#1
What I really mean is which is harder for someone to learn? I was watching this movie called 'Whiplash', where the guys in it are all part of a jazz band, and by the looks of it, it really is complicated stuff. So with that said, are most guitar related genres harder than one another? Or are they all equally as hard to learn for someone who is new to guitar in general? i.e. is learning jazz harder than learning metal? is country easier than learning rock? Etc...
#2
Guitar playing across all genres is equally hard.

However, jazz and classical have incredibly high skill floors. They test your strength not as a guitarist, but as a musician. You'll drown if you sit in with bop players with zero experience.

Basically, every genres has a more or less equal skill ceiling (the highest level of playing), but some have much higher skill floors ("just surviving the music") than others.

ALSO

This thread is going to start a flame war, and I'm going to close it immediately at the first WHIFF of non-civility, real or implied.
"There are two styles of music. Good music and bad music." -Duke Ellington

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#3
Quote by Jet Penguin
This thread is going to start a flame war, and I'm going to close it immediately at the first WHIFF of non-civility, real or implied.


challenge accepted




different genre's require different technique. I don't know how to sweep pick and I can't really do pinch harmonics well, but I don't care. I don't play metal. There are really just about zero instances where I would need those skills.

so yeah, they are all hard in their own way
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#4
I would say that yes, there is a large gap between learning curves across genres. There will be a huge difference between learning how to play punk songs or alternative rock compared to say, learning a full on classical composition. However, the difficulty could come from different areas. A genre like jazz will test your knowledge of theory and ear, whereas a genre like metal will test your ability to apply techniques quickly (pinch harmonics, bends, sweeping, hybrid picking, legato, etc).

More important than the genre though is the player. A really good country player can out shred a beginner metal player with his bare hands, and he'll do it on an old acoustic with 13's in standard too. Basically, once you get good enough at it, no matter what genre you play it'll seem pretty difficult.
#5
Different strokes for different folks honestly. When it really comes down to it, it's purely subjective. Is using a pick harder than using your fingers? Is using a pick, and your middle finger to hybrid pick harder than just solely using a pick, or just your fingers? In my honest opinion I don't think any style of music is harder than the other they're all mutually challenging. I've had my difficulties finger picking, and I've had my difficulties just using a pick, and I've also had difficulties with hybrid picking. All those difficulties were similar, but in a way different, but I will tell you one thing at the end of the day I've struggled with all new styles I've practiced.


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0cHeNscKZN0

^ He's using his fingers playing the bass line, and the melody at the same time. This requires more right hand finger independence.


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EGXwik5wnb0

^ He's strumming chords with a pick while adding in fill in's with his pinky finger. All while utilizing double stops with hammer on's, trills, and pull offs. This also requires more left hand finger independence.


At the end of the day both styles are similar, but at the same time different. They're both using the thumb over barre chord grip, but in different ways. This is purely subjective, and up to the spectator honestly. I've learned things from completely different styles that were similar in ways, but used different methods. In addition it really makes you feel like a beginner when you go into unknown territory.


That's why the majority of people just stick to one style because they don't want to go through with that feeling of being a beginner again, but it will always be a never ending learning experience. No one's better just different I know a lot of things other guitarist don't know, and they know a lot of things that I don't know. That's the beauty of music though we all get to share what we've learned with each other.


CONCLUSION- Music is Apples, to Oranges. At the end of the day it's really stupid to even think of comparing styles with each other.


On a serious note what really is more difficult?


Last edited by Black_devils at Jun 15, 2015,
#6
I agree with Jet, every genre allows you to be as simple or complex as you like. You could write a pop song in a very simple fashion way, with easy open position chords. Then you can also add lots of extensions to a pop song, although it is not as common. (Check out John Mayers "Room For Squares" record though, that is some pretty advanced pop music)

That being said, even though all styles can be simple and/or complex, there are certain styles where you are expected to be on a higher level in certain aspects. Once again, like Jet mentioned, Jazz and Classical have a very high skill ceiling and you need to be on a certain level to survive in those styles.

But then again, it doesn't matter. Music is not a competition in regards to who is more skillful, it is a way of expressing yourself. If that is playing in a very slow blues style ala B.B king for you, great! If it is playing a Bebop at a racing tempo, great! Both are great, regardless of how hard they are to execute.
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Last edited by Sickz at Jun 15, 2015,
#7
I'm sure the most technical songs of almost any genre are pretty much equally difficult. But it is pretty clear that there are differences in the skill level you need to be able to play most songs in a genre. For example punk rock. I would say that's one of the easiest genres to play at a decent level (and that's the whole point of it). It is not that hard to make a punk song sound good. In most punk songs guitar is a rhythm/accompaniment instrument. You just strum chords and it leaves little room for expression (though you need to play with attitude - lightly strumming the strings isn't going to sound like punk). But when you play melodies (like in classical music), you need to play more than notes, and expression plays a big part in it. If you just play the right notes, it will sound boring.

This doesn't mean punk players can't be good or that punk rock requires no skill. You can always tell when somebody can play their instrument and when they can't.
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Last edited by MaggaraMarine at Jun 15, 2015,
#8
^What Sickz said. It's about skill floor vs skill ceiling.

A master jazz guitarist and a master rock guitarist are probably on the same level.

But a run of the mill jazz guitarist will probably SMOKE a run of the mill metal player, because the skill floor, the minimum skill set required to to be an "average" jazz player, is much higher than that of rock.

But yes, apples and oranges really, and kind of a silly question. You shouldn't even put music into boxes like that. Learn what you want from every genre, and be the best version of yourself you can.

Stope worrying about having your creativity fit into a preconceived box. There is no box. Only the one you drew.

ALSO

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"There are two styles of music. Good music and bad music." -Duke Ellington

"If you really think about it, the guitar is a pointless instrument." - Robert Fripp
#9
Quote by Granata
What I really mean is which is harder for someone to learn? I was watching this movie called 'Whiplash', where the guys in it are all part of a jazz band, and by the looks of it, it really is complicated stuff. So with that said, are most guitar related genres harder than one another? Or are they all equally as hard to learn for someone who is new to guitar in general? i.e. is learning jazz harder than learning metal? is country easier than learning rock? Etc...


Jazz is "harder" than basically everything else. It's just much more complex and requires much more ability and practice to play it convincingly, if at all. That doesn't mean that metal isn't insanely awesome or difficult, but it takes a back seat to jazz in terms of overall difficulty ( especially from a theory and chord progression standpoint). I've played everything from Bach's fugue on classical to Dream theater and I have no problem stating that jazz is on another level, especially modern jazz ( Kurt Rosenwinkel, Brad Meldhau etc.) .

Rock and Country are about equally as easy, though country lead guitar has evolved and is now more technical than rock. Bluegrass has some similarities to jazz in terms of difficulty, but is still much simpler.

I would rate genre's in terms of difficulty arbitrarily as follows:

1) jazz
2) classical
3) Metal
4) Bluegrass
5) Country ( modern)
6) Rock
7) Blues
#10
Swap the first two, and throw in soul/R&B in between bluegrass and country, and I tend to agree with you, at least as far as skill floors are concerned.

Classical can be WAY more difficult. The standard has been set so high.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l-GUZza1AoU

And's that's just lame guitar. Some of the violin stuff out there is crushingly difficult. (Schoenberg's Violin Concerto cough cough)

As stated before, the skill ceiling is the same for all of em.
"There are two styles of music. Good music and bad music." -Duke Ellington

"If you really think about it, the guitar is a pointless instrument." - Robert Fripp
#11
all styles have "master players" that take the style into another level..when you see/hear them perform you "know" the style has been transcended and they are playing music that crosses all styles..i have met very few players that just want to play one style..myself..I love fusion..but a simple blues progression or even an old folk song ala Dylan..is a good spring board to explore new avenues of playing..throwing some mild jazz lines over "baby let me follow you down" can sound very cool..

someone like chet atkins would be a prime example of a musician that became famous in a county mold..but he could jazz with the best of em..and some classical also..yeah but could he do rock??!! if he wanted to yes...and that is a personal preference for each player..many top "country" players can do hard rock without missing a beat..and they can jazz too..many of these guys are musicians first and have learned all they could to make a living at it (which is not easy in any style) so learning the basics of many styles keep them employed..even if its doing weddings or a beer bar on weekends..
play well

wolf
#12
Quote by reverb66
I would rate genre's in terms of difficulty arbitrarily as follows:

1) jazz
2) classical
3) Metal
4) Bluegrass
5) Country ( modern)
6) Rock
7) Blues


I don't think that it is really fair to go by genres as a whole since many genres are extremely diverse in terms of the level of difficulty to play them. There are some subgenres of jazz where the guitar is laughably simple, and some subgenres of rock (like prog rock and 80s instrumental stuff) that are painfully difficult. It's the same with any genre really.

Also among genres and subgenres, rhythm and lead playing might differ significantly. In terms of stamina and precision, the rhythm guitar playing of technical/brutal death metal and bluegrass are pretty unreal, while bluegrass lead guitar playing is actually fairly simple and guitar lead breaks are probably the second most uncommon only to bass in bluegrass and the lead playing in doom metal for example is very simplistic.

And in terms of breaking things up into different components. Jazz lead guitar might be complex in terms of theory, but one a technical level, compared to some of the stuff that prog rock, shred, technical death metal, modern country, etc, jazz lead guitar is pretty tame.

When you factor in all the discrepancies in difficulties of various aspects of certain genres, it becomes almost impossible to compare genres and simply comes down to "well, I am most familiar with this genre and I know how difficult it is, so I'll arbitrarily put it at this level compared to what I think other genres might be like".

Also the notion that "because you are competent at playing X genre you can play any other genre with ease" is a load of crap as well since many genres making heavy use of techniques and little quirks that are non-existent in many genres. For example, classical guitarists fingerpick. If a virtuoso classical player has never used a flatpick before, they'll struggle to even play at a basic level in a genre that requires flatpicking until they learn that skill.

It doesn't really matter though, since guitar is a relatively easy instrument compared to pretty much anything with reeds, a bow, continuous pitch, use of feet, etc.
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Last edited by theogonia777 at Jun 16, 2015,
#13
What is this obsession with "technical" and "complex"?

How about focusing on musicality and being able to successfully convey a distinct voice?

...modes and scales are still useless.


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#14
Quote by Xiaoxi
What is this obsession with "technical" and "complex"?

How about focusing on musicality and being able to successfully convey a distinct voice?
But Xixi, that would make sense! We can't have folks making sense!
#15
The OP is asking what is more difficult - that is the topic. Answering that everything has it's strength and weaknesses or it's own esoteric musicality etc is really just a cop out answer that is off topic, even though those answers find themselves in every thread.

For those of us who have actually played several genres,if not all of them, it's not really that difficult to rank the general difficulty that accompanies each.
#16
Quote by reverb66
The OP is asking what is more difficult - that is the topic. Answering that everything has it's strength and weaknesses or it's own esoteric musicality etc is really just a cop out answer that is off topic, even though those answers find themselves in every thread.

For those of us who have actually played several genres,if not all of them, it's not really that difficult to rank the general difficulty that accompanies each.

And, invariably, it would be a false ranking. Why? Because no one is capable of playing every song ever in any genre ever. In other words, your ranking is limited solely by your limited exposure.

So, stop acting like this isn't a subjective thing (and basically a pile of horse shit).
#17
Quote by reverb66
For those of us who have actually played several genres,if not all of them, it's not really that difficult to rank the general difficulty that accompanies each.


From some of our previous discussions I seem to recall your knowledge of certain genres being fairly limited.
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#18
I'd say Jazz, Classical, and Metal are technically the hardest genres in general but all styles have their difficult songs (easy ones too). For example (let's use country) Taylor Swift is easy but Lynard Skynard can be super hard (at least according to Rocksmith). Rock is all over the place (it ranges from simple Punk to crazy Prog) and can't really be put in these kind of topics. All styles have their virtuosos and their novices who suck. I've heard funk is really difficult if you're a bassist and much easier for everyone else.

My answer is it depends on the song and instrument. I agree with much of the above and am not trying to start any flame wars (in fact I'd hate to do that).
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#19
Quote by RonaldPoe
(let's use country) Taylor Swift is easy but Lynard Skynard can be super hard (at least according to Rocksmith).

Did you just call a classic rock band "country"?...Based on Rocksmith?...

Stop. Stop. My sides. Oh, god...
#20
Okay Lynard Skynard are a Southern Rock band and maybe I should've used Chet Atkins as an example. Anyway I play Rocksmith because I find it a good way to practice my bass chops.
"I don't know what you're trying to suggest. There's no shame in taking what you need to hold your position!"

Super Buu (DBZ) on assimilation (it could also apply to blues guitar and guitar soloing in general).
#21
Okay we're done here.

"Why? Because no one is capable of playing every song ever in any genre ever."

Don't tell me what I can't do! Watch me.
"There are two styles of music. Good music and bad music." -Duke Ellington

"If you really think about it, the guitar is a pointless instrument." - Robert Fripp