#1
Hello guys, i started playing flamenco guitar this year because i had problems with my techinique , i thought going back to the classic stuff may have helped my electric guitar playing ( i had problems with my rist not being relaxed and the way i put my thumb against the neck of the guitar ) . The problem is that i found my self learning a conpletly new playing style: growing my nails and fingerpicking at that speed was something i had never tried before). I am Now kinda scared that flamenco won't improve my elctric guitar skills leaving me with another lack of techinique in electric guitar. I would like to know what you think, am i wrong?


Regards, Alessio
#3
It's probably a matter of not applying some habits that hinder you and learning new habits that help. A better question for the Guitar Techniques forum though.
#4
Quote by Ippon
Competency in any genre can only help, not hinder. Try some Dire Strait.


Overall, sure. But learning something well won't be a huge value to something requiring a very different skillset. Flamenco technique is very different than that used for most styles of electric. Picking is different, hand posture is different, muting is different (with electric requiring far more precise muting), etc.

Really the only answer is that practicing playing electric is what will improve skills on an electric and there is no way around that. It's true of anything. The best way to learn something is to actually do it rather than doing something different.

You can't expect to learn to ride a motorcycle by learning to ride a bicycle. You have to actually get on a motorcycle since they are two different things. You can't expect to learn to speak Swedish by learning Norwegian instead. Even though they are similar languages in many ways, they are still separate language with different vocabulary, different phonology, and different grammatical rules.

In both cases, one may certainly hrlp with the other, but there is nothing that works the same as the real thing. And learning a highly contradting guitar style on a style of instrument that handles very differently will not be the key to mastering electric guitar.
There's no such thing; there never was. Where I am going you cannot follow me now.
#5
+1

The musical knowledge can be taken across (depending on target genre(s)) but the picking hand technique is completely different. I guess you'll need to concentrate on picking (alternate, economy) and muting skills to redress the balance. That said, Jeff Beck doesn't use a pick and gets great sound and has good technique. But your fretting hand should be in good shape. Maybe legato will need looking at? (Not sure how much legato gets used in flamenco).
#6
I agree with Theo, if you want to play electric, learn electric. After aabout 35 years of acoustic before I took up electric about 20 years, I have found it impossible to develop what I consider a good touch on electric.

It is true that learning one skill set will help with another to some extent, but there are limits. - Apart from anything else you can become a Jack of all trades and master of none.
#7
Quote by alep9841
Hello guys, i started playing flamenco guitar this year because i had problems with my techinique , i thought going back to the classic stuff may have helped my electric guitar playing ( i had problems with my rist not being relaxed and the way i put my thumb against the neck of the guitar ) . The problem is that i found my self learning a conpletly new playing style: growing my nails and fingerpicking at that speed was something i had never tried before). I am Now kinda scared that flamenco won't improve my elctric guitar skills leaving me with another lack of techinique in electric guitar. I would like to know what you think, am i wrong?


Regards, Alessio


I played electric for a few years, then Classical for a few years and now play both. I'm uniquely qualified to address your concerns.

1) Left hand - the skills you acquire will apply to electric as well. The touch is different, but the fretboard is basically the same. The core difference between Flamenco and electric is that on electric you will want to wrap your hand around the neck sometimes and use your thumb for voicings ( see Jimi hendrix or SRV or Satriani) - which is a very powerful approach on electric guitar that is not really possible on Flamenco due to the neck construction.

2) Right hand - this is where things are tricky . You can play fingerstyle on electric, but you need to change your grip and approach - the classical floating hand approach will not provide good results on electric because you need to palm mute a lot and to dampen unused strings, which requires resting your hand on the strings on occasion. I find that by using a different grip on electric I can play it with a better tone than simply using the Flamenco grip. My approach is a hybrid of Wes Montgomery, Mark Knopfler and Classical - I play the bass strings mostly with my thumb and primarily use my thumb, index and middle finger for 90% of my lines. To get speed using fingerstyle on electric the best approach is to focus on legato, rather than staccato playing. Check out a picture of Mark Knoplfer's right hand and use that as a reference- anchoring your pinky helps with palm muting and dampening, even though it's a bad habit on Flamenco.

3) using a pick : just because you're learning flamenco doesn't mean you can't practice certain things with a pick - don't be afraid to practice with a pick - see Jesse Cook as an example of a player who uses both approaches. a pick will give you percussive speed that is impossible to get with your fingers on electric - also, for metal a pick is necessary for fast palm muted riffs.


Flamenco and classical guitar are very advanced forms of playing. I wouldn't hesitate to say that an average classical or flamenco player is light years ahead of most general guitarists - because the level of difficulty is simply much higher for even the beginner material. What I learnt during my first week of classical guitar lessons was 100 times more complex than every rock and metal fingerpicking riff I knew, and I knew a lot! Fingerstyle playing is already much more involved than playing with a pick, so you aren't wasting your time by learning flamenco, you're actually learning a more advanced form of guitar so it will make learning rock or metal much easier in comparison.

That being said, you need to play electric to be good on electric so make it part of your regular routine.
#8
Quote by reverb66
I'm uniquely qualified to address your concerns.


That's just precious, ain't it?

The touch is different


This actually is arguably a bigger difference than thumb positioning. I think people tend to underestimate the difference between the feel of different string material, gauges, tension, string spacing, fret height, etc and how that affects fretting.

A lot of electric players, particularly shred guys, tend to keep their thumbs on the back in classical position anyway, especially when playing up the neck.

Also you forgot to mention things like left hand muting, string bending, vibrato, etc that are very different between the two, which are all part of good left hand technique.

I play the bass strings mostly with my thumb and primarily use my thumb, index and middle finger for 90% of my lines.


I mean, that's kind of how all fingerstyle guitarists play though, isn't it?


To get speed using fingerstyle on electric the best approach is to focus on legato, rather than staccato playing.


Years bluegrass banjo playing and applying those techniques to electric playing make me want to yes and no with this to an extent. Elaborate linear legato runs don't work as well fingerpicked as they do in metal playing with high gain and therefore high compression. On the other hand open string legato (ie hammer-ons and pull-offs from and to open strings) is very effective.

I've always found a combination of using linear picking runs, minimal fretted legato, a fair amount of open string legato, and one note per string playing gives the best results. Listen to Jerry's Breakdown to hear what I mean. Very little legato, but still a very fast and smooth on both Jerry and Chet's playing.

What I learnt during my first week of classical guitar lessons was 100 times more complex than every rock and metal fingerpicking riff I knew, and I knew a lot!


Rock fingerpicking is usually very simple and it is very rare in metal, so that really isn't saying anything. Also the difficulty of beginner pieces and playing doesn't mean that the style is overall more difficult. Compare any sort of guitar playing to playing bowed or brass or double reed instruments. It takes weeks to even get a decent sound.
There's no such thing; there never was. Where I am going you cannot follow me now.