Classical guitar

I'm thinking about learning some classical guitar (nylon-stringed, fingerstyle).  I'm curious about it, and I'm wondering how difficult it is to learn and whether it's worth it.  It sure sounds awesome and fun, but my fingerstyle ability goes roughly to the extent of playing the intro to Vandenberg's Burning Heart.  :chuckle:

A little background here: I'm comfortable with a pick in my hands, but totally lost without one.  All the dynamics I've learned are probably going to be useless for this.  And one of the strengths of my style on electric is vibrato, which I've heard is also pretty much useless in classical guitar.  Seems like a match made in hell right?

How hard is it to learn going from an electric guitar?  I'm interested in flamenco, gypsy jazz, etc. and just improvising.  It can't hurt to broaden my horizons musically.  Does anybody play it here?  Was it worth it to learn?  How long did it take to get good?  Did it improve your electric technique?  Do the girls love it?  :smile:  Any suggestions or comments?

Is this just a bad idea?  :036: :chuckle:
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Comments

  • can't go wrong learning classical.
    some of my thought, for your right hand it'll be almost like learning new instrument if you are a pick user only. for left hand it will also be really new if you are used to one note playing (lead/solo) or straightforward basic chords. classical guitar usually require you to play both chords/rhythm and the melody at the same time. all your fingers will move a lot for sure. but probably not so if you are soloing in gypsy jazz like django.
    in any case, the good thing is that you are forced not to use vibrato and bend much, meaning you are forced to improve your note selection. for note selection classical music is the best imo.
    it will take a while to get used to "fingerstyle", but once you get used to, it will be much easier to learn different songs, imo. except travis picking, it's hell.
  • SanchoSancho Posts: 18,678
    I took a year of classical guitar when I was 17. You'll learn a lot of right hand technique and you have a definite advantage because your left hand is trained. Prepare to be yelled at if you're used to wrapping your thumb around the neck though...
    I also couldn't keep a nylon string tuned to save my life :wall:
  • AgrippaAgrippa Posts: 5,972
    When the strings are "strung" in/played in, I find Nylon strings to keep the tuning better and longer than steel string guitars.

    I get a lot of satisfaction playing classical, it´s a music form, and instrument i find it very easy to lose myself in, and "meditate" over.

    Regarding classical technique and electric guitars, I´ve found that if you do practice a lot of classical technique you´ll find, after a while, that your lefthand is a lot better and stronger, also on electric, than it used to be.
  • This will be great!  It'll make you better, of course.  You are right, I imagine it will be difficult to get used to.  No vibrato. Talk about chops!  Keep moving!  It's super impressive to watch Strunz and Farah, Rodrigo and Gabriele, Paco de Lucia, etc.

    YES.  The girls DO love it!!!!!  :wink:
  • cvansicklecvansickle Posts: 6,246
    I took a classical guitar class in college as an elective. I borrowed a nylon string guitar from a frat brother's mom. I was the only guitar player in the class, the only non-music major in the class, and everybody else was either a voice or piano major who had to learn how to arrange for guitar. I got a lot out of it.

    A couple years later, I tried to further my studies in weekend lessons. The teacher hated rock music, and told me that if I was going to learn classical I had to stop playing rock. Lessons ended that day, and I continued on my own for a few more weeks with books. I hope your teacher is a bit more open minded than mine was.

    [quote author=guitarrednfeathered link=topic=11080.msg168905#msg168905 date=1285239959]
    YES.  The girls DO love it!!!!!  :wink:
    [/quote]
    In that college class, I started dating a cute voice major. She was having a lot of trouble learning guitar, so I helped her out. Best private lessons ever!
    Death Or Glory - Who Dares Wins!
  • I'm self-taught on electric, and haven't had any issues with technique limiting me.  If anything, it's helped me develop my own style.  Is classical guitar something I can teach myself or do you all suggest finding an instructor?  If I can teach myself, save money, learn it, and create my own unique take on the instrument, I'm all for that!

    I've had instructors a few times, but never anything consistent.  I never liked what they were trying to teach, which was basically some canned scales and songs, plus a lot of assorted tips, most of which weren't helpful.  I think if an instructor told me to stop playing rock, I'd laugh in their face and leave.  :metal:
  • AgrippaAgrippa Posts: 5,972
    Difficult question, depends very much on how disciplined and what kind of person you are, and not least, how much you want to play decent classical.

    I took one year of lessons (two hours a week, when I was about 15 (30+ years ago >shudder !<), and was able to progress to where I wanted to be on the classical with that.

    I was quite satisfied with my technique for years, then I got a brain aneurysm four years ago, and my left side was paralysed, as I´ve told you here ad nuaseam. And for rehabilitation on the guitar I focused on playing electric and metal.

    So I´m really really rusty on the classical now, but I do miss it.
    But you just can´t do everything. I´m not Stark, you know ?

    Based on my own experiences, I´d say, get an instructor to cover the basics with you; Instrument, handposition, posture and such IS imho very very important when playing classical.
    So is beeing able to at least dechiffer music notation (Not tab, notes).
  • g_stringg_string Posts: 1,664
    I took lessons last year (both classical and flamenco) but stopped because playing electric hindered my ability to grow proper nails. I pick viciously at an angle and the electric strings wore down on my I and M fingers. the main picking fingers are referred to as PIMA: pulgar, indice, medio, and anular.

    Playing classical won't help your electric skills because they require totally different attack in both picking hand and fretting hand.

    Still I love the tone of it and wish I could keep playing but it would mean playing electric differently, for me at least, or gluing on fake nails.

    This was my teacher:

    "The whole point of music, from the beginning of time, is to be happy." - Robert Plant
  • pprovostpprovost Posts: 2,644
    One of my favorite classical players:

    I think sometimes if you try to play too technically, you lose something in the music - like you're playing for another guitar player. I like to play for people. The more sophisticated and mature guitarists become, the more they go with the feel.

    - Ritchie Blackmore


  • [quote author=pprovost link=topic=11080.msg168956#msg168956 date=1285279037]
    One of my favorite classical players:


    [/quote]
    The video won't come up.  Says the link was malformed.  Who is it?!?!?!
  • pprovostpprovost Posts: 2,644
    Liona Boyd.

    Fixed the link. Sorry
    I think sometimes if you try to play too technically, you lose something in the music - like you're playing for another guitar player. I like to play for people. The more sophisticated and mature guitarists become, the more they go with the feel.

    - Ritchie Blackmore


  • [quote author=pprovost link=topic=11080.msg168961#msg168961 date=1285279344]
    Liona Boyd.

    Fixed the link. Sorry
    [/quote]
    Oh, thank you!  That was a pleasant experience- especially the 2nd song.  I'm all mellow now though! Supposed to be packing and now I'm sitting down staring off at all the boxes with my feet up.

    Can you post a Scorpions medley or something now please?
  • pprovostpprovost Posts: 2,644
    [quote author=guitarrednfeathered link=topic=11080.msg168965#msg168965 date=1285279850]
    [quote author=pprovost link=topic=11080.msg168961#msg168961 date=1285279344]
    Liona Boyd.

    Fixed the link. Sorry
    [/quote]
    Oh, thank you!  That was a pleasant experience- especially the 2nd song.  I'm all mellow now though! Supposed to be packing and now I'm sitting down staring off at all the boxes with my feet up.

    Can you post a Scorpions medley or something now please?
    [/quote]

    :offtopic:

    Hmmm.... Well, it ain't the Scorps, but this should get the blood movin' again.

    I think sometimes if you try to play too technically, you lose something in the music - like you're playing for another guitar player. I like to play for people. The more sophisticated and mature guitarists become, the more they go with the feel.

    - Ritchie Blackmore


  • That was PERFECT!!!!  Thank you!  :ohyeah: :yum: :metal: :clap1: :dancin:

    It's Phil Rudd back there, right?  Does he have an exorbitant number of cymbals or is it me?
  • Well thanks everybody, you've given me a lot to think about!

    I'll admit it's going to take a lot to get me to pick up a classical guitar over an electric.  I won't lie- I definitely don't play to impress anyone else, and I play to rock.  It's hard to tame the aggressive, emotional, "bleed through my guitar" streak, and there's nothing better than coming home after a rough day and just unloading on the six string.  Also, growing long fingernails doesn't sound like my style.   :smile:

    I play to create my own ideas.  I think I'd feel stifled and restricted in the instructor setting again.  Having been a piano, sax, and now guitar player, I feel pretty comfortable with my musical knowledge, though I'm certainly no Mozart.  At this point, it's how can I express myself and sound great doing it?  I don't mind doing or learning things differently than everyone else.

    I think I'll probably play a few nylon stringed guitars in the stores and see if it inspires me enough to have one of my own.  The ability to play different types of music with that kind of warm tone is appealing.  I'm curious to learn.  I'm just not sure that all that comes with being a technically correct classical guitarist is really me.
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