Advice on playing several styles?

Discussion in 'Playing and Technique' started by sameh, Feb 9, 2012.

  1. sameh

    sameh Member

    Oct 27, 2007
    I find that my interest in playing guitar spans several styles, and I would like to eventually become proficient in these styles: Rock, Blues, RnB and Soul, Post-Rock and Alternative, some elements of Jazz...
    Looking at the guitar-playing landscape, I think that most great guitarists have focused and excelled at one style or two primarily, and fewer pro guitarists, like the studio cats of the 80's and 90's, have mastered several styles, yet still were known for 2 or 3 areas of guitar playing..

    Being in my early 30's..and not a full-time musician, I have job and support a family, I try to practice an average of 1.5 hours every day..some times more... I consider my level of playing advanced-intermediate to advanced depending on what standard I am comparing it too..

    Do you think that becoming proficient in a professional level in the styles I mentioned above achievable, and what is the best way of doing that?
  2. willhutch

    willhutch Supporting Member

    Feb 1, 2006
    Sure you can. I think it boils down to listening to a lot of music and, most importantly, learning a lot of tunes!
  3. guitarjazz

    guitarjazz Member

    Dec 29, 2009
    As a style hoarder I will say that diving into the deep end and having a chance to play with people is probably the best thing in addition to lots of listening.
    I've played at bluegrass festivals, jazz clubs, black churches, purple churches, dixieland bands, rock clubs till 3am etc..
  4. whiteop

    whiteop Senior Member

    Dec 9, 2009
    Yes and i was in your shoes around the same time in my life only there was not nearly as many instructional aids online. Invest some QT watching instructional videos on YouTube. That's what I did and I can definitely see a lot of improvement in my playing the last 2 years (my friends and family members have made comments that they've heard a big improvement in both skill and tone too). One piece of gear that has helped a lot on my timing is an RC-2 looper with drum tracks built in. I use it almost daily and play both rhythm and leads with different beats and at different speeds to improve my timing. Another useful tool to learn difficult leads is one of those Tascam Guitar Trainers where you can slow down the speed of a lick or riff to learn. I've been able to figure out what I thought were difficult licks using it. Often I find I just need to change the picking pattern or play a note in the scale differently than I'm used to. All will definitely help you grow as a guitarist.
    Last edited: Feb 9, 2012
  5. MatthiasYoung

    MatthiasYoung Member

    Dec 8, 2011
    Having videos online to watch is a great learning aid. I recommend Free Guitar Videos - everything is there from basic techniques to riffs and stylistic playing.
  6. Nurk2

    Nurk2 "Ignore Everybody" ~Hugh MacLeod

    Jul 25, 2011
    Upstate NY
    It really depends on the gig. If you've got a couple days to get it together, pick out a couple key players (but not necessarily virtuosos) in that genre and steal, steal, steal. You don't have to play EVERYTHING in a particular idiom, but you need to figure out some KEY ways of attacking and phrasing that will allow you to fake it, musically. Then move on to the next thing.

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