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Thread: Which Genre Is More Difficult to Learn

  1. #11
    Quote Originally Posted by walrus View Post
    ....BTW, Charlie, everyone's different, but I would give up guitar if I had to practice scales five hours a day. Or even 1/2 hour. It's supposed to fun and relaxing!
    walrus
    Depends. If you're aiming to have a career it's different than playing for fun and relaxation. JMHO.
    Brad
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  2. #12
    I spent at least 20 years when I played almost nothing but classical music (on guitar) and I think it is not as difficult as playing jazz. Technically, they're pretty much on a par, but with classical, everything you want to play is right in front of you, in many editions even the fingering of both hands (at least in difficult passages. Jazz needs more mental discipline, the ability to think on your feet, so to speak. Just my 2,
    Brad
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  3. #13
    Quote Originally Posted by Brad Little View Post
    I spent at least 20 years when I played almost nothing but classical music (on guitar) and I think it is not as difficult as playing jazz. Technically, they're pretty much on a par, but with classical, everything you want to play is right in front of you, in many editions even the fingering of both hands (at least in difficult passages. Jazz needs more mental discipline, the ability to think on your feet, so to speak. Just my 2,
    Brad
    But, conversely, with classical, you have to play what’s there. With jazz, there’s always a way to “cheat”.

    Just depends how you look at it. (And, if you spend 20 years doing ANYTHING, whatever you didn’t do will seem harder.

    The licks are always easier on the other side of the street.
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  4. #14
    Senior Member walrus's Avatar
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    [QUOTE=Alan_M;1831334]How about this? The hardest style to play is the one you least like that also requires the most practice and discipline.[QUOTE]

    +1


    Quote Originally Posted by Brad Little View Post
    Depends. If you're aiming to have a career it's different than playing for fun and relaxation. JMHO.
    Brad
    Agree but it depends on the genre. If it's rock and roll, I doubt many rockers are practicing scales, but they are definitely practicing. And many of my guitar heroes can't even read music - The Beatles, Hendrix, etc. I totally agree with your point for jazz and classical, though, or if you want to make a career out of teaching music, or playing sessions.


    Quote Originally Posted by Brad Little View Post
    I spent at least 20 years when I played almost nothing but classical music (on guitar) and I think it is not as difficult as playing jazz. Technically, they're pretty much on a par, but with classical, everything you want to play is right in front of you, in many editions even the fingering of both hands (at least in difficult passages. Jazz needs more mental discipline, the ability to think on your feet, so to speak. Just my 2,
    Brad
    This is a great point - the improvisational aspect of jazz makes it very difficult! When I played in a (very) amateur jazz band where I teach, I HAD to learn some theory and scales - or at least know where I was going somewhat - to have any hope of playing a solo.


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  5. #15
    Super Moderator fronobulax's Avatar
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    Jazz and classical. In the latter you have to read music and finger pick and then you are judged by how you interpret what is on the page in front of you. Jazz requires an intuitive grasp of music theory (chords, voicing) and the ability to improvise in that context. Yes there is the joke about playing a wrong note and calling it jazz but the good jazz musicians know all the conventions and how to play the right notes before they break convention.
    Quote Originally Posted by mgod View Post
    What he said.
    Quote Originally Posted by Stuball48 View Post
    Frono: You are correct----again.

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  6. #16
    Don't be so quick to dismiss rock players. As stated earlier, lots of metal is very technical, and I'd bet cash money that the rock players playing interesting or particularly melodic solos have spent a lot of time practicing scales. Even though a lot of people dismiss '80s hair bands, those dudes could play and they often used less common (for rock) scales to produce an interesting sound.

    Just because someone can't read music doesn't mean they don't know theory.

    My vote, though, is jazz.
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  7. #17
    Super Moderator fronobulax's Avatar
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    Gee, if many rock guitarists have some classical background does that mean classical is hardest because that's where they started? :-)

    I'd argue that the hardest genre is the one you personally are not interested in and have no passion for. The genre that you listen to, study and want to play is likely to seem easiest and the technical and intellectual skills will develop as needed.
    Quote Originally Posted by mgod View Post
    What he said.
    Quote Originally Posted by Stuball48 View Post
    Frono: You are correct----again.

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  8. #18
    Senior Member walrus's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by GAD View Post
    Don't be so quick to dismiss rock players. As stated earlier, lots of metal is very technical, and I'd bet cash money that the rock players playing interesting or particularly melodic solos have spent a lot of time practicing scales. Even though a lot of people dismiss '80s hair bands, those dudes could play and they often used less common (for rock) scales to produce an interesting sound.

    Just because someone can't read music doesn't mean they don't know theory.

    My vote, though, is jazz.
    I wasn't dismissing rock players - that's my favorite genre by far! Just saying their grasp of "theory" and "scales" is historically much less than jazz and classical players. Particularly the "classic rock" players we all know. But they can definitely play! Jimmy Page started as a session musician without any knowledge of theory, and was forced to learn some to be successful, but he was lucky, as "they usually just let me play what I wanted".

    Actually, the hair bands have a few great "exceptions" as you point out. One is Paul Gilbert, who I currently take video lessons from via ArtistWorks - he is fluent in theory - but emphasizes enjoying yourself, which is OK by me. The other real notable exception would be Randy Rhoads, who was an accomplished classical player. I don't know if Vito Bratta of White Lion was classically trained, but he sure was technically proficient, as is Eddie Van Halen. One other one off the top of my head is Andy Summers who started off playing jazz, and also took several years of classical lessons before joining The Police.

    Anyway, good point! Hair Metal rocks!

    walrus
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  9. #19
    I got into playing guitar as an alternative to the discipline of playing classical piano. I'm self-taught and much of what I play is "me music": extemporaneous riffing & noodling combined with augmenting & refining previously extemporized stuff. I enjoy learning jazz chords & scales & even techniques and incorporating them into what I do, but I don't "play jazz" in any formal sense. By nature I'm easily bored with the familiar, so as soon as I learn a song or feel I'm done with one of my own pieces I let it go and move on to something else. I've been involved in rock & roll-based bands twice, and both times had to quit due to the utter tedium (from my perspective) of having to play the same tunes the same way over & over. :) This same aversion to familiarity, I suspect, also explains my too-large and very diverse stash of guitars.

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  10. #20
    Senior Member davismanLV's Avatar
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    I'm more in Richards category, with a strange twist. When I was first trying to learn "cowboy chords" and play folk, pop, and rock-ish songs I had trouble with some of the changes. Bar chords were almost impossible for me, even with a lot of practice. Of course, introduce Joni Mitchell who infuses with lots of jazz and then add open tunings to the mix, and you'd think "impossible", right? Only, it didn't work that way for me. The shapes of the chords all the way up and down the neck, and even the bar chords seemed so doable, that I stayed there for a long time. Then after spending a long time there, coming back to standard tuning land and cowboy chords seemed so much easier to me. Now I play both in lots of different tunings and standard tuning (I consider drop D a form of standard tuning) and it's much easier for me, but after 25 years of plucking away, I should be a little more comfortable.

    The thing that's the least familiar to me, is what's the hardest. Then i've had to customize the way I play certain chords because my hands are big and the way a smaller hand would play it is totally alien to me.

    And I'll end by quoting Richard again, "maybe a bit exaggerated but not by much."
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