds itself in the new and gray areas anyways.

Thanks guys, for clearing up between stylistic inflections and scales, I'll have to ask about that later.
#15
I can give personal testimony to this. I started as a hard rock guitar player just doing classic rock and metal. Eventually I moved on to playing extreme metal and shred guitar. Now I mainly write folk, jazz fusion, and ambient (not all together of course!). I also have a bit of a classical background too from the several years I received lessons from a classical instructor.

It is VERY possible to learn many styles, and I think its a good thing to do, as you can use knowledge acquired from one genre and implement it playing another (ie using sweeping/shredding abilities from metal to create new licks for my jazz playing).


Hope this helps, and best of luck to you. I'd say the best way to start is playing some easy songs you like, as well as training fundamental techniques.
#16
you will find that if you focus on one genre, you can develop an intimate knowledge and understanding of it. I play texas blues. However, i got into funk and jazz. now, I incorporate jazz and minimal funk elements into my playing (okay, quite heavy jazz influence, but i cant solo jazz at all, and dont care to learn).

then, i got into math rock, and now i incorporate blues into that, as well as the major feel of math rock into blues, and even write math blues.

The above is a very long winded way of saying "learn whatever you want to, and develop it from there".
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