Did you have difficulty picking which style to get good at?

doc

Supporting Member
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6,954
Obviously there are a few gifted souls who seem to be able to be pretty good at playing in just about any style, but they tend to also be focused pros without day jobs. I'm realizing in order to make progress I'm going to have to narrow my focus, but I dabble in several somewhat unrelated styles. I see advantages to and would enjoy going several different directions, but I really don't have time both long or short term to really make progress without making a decision. Anyone else face this issue, and if so, did you resolve it?
 

Oinkus

Member
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4,548
Play what you like the only process that matters is you enjoy it. I have lots of issues but what I play is not one of them. The only thing that improves playing is practice , the more you do that the better you will become. Use a metronome too.
 

Jazzandmore

Gold Supporting Member
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10,202
Nope no issue whatsoever...because I'm not really good enough at the basics yet after all these years of playing. Even pros stick mainly to a style area. Carl Verheyen talked about it a little in an interview. He said he started going down the jazz route. But he realized that if he was going to truly be good at jazz then he couldn't devote time to become really good to other musical styles he wanted to play.

But overall I think the basics are the key. I think we can get into learning licks, a song, etc. and get away from the basics that need to be mastered.
 

doc

Supporting Member
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6,954
Not worried about getting paid particularly. Not looking for shortcuts, just trying to be realistic. I think with some focus I could get pretty decent at the style I'm already best at, but I'm also not very far behind with a couple of other styles. In some ways you could say several styles have "dibs" on me. I see advantages and disadvantages with each direction I could go, based on factors like playing opportunities, what I'm already best at playing, what styles my best guitars are suited for, likely audience preferences and prejudices, what things I've listened to the most over the years, my current level of theoretical understanding, etc.
 

xmd5a

Member
Messages
2,221
Obviously there are a few gifted souls who seem to be able to be pretty good at playing in just about any style, but they tend to also be focused pros without day jobs. I'm realizing in order to make progress I'm going to have to narrow my focus, but I dabble in several somewhat unrelated styles. I see advantages to and would enjoy going several different directions, but I really don't have time both long or short term to really make progress without making a decision. Anyone else face this issue, and if so, did you resolve it?
Playing scales will make you better at every genre. It forces you to go everywhere on the fret board, and not just what is easy, and it gives you an awareness of where notes are located. Everything feels easier to do as some scales practice. I'd actually avoid playing one specific genre, that would be like deliberately limiting your vocabulary. Someone mentioned playing along to the radio, that's actually a lot of fun. You might not master a song in the three minute run time, but by the end you can play a little bit of it, and then another song comes, and another. Before you know it you can predict what's going to happen next, and you've mastered pop music, surprisingly easy.
 

ieso

Member
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3,361
For better or worse, I've been influenced by a lot of players across many styles and genres but, rather than learning their licks and tricks, etc., I tried to grasp the underlying concept and just try to go forward with my own thing....whatever it is.
 

Tootone

Member
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5,452
Don't narrow your focus.

Start by learning guitar - do your fundamentals - technique, theory - and get good. Then apply that to whichever genre.

Otherwise, you will sound like sh!t whatever genre you choose.
 

SDR

Member
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319
Anyone else face this issue, and if so, did you resolve it?
I came to the conclusion it would be a lot better to get really good at one or two things than flail around with a lot of stuff. For me, I greatly enjoy the Lynch, Schenker, Scorpions, Zeppelin electric type stuff. So after years of dabbling is with finger picking, slide, classical, rockabilly, etc and thinking some day it would just come to me, I gave up. Best decision ever. Freed me to do the couple things my skill level is drawn to. So now it’s just hard rock electric and basic acoustic stuff.
 

Rotten

Silver Supporting Member
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6,155
I envy people who get obsessed early on with just one thing. I like a whole bunch of things, classical, old time, jazz, Americana, etc. I also like songwriting,which, itself, takes practice a discipline. It's hard not to get frustrated. I like to remind myself that virtuosity is a largely western ideal. Many cultures just treat music and other arts as something you and everyone else just do.
 

Occam

Silver Supporting Member
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4,177
I guess I'd ask why do you want to pick up a certain style? I'm not judging it, and if the goal is to just be able to play lots of covers reasonably well then I guess that's the path. If you want to write songs then I'd say focusing on finding your own voice is maybe a more fruitful path.

I personally learned pretty early on that just because I can appreciate a certain kind of music, doesn't make it a good fit for me as a player/writer and that really helped me to focus on finding what kind of thing I want to do with the guitar.
 

xmd5a

Member
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2,221
I like to remind myself that virtuosity is a largely western ideal.
Not that it's a competition or anything, but I can think of another culture that seems to regularly hand Westerners their lunch when it comes to virtuosity.
 

MantraSky

Supporting Member
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1,228
I love the "Freedom" of Hendrix, Page, Blackmore, Iommi with the technical side of Di Meola, Mclaughlin, De Lucia, Holdsworth. Love the Blues of Winter, Clapton, SRV, the Jazz side of Metheny, Carlton, Jaco, Miles, Classical masters Segovia, Bream.
So many more and as a guitarist my influences are Classical Jazz Rock, Progressive Fusion Pop..... with passion you can do anything.
 
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667
I’ve been living in the area south of Boston, north of Cape Cod, east of Providence, RI for over 40 years. For many of those years I was trying to make a living playing music.
So it helped if I could play classic rock, country rock, country, in soft rock duos, wedding bands, Irish music, etc.
And I play guitar primarily, but about 20% of my gigs over the years were as a bass player.
The variety of styles and playing two instruments was more evolution than planned.
I do have musician friends who only play originals, or stick to one style like 70s hard rock, and I’ve got nothing against doing it their way.
 




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