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

Discussion in 'Guitars in General' started by doc, Jun 27, 2020 at 8:15 PM.

  1. PartoftheDark

    PartoftheDark Member

    Aug 27, 2015
    The Greater DC Zone
    Most difficult and in demand aren't always a Venn diagram with intersecting circles. I have a few tricks I'm proud of, but was never a master shredder or anything. Not that I'm not trying to learn either, but it's an extremely narrow slice of pie that I'd be using them with and I have been called up for it exactly 0 times. Maybe everybody in a scene has dealt with this one before. I worked with a bassist for a while who could do all the Les Claypool stuff, but he could ONLY do the Les Claypool stuff, which is kind of a non-starter for the entire rest of music. For the average player, it's better to be good at a lot of stuff than amazing at one thing. Not saying you can't, but be ready for a time investment you might not have.

    EDIT: I think about that a lot lately. I used to hate on the virtuoso types like Vai because they just come off as cocky weirdos. Then again, I didn't spend my entire life and personality being known for my skill at just about every style of guitar there is, and making that my career. It's as much a curse as a blessing at a certain point because this is it. You don't get to be OK at something. You have to put that time in. I'd be cocky too.
  2. JosephZdyrski

    JosephZdyrski Member

    Feb 21, 2019
    Excellent points...

    I liked that you said you have to study jazz.
    It’s very true that it requires a level of study that can be similar in classical in that analysis of a piece is a key part. However in jazz getting the chords and melodies down is just the start and there is so much to take in; substitutions, vocabulary that is unique to the style. There are little “rules” but they aren’t really rules in another sense. It a completely different approach to music.

    And I see it as something of a fly trap for players who aren’t ready for it. And they can end up spinning their wheels and sound nothing more like a bebop player than when they started. I speculate a reason for this to be that they are more interested in the lines and the techniques than they are in really playing bebop music.

    Learning the music will help you throw those lines into anything but learning those lines will not get you any closer to playing bebop. A base musical vocabulary is almost required to start.

    So unless you feel exceptionally passionate about jazz I would leave it behind and get a few other styles your interested first and maybe return to it later if the passion strikes you hard. With most of the other styles I can guarantee you put in the effort You will eventually be a darn good player... I can’t really make that same guarantee with jazz or classical for that matter but that’s a different story entirely. And if you still want to get into jazz later all those other styles are very useful even the ones that don’t seem to relate.

    Main point is unless your extremely passionate I don’t think it’s a great place to great place to start. Most people end their musical journeys at jazz for a reason. It definitely has the shallowest learn curve of all the styles Imo, meaning it will likely take the longest just to sound passable.
    Barquentine likes this.
  3. HomeInMyShoes

    HomeInMyShoes Member

    Dec 12, 2018
    I have a feeling I'm on the same path. Lots of 9th chords, some sort of weird scale that I don't know the pattern to yet, veering into ambient soundscape at various points.
  4. hunter

    hunter Supporting Member

    Mar 3, 2002
    Virtuosity is widely acknowledged most everywhere, east and west alike. The easy counterpoint is India where playing at the highest level is a recognized lifetime devotion. China has virtuoso players on ancient instruments too. Check out Wu Man playing the pipa. Scalloped fretboard and all.

    The more styles you can touch and absorb at any level, the better you can be as a player. Sometimes techniques associated with styles crossover to benefit your playing in unexpected ways.
  5. scelerat

    scelerat Silver Supporting Member

    Jan 29, 2009
    Oakland, CA
    The only style I'm trying to get good at is mine and it involves stealing as much as possible from a whole lot of other people.
    Last edited: Jul 2, 2020 at 8:19 AM
    Windup 43 and PartoftheDark like this.
  6. aiq

    aiq Supporting Member

    May 10, 2009
    Northern Gulf Coast
    “Coltrane pentatonic” aka minor 6 pent. :eek:
    HomeInMyShoes likes this.
  7. TreeHugsBam

    TreeHugsBam Member

    May 24, 2020
    This is unnecessarily condescending. Op would rather be a specialist than a generalist and realizes that time is finite. Tell me what's nothing wrong with that.

    The only thing he did wrong was coming to this collection of cranks for advice
    woof* likes this.
  8. TreeHugsBam

    TreeHugsBam Member

    May 24, 2020
    My opinion is that you have an unhelpful definition of progress. But that's just an opinion
  9. freedomspec

    freedomspec Member

    Jul 18, 2018
    Melbourne, Australia
    Picking a style to concentrate on sounds like a great way to lose interest in playing and slow your learning. Like everyone else says, just play what inspires you. You'll find you learn faster and none of it is wasted.

    I for example used to love metal, then hard rock, and then rockabilly. Now I'm getting into blues. Runs and licks and ideas from all of those styles now bleed into everything I do, giving me a unique arsenal when playing that sounds uniquely me.
  10. Paul Conway

    Paul Conway Member

    Jan 3, 2006
    Devon, UK
    I think your obsession chooses you and you can use that to springboard into other things - if you pick up the fundamentals.

    For me, it was funk. Not the modern, ahead-of-the-beat-super-busy stuff, but the late 60's to mid-70's - The JB's, Meters and P-funk. Obsessed was not the word for it. I did miss out on the shred practice all my friends were doing, but it led me into learning about harmony and accompaniment, and helped me build a solid pocket and decent time. This has really helped in a few bands where the drummer's timing was not as tight (and that's also good practice).

    Funnily, I rarely listen to that genre now. It's kind of like Zep IV - you have heard it too many times. Nowadays, it's everything but.
  11. Hudman_1

    Hudman_1 Member

    May 12, 2018
    I’ve been playing guitar for 35 years.

    I believe guitar players are a sum of the music they listen to and the amount of time they commit to playing.

    My style is constantly evolving and influenced by all of the music I love. The music I love Is constantly evolving as well because I have a diverse taste in music and an open mind to new (new to me) music. I have one main guitar goal: Play as long as my body and mind will allow me to play. I will always strive to improve as a guitarist and as a musician along the way.
  12. dblazer

    dblazer Supporting Member

    Jul 23, 2009
    I still haven't gotten good at any style. Haha!
  13. Porschefender

    Porschefender Supporting Member

    Oct 31, 2014
    Wa state
    Play what you like, hopefully like what you play.
    Jorge E aka ricv64 likes this.
  14. strumnhum

    strumnhum Member

    Mar 17, 2012
    Louisville, KY
    It's like ice cream--too many good flavors to have to pick just one!!
  15. Thwap

    Thwap Silver Supporting Member

    Jan 13, 2006
    Tacoma, Wa
    Not really.
    I love metal
    I play metal.

    Always have.
  16. rickt

    rickt Gold Supporting Member

    Feb 26, 2018
    North Carolina
    Practice with the songs you like. Start with the rhythm to give you a sense of tempo and timing. Having good rhythm chops will do wonders for your lead playing. And, sing along. It is good practice and helps to keep time.
  17. Drongo

    Drongo Member

    May 17, 2020
    I think if a person is sitting there choosing things, he may have the wrong hobby.
  18. Tri7/5

    Tri7/5 Supporting Member

    Apr 27, 2007
    Kind of think it's the wrong way to look at an instrument. You learn the instrument, all facets, then you develop your voice within such. Not to say there isn't a style that you might like more than others. You'd be surprised how many players who are known for playing "XYZ" style can easily cover huge ground into other styles as well.
  19. sinner

    sinner Member

    Feb 10, 2006
    The Expanse
    I love Classical Music but never felt inclined to try to play classical guitar. I thought I'd like to play Jazz and listened to all the right stuff, and even liked some of it (Grant Green!) but playing it wasn't fun (for me). Then, all of a sudden I started to sound like Led Zeppelin. Turns out, I'm a rocker. Who'da thought!
    amstrtatnut likes this.
  20. woof*

    woof* Member

    Dec 4, 2004
    Los Angeles
    Pick what you love and moves you.
    Then focus on it.
    Stop trying to be a jack of all trades.

Share This Page