#1
I began my musical education at a young age with the classical violin and clarinet, before at age 13 "rebelling" against the constraints of my parents and playing guitar (both electric and acoustic).
Whilst formal classical musical education provided me with essential skills such as reading music, playing with other musicians and practicing discipline, my mostly self taught approach to guitar has lead to a what I have now come to believe is a very un-musical attitude towards the guitar.

Like all young guitar students I began by imitating my idols (Hendrix, Page etc...) which translated into buying solo transcriptions and memorizing them. I gradually moved on to improvising over blues, pop and rock tunes with fairly easy chord changes. This was actually a very satisfying period of guitar playing since I found that I was able to learn how to express myself since the lack of complex changes allows you to be lazy harmonically. Throughout this period I also became intensely interested in developing "chops", learning many challenging guitar pieces for show. (Cliffs of Dover, Eruption, Paganini's 5th Caprice by Jason Becker, Far Beyond the Sun.)

Of course all of this contributed to an ego trip hard to resist for a 17 year old....

The inevitable realization of my own musical shortcomings on the guitar coincided with my burgeoning interest in Jazz and Fusion as genres. I began playing for a Big Band which sorely tested my sight-reading skills. (other players such as saxophonists could easily sight read complicated rythmns and long lines of fast notes to performance levels, whilst I needed to take music home to "learn" it) At the same time as my awareness of theory increased exponentially and my exposure to non-static harmonic movements (Bebob, Giant steps cycle etc) increased, I realized that my improvisational skills were sorely lacking since I was failing miserably to "move with the changes" and instead attempting to just "solo in the key of the tune".

These realizations have lead me to believe that a serious paradigm shift is necessary in the way that the Electric Guitar is studied (jazz, Fusion, Rock ...etc), which brings me to my main point:

What can we do as a community of MUSICIANS, to promote the learning of the guitar in a MUSICAL fashion?

ever wondered why many classical and jazz musicians regard rock guitarists in such low esteem?

then consider this - when your improvising could you call out the name of every note you played?
#2
Quote by KGguitar
then consider this - when your improvising could you call out the name of every note you played?


Does it matter?
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#3
Isn't what matters to have fun? The decision to bend the note, slide it, or cram 10 notes in the space of that one note instead of a long one is completely up to myself to do. If I like what Im doing, and I like what I play, it's music.
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#4
Quote by KGguitar
I began my musical education at a young age with the classical violin and clarinet, before at age 13 "rebelling" against the constraints of my parents and playing guitar (both electric and acoustic).
Whilst formal classical musical education provided me with essential skills such as reading music, playing with other musicians and practicing discipline, my mostly self taught approach to guitar has lead to a what I have now come to believe is a very un-musical attitude towards the guitar.

Like all young guitar students I began by imitating my idols (Hendrix, Page etc...) which translated into buying solo transcriptions and memorizing them. I gradually moved on to improvising over blues, pop and rock tunes with fairly easy chord changes. This was actually a very satisfying period of guitar playing since I found that I was able to learn how to express myself since the lack of complex changes allows you to be lazy harmonically. Throughout this period I also became intensely interested in developing "chops", learning many challenging guitar pieces for show. (Cliffs of Dover, Eruption, Paganini's 5th Caprice by Jason Becker, Far Beyond the Sun.)

Of course all of this contributed to an ego trip hard to resist for a 17 year old....

The inevitable realization of my own musical shortcomings on the guitar coincided with my burgeoning interest in Jazz and Fusion as genres. I began playing for a Big Band which sorely tested my sight-reading skills. (other players such as saxophonists could easily sight read complicated rythmns and long lines of fast notes to performance levels, whilst I needed to take music home to "learn" it) At the same time as my awareness of theory increased exponentially and my exposure to non-static harmonic movements (Bebob, Giant steps cycle etc) increased, I realized that my improvisational skills were sorely lacking since I was failing miserably to "move with the changes" and instead attempting to just "solo in the key of the tune".

These realizations have lead me to believe that a serious paradigm shift is necessary in the way that the Electric Guitar is studied (jazz, Fusion, Rock ...etc), which brings me to my main point:

What can we do as a community of MUSICIANS, to promote the learning of the guitar in a MUSICAL fashion?


nothing, well maybe argue or something, but that won't help.

As an individual though, you can lead by example.


Quote by KGguitar

ever wondered why many classical and jazz musicians regard rock guitarists in such low esteem?
no, because I know why. Some people feel the need to put down others, in order to boost their own self-esteem.

Quote by KGguitar

then consider this - when your improvising could you call out the name of every note you played?


I can but it doesn't make my improvisation any better.


Id say, don't take yourself too seriously. Enjoy playing the guitar, and learning. Don't try to change the world.
shred is gaudy music
Last edited by GuitarMunky at Apr 9, 2012,
#5
This is incredibly common for guitarists. I'm in musical school, studying jazz, but my jazz teacher acknowledges that sight-reading and other things that most 'normal' musicians can do relatively easily is typically lost in translation for guitarists. It definitely was for me. And jazz and classical musicians look down on rock musicians (note the use of the word musicians, because they are) far less than you'd guess.
#6
I play guitar because it is fun for me. I am by no means a musician. I don't know the notes on the fretboard, many scales or a lot of theory but i've been playing guitar for coming on 8 years now just because I like the feeling of playing guitar.
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#7
One of the best things about guitar is that we have people who can't read music or explain theory to save their lives, and yet they are amazing nonetheless. Music doesn't require an education, music just requires a soul. Sure greats like Bach knew all the theory behind what they were writing, but it was amazing at the same time. Did Robert Johnson know his theory? Hell no! He created an entire legion of blues guitarists relying only on what was in their heads. It's fine if your opinion is to have more musicians know about how music should go, but not everyone needs it.
#8
Many guitarists limit themselves by not learning the theory behind the instrument but that doesn't make them inferior. If they can play a series of notes and evoke an emotion then they've done their job in my opinion. It doesn't hurt to learn all the musical ins and outs of the instrument but it certainly doesn't mean we should be militant in insisting everyone learn that way.

Guitar is something I enjoy. Were I making a career out of it or trying to compose masterpieces to rival the classics maybe I'd approach the instrument differently. But I'm not, and that would take the fun out of the instrument for me. To each his own, so long as we're all making music and enjoying it, how in depth we understand the instrument doesn't matter.
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#9
rather than get into the whole debate about them being the same and that anyone that plays an instrument is a musician...while it not be a perfect answer, in my opinion,

a musicians cares more about the song / sound, they don't care how it is created (think bands like radiohead / the beatles)....also why lots of guitar players lost interest in radiohead when they release kid a

a guitar players strive to make music, but the first prerequesite is that it is crafted on a guitar

theory / knowing the notes, etc, while it might help identify the difference, there are probably people that can play guitar and piano that don't know much about theory...but i'm sure that in general if you know theory it will most likely make learning another instrument easier
#10
What exact good does putting a title on it do? Is music not music no matter what classification you place it under. While we all have different kinda of music that are enjoyable to us, it is not our place to dictate what "music" is to someone else. Playing an instrument, by my standards, classifies one as a musician. There are of course different levels of musical ability, those with high skill levels are "better" musicians, but they are not more of a musician than anybody else who dedicates their time to the learning of musical instruments.
#11
One of the reasons many guitar players have issues sight reading is because of the huge range of the instrument and the fact that the same note can be played in at least 2 or 3
(or even 4) places on the fretboard. Guitar can be a very different animal to any other instrument.
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#12
^ a good sightreading guitarist can look at the notes and find the most logical placement for them.

i'm not one, i'm just saying a good one can