Why aren't more guitarist studying classical these days?

Rotten

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6,257
I grew up coming out of the '70s and it seemed like a lot of big bands, Yes, Rush, even Led Zeppelin inspired a lot of guitarists to study classical. I've been back into it heavily now for about a year and a half and although I'll never be a virtuoso, I've learned more about interesting chord voicings, open string juxtopositions, and outside tonal runs that don't sound like jazz that have had much more of an effect on my electric playing than anything in the last 25 years.

These composers, like Villa Lobos, Rodrigo, Barrios seemed to have much more imagination in what a guitar can do that I don't know what. A lot of the music wasn't even written by guitarists, which seems to have opened up its possibilities. It's also very satisfying to play a complete set up music by yourself. Am I the only one enjoying this?

So, why aren't more of us studying classical guitar? Is it that the rock music we listen to nowadays doesn't inspire the recent generations to explore that direction?
 

rongtr1

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1,651
I studied classical in college for two years, and, although I don't play it much anymore, it did wonders for my right hand technique (I play with fingers and a pick). Studying classical and jazz will help any guitarist, regardless of the style they play.
 

Eskimo_Joe

Rocker, roller, way out of controller
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Kids aren't "studying" music period, much less classical. Could it be because we've cut music funding so drastically? Could it be just the general dumbing down of every aspect of society?
 

27sauce

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I studied classical in college for two years, and, although I don't play it much anymore, it did wonders for my right hand technique (I play with fingers and a pick). Studying classical and jazz will help any guitarist, regardless of the style they play.
Same here
 

27sauce

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35,851
In high school (15 years ago), we had a guitar ensemble that studied classical for half the year and jazz the other half. The classical prep was for UIL competition and we played gigs during the spring. It was great, and as far as I know most of the schools in my hometown (El Paso), still have these ensembles.I real got my reading skills down, my improv chops... I was a bit surprised when I found out that not every high school had guitar class.
 

djdrdave

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3,061
I sure wish I learned. A friend and I started guitar about the same time. I was first and was always ahead of him on technique. Then we got to college, and I went to engineering school and had very little space in my schedule for humanities classes. He was a psychology major and had time to take several classical classes etc.

Let's just say I am jealous.... He really progressed alot from all those classes, whereas I became an engineer and now a physicist that plays guitar as a hobby.

I have gigged more than him, but I think that's because he got married early and had a bunch of kids and lost the time. He does teach guitar occasionally, at least recently until he had an injury that required surgery.

If you have the chance to study classical by all means do it. I wish I could have. Love how Randy Rhoads was taking lessons and incorporating it.
 

Dave Shoop

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11,255
Kids aren't "studying" music period, much less classical. Could it be because we've cut music funding so drastically? Could it be just the general dumbing down of every aspect of society?

Not really. I think it's probably more about time marching on. "Latin" isn't really big either. Believe it or not, many young people today don't give a rats arse about the Beatles. Time moves on. I appreciate classical music and it is a part of what I listen to.

From the posts here it sounds like there is plenty of opportunity for those with the desire. From my experience it seems my childrens educational experience offers way more than was available to me in the arts. I think the opportunity has actually increased.
 

Brooks

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5,276
In high school (15 years ago), we had a guitar ensemble that studied classical for half the year and jazz the other half. The classical prep was for UIL competition and we played gigs during the spring. It was great, and as far as I know most of the schools in my hometown (El Paso), still have these ensembles.I real got my reading skills down, my improv chops... I was a bit surprised when I found out that not every high school had guitar class.

that's great, i wish my HS had jazz band or something like a guitar ensemble that would have given me a head start in sight reading on guitar and playing jazz. i did take music theory in HS.
 

shane8

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31,326
it never interested me - no point trying to get peeps to study things they have no interest in
 

lhallam

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17,235
#1 How do you know if less people are studying classical

#2 It's hard as hell IMO. I was playing the Bach Lute Suites when I graduated. Now I can barely play Romance. Just not enough time to practice.
 
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1,959
all the comments are on

time move on

society does not value classical guitarist or most other highly trained musicians

kids generally spent time on media (video games, social network), not working at guitar or any other instrument

and everyone would benefit by studying ANYTHING outside of their comfort zone... the french chef would learn something from paula dean
 

A-Bone

Montonero, MOY, Multitudes
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Was there some magical time in the not too distant past when a great many kids and high school students were studying classical guitar as compared to now? I certainly did not know any kids studying classical guitar when I was in high school in the 80s (and my school did not offer any guitar classes).

However, where I live there are now two completely separate schools devoted almost exclusively to teaching kids classical guitar, so anecdotally I can support the idea that the opposite of the OP's suggestion is true.
 

Rotten

Gold Supporting Member
Messages
6,257
I have no data; I haven't done any studies. However, my dad has been teaching classical guitar for 50 years and has seen the students move from younger people to older people wanting to take up a hobby.

I guess I had two points: First, the music now doesn't peek kids interest in classical guitar. Whereas when I was growing up, it did. Even up to Randy Rhoads there was still some part of it in there. Second, apart from right hand technique, there are things happening in classical guitar music, chord voicings and such, that are beautiful on electric guitar. Take any Villa-Lobos prelude and there is a wealth of fingerings that would be incredibely cool and unique sounding on electric - extended voicings and dissonance that don't come from the jazz tradition, where it seems a lot of electric guitarists go for extended harmonies. Maybe I'm just trying to hear from folks who have explored that area.
 

scottl

Member
Messages
17,064
Why not learn jazz? Interesting post. Especially the part about specifically learning things that don't sound like jazz.

Although I agree that learning anything, including classical is a good thing.


I grew up coming out of the '70s and it seemed like a lot of big bands, Yes, Rush, even Led Zeppelin inspired a lot of guitarists to study classical. I've been back into it heavily now for about a year and a half and although I'll never be a virtuoso, I've learned more about interesting chord voicings, open string juxtopositions, and outside tonal runs that don't sound like jazz that have had much more of an effect on my electric playing than anything in the last 25 years.

These composers, like Villa Lobos, Rodrigo, Barrios seemed to have much more imagination in what a guitar can do that I don't know what. A lot of the music wasn't even written by guitarists, which seems to have opened up its possibilities. It's also very satisfying to play a complete set up music by yourself. Am I the only one enjoying this?

So, why aren't more of us studying classical guitar? Is it that the rock music we listen to nowadays doesn't inspire the recent generations to explore that direction?
 

splatt

david torn / splattercell
Platinum Supporting Member
Messages
25,381
so, uhhhhh.....
how many guitarists are currently studying "classical" music?
does someone actually know, can point us to the numbers?
and:
are we only discussing the number of said students within the usa,
or more globally/broadly-inclusive than that one region of the world?
???

dt / spltrcl
 

mad dog

Silver Supporting Member
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10,974
I don't see 70s rock as being hugely influential in getting guitarists to study classical guitar. A more significant crossover of classical has been into jazz IMO.
MD
 

KRosser

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14,037
I'd be willing to bet there are more classical guitar students enrolled in university programs worldwide today than ever before.
 

seiko

Member
Messages
3,970
I had a couple of years of classical lessons. What can I say? In the end, I simply found the electric guitar more alluring.
 




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