#1
Hi

First time posting so apologies if this is not the right section for this.

I recently started the guitar and have found a stable routine that allows me about 3 hours of practice per day, with a little more time free on weekends if needed.

I own a classsical guitar and an electric and have been trying to think about what type of style of guitar I would like to focus on and make my specialty. My curernt focus is on developing my practice routine

I have narrowed it down to 3 styles—2 which would be my major focus, and a minor style—but I am wondering if I am spreading myself too thin by practicing all 3 styles, rather than focusing on one?

The three styles would be

1. Classical guitar
From what I gather this should be treated as a separate instrument almost and will be (arguably) the most time consuming and difficult. Something about a good classical guitar piece that really calms my soul, but it's not the type of stuff I could ever see myself performing for people unless I was really really good.
Stuff like this:



2. Lead guitar on electric
I would be interested in finding a band if I got to a good enough level and could combine some vocal work with my playing if I develop my singing.


3. Acoustic chords + singing

Something along the lines of the first guy in this video:


I would probably have this as a minor specialisation. Nothing major; just some simple strumming on an acoustic, combined with some singing. As an advantage I heard this style is relatively easy to learn and the singing is not very time consuming (apparently, a beginner should stick to 15 minutes of singing per day to start) so this would make for a a nice minor specialisation—plus singing can help with the Electric guitar.


Should I make the hard choice of sticking to one style, maybe compromise with 2 ways of playing, or can 2 styles plus a minor focus on acoustic strumming/singing work with only 3 hours per day to practice?

Any advice would be appreciated
Last edited by Domo230 at Dec 5, 2016,
#2
I would suggest dropping option 2. or 3. It depends which one of those you find the most interesting. You could sing and play in a band with either electric or acoustic.

Continue with option 1. also, because it is somewhat its own thing and it seems that you value what you get from it.

If you want to do all 3, then go for it.
#3
I play Classical and lead electric primarily, but play acoustic as well. First off, you can do all three, that is not an issue. In my case, I have consistently had periods where I would focus on one for months at a time, and then get back to the others. If you can consistently put at least 3 hours per day you will be very good regardless of how you apply that time, so don't over obsess about that part - just keep practicing and let your inspiration guide you in how that time is spent.

Get a teacher for classical guitar - at least for a couple of months.
#5
Thanks guys for your feedback.

My main concern is that I would not be dedicating enough time to each and would end up sounding pretty bad in all three.
The idea of fusing all three sounds pretty cool though.

This article recommends dedicating two hours per playing style, which is what made me concerned:
http://www.guitarmasterycoaching.com/should-you-learn-multiple-styles-of-guitar-or-stick-to-one.html
#6
Well 2 and 3 kinda go together. Singing is the optional one (for me anyway). I agree that classical guitar is kind of its own thing. You can build some really fantastic skills playing classical music, but those skills only transfer to other music if you put decent time into both.

I think stylistic focus is the more important choice to make. Lots of people play electric and classical, but most people eventually have specialty styles. You can focus on a wide range of styles, but it takes consistent effort for many years to sound authentic in more than a couple different kinds of music. You don't have to practice two hours of each style every day to sound good. That would be like university-level intensity, which most working adults don't have time for. If you can count on even two hours a day total, you can work on a decent range of material. It will take longer than if you had 8 hours a day to practice, but that's just the reality of studying music as an adult.
Last edited by cdgraves at Dec 6, 2016,
#7
Hey Domo!

It's awesome to see you're so ambitious and have so much passion for playing!
I'm not sure how much of a beginner you are, but I would say you should strive to be at least "intermediate" level for any 1 style.
But know that when you learn concepts for 1 style, a lot of it is applicable to other styles and you'll always cross over what you've learned.

So the hard part is to not be tempted to try to "evenly learn" all the styles. Overall you'll learn the other styles faster once you have a good grasp of one. So in the end you will save time.

I myself started with #3, #2, then #1. I actually studied classical guitar in college and have a BM, and now I'm coming back to get better at #2 & #3 styles. (I play and sing backup for a funk band and play acoustic & sing for my church).

I'm the same way that I want to be good at all styles, but I know I need to have the patience to get to a new style eventually.

Hope that helps!
"Every time you pick up your guitar to play, play as if it's the last time" -Eric Clapton
www.guitareasier.com
#8
Quote by cdgraves

I think stylistic focus is the more important choice to make. Lots of people play electric and classical, but most people eventually have specialty styles. You can focus on a wide range of styles, but it takes consistent effort for many years to sound authentic in more than a couple different kinds of music. You don't have to practice two hours of each style every day to sound good. That would be like university-level intensity, which most working adults don't have time for. If you can count on even two hours a day total, you can work on a decent range of material. It will take longer than if you had 8 hours a day to practice, but that's just the reality of studying music as an adult.


How do you mean by stylistic choice - do you mean say the difference between Jazz guitar and metal?

I'm lucky in that my working routine allows me the time to practice. Currently I am doing the following:

Get up at 07:10 - get an hour of practice in before work.

Practice 15-30 minutes during lunch (I'm only a 5-10 minute walk from where I work so I usually go back to my apartment for my break)

Practice 1 and a half hours after work


I'm switching from my 9-6 work routine to 10-6 soon, so if I ever feel like I need another hour I can use that (gonna spend that hour working on my drawing skills for the moment).

Thanks for the advice so far guys - I think I will stick with all 3 for the moment.
#9
Quote by Domo230
How do you mean by stylistic choice - do you mean say the difference between Jazz guitar and metal?


Yes, basically. The choices you posed above, particularly 2 and 3, can apply to any style of music. You don't have to choose between rhythm and lead, and in fact the vast majority of good players don't. It's mostly only the very limited players who actually pigeonhole themselves as lead or rhythm players, which is likely the result of having very limited practice time or very focused interest in guitar (or perhaps their real interest is singing and the guitar is just cheaper than a piano).

Refusing to put yourself in a rhythm or lead box will open you up as a player. But unless you have literally all day, you'll find that the real limitations - the ones you likely have to accept as reality - are the habits you develop, and habits include your style of playing. If you get into a lot of classic rock, those habits aren't going to transfer very well to something like jazz, or bluegrass, or classical music. You can pursue a broad pallet of musical habits, but if don't have 8 hours a day for music, none of them are likely to become high level skills. In all likelihood, you will enjoy being good at a few styles of music much more than being bad at all of them.

The best advice I can give is to find a couple styles that you can make your musical center. You need something to focus your efforts on in order to develop any level of ability. From there you can pursue real competence in your core abilities and use extra time to study other kinds of music. That way you have a balance of focused study and curiosity. Those other side projects you take on will eventually inform your core abilities and help you develop an individual style within the broader type of music you enjoy playing.