Both Classical and Electric Guitar?

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ResIpsa

Both Classical and Electric Guitar?

Post by ResIpsa » Sun Jun 06, 2010 4:42 pm

Hi all,

I'm thinking of picking up an electric guitar, mostly to play blues, but I will still primarily be playing the classical guitar. Up until now I've played almost exclusively classical guitar, and naturally feel more comfortable finger-picking than using a pick. I was wondering if any of you manage to alternate between the instruments? Do you get passed the initial weirdness? I wouldn't want it to affect my classical guitar playing..

Thanks,
ResIpsa

Alan Green
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Re: Both Classical and Electric Guitar?

Post by Alan Green » Sun Jun 06, 2010 9:10 pm

Yep - I teach all my music school students and all but one of my teenage students using an electric guitar because they want to learn pop or rock music, not CG; and most of them can't be asked to read the little black dots either, so it's chord boxes and tabs.

And I wouldn't be without either my electric or my CG


Alan

ksjazzguitar

Re: Both Classical and Electric Guitar?

Post by ksjazzguitar » Sun Jun 06, 2010 9:13 pm

Hey,

I play jazz and classical. I switch without any problem. To me, they are almost two different instruments. The only problem is that I also sometimes use my fingers for jazz, but I've found that if I keep my nails short and don't arch my wrist too much (when playing jazz) that I can use my fingers fine without the nails hitting the strings. If your exclusively using a pick, then you won't have any problems at all.

Have fun and relax.

Peace,
Kevin

glassynails
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Re: Both Classical and Electric Guitar?

Post by glassynails » Sun Jun 06, 2010 10:17 pm

Don't tell Segovia, he'll roll over. :lol:
"GLASSYNAILS" on Youtoob for my "no edit" - "no fakery" audio recordings. Just me, my Alhambra 7p spruce, and an Olympus ls-10 portable recorder.

Gruupi
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Re: Both Classical and Electric Guitar?

Post by Gruupi » Mon Jun 07, 2010 2:17 am

I've played lots of electric guitar and I don't see any reasons why you can't do both well. It's a matter of how much time you have to spend. The only detriment I have found is that the way I hold the pick causes me to scrape my index finger nail on the strings, especially when strumming, causing it to wear away. I don't really play electric much anymore, but if I did, I would have to rethink my pick technique.

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Ken Whisler
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Re: Both Classical and Electric Guitar?

Post by Ken Whisler » Mon Jun 07, 2010 4:36 am

I still have my old strat and a semi vintage Vox AC30, I still make some racket with them from time to time. Ditto on them being 2 different instruments. To me, one is studious and disciplined, the other is learn a few basics and play from the gut. Sure, there is a lot of gray area in between, but my approach to classical is more planned and deliberate. When approaching electric, it's more reactionary and from the hip. Bream on one hand, Page on the other.
Ken Whisler, guitarist and luthier

AndiGitarre03

Re: Both Classical and Electric Guitar?

Post by AndiGitarre03 » Mon Jun 07, 2010 10:33 am

I play both, electrical and classical guitar. There is no problem to switch between those instruments. For me these instruments are quite the same. I often play the electric guitar with fingers too, but it's also no problem to use a pick. It depends on my daily vibe which one I use. But the in last years, I tend to took the classical guitar more often.
If you want to play both guitar types, simple do it!

R128

Re: Both Classical and Electric Guitar?

Post by R128 » Mon Jun 07, 2010 11:19 am

About two months ago I had the same urge to play blues on an electric guitar - and having taken the plunge (acquiring a Fender Telecaster and a basic Amp) about the only weirdness I have to report was how little the steel strings bothered my hardened-to-nylon fretting fingertips.

I've not noticed any deterioration in my CG playing, I have found a big benefit in that after playing the electric guitar I seem to come to the CG fresher - perhaps there is some truth in the old adage that "a change is as good as a rest".

Joe

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Steve Kutzer
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Re: Both Classical and Electric Guitar?

Post by Steve Kutzer » Mon Jun 07, 2010 11:49 am

I've been toying with the idea of rhythm guitar. After 5 years of study, I can't pick up a guitar at a party and bang out some chords to accompany somebody singing. Plus, I figure it will help with learning rhythms.

But only an idea. There aren't enough minutes in the day, sadly.
See my technology (and guitar!) site CIO Dojo

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Robin
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Re: Both Classical and Electric Guitar?

Post by Robin » Mon Jun 07, 2010 12:32 pm

I just started learning electric guitar 4 months ago after 5 years of playing exclusively classical guitar. I find it to be an entirely different intrument. First of all, it is very different to hold. It felt so uncomfortable and awkward at first. Then, the pick thing!! I found that my accuracy at finding the strings with the pick wasn't too bad and it wasn't too hard to up/down pick but to control the tone and the force with which I contacted the string....that is a different thing! Pick/RH technique is as much a specialty as what we do with our fingers. The smaller neck of the electric is a treat for my left hand but the angle of the fingers and the point of contact is different than when I play classical. My classical guitar skills transfer but they have to be altered to work with the instrument and the genre of music being played (I'm mostly playing rock with smatterings of country, blues, etc)

So far I have been learning basic skills: partial riffs from songs, strumming technique and I'm just starting my first song in which I will begin to learn soloing skills. My teacher uses a combination of teaching popular songs and his own originals. It's really alot of fun and a great way to learn to play at a more intuitive level. Now to figure out how to use all those efx on the amp!!

Have fun!

Robin
So much music, so little time.

werry

Re: Both Classical and Electric Guitar?

Post by werry » Mon Jun 07, 2010 12:44 pm

I totally agree with the previous writers : CG and EG are different instruments, I love them both and play them both, as I do flamenco and flat top,
Werry

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Larry McDonald
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Re: Both Classical and Electric Guitar?

Post by Larry McDonald » Mon Jun 07, 2010 2:42 pm

Hi,

I play the festival circuit every summer on bass and I've never felt that it negatively impacted my CG chops. I'm playing in two rock bands this year again, so I'm rehearsing more on bass than classical guitar lately. When I'm not playing slap bass, I use a pick so that I don't chew up my right-hand nails. You can see the pick and my short nails in the jpg below. (You can also see my thumb peeking over the top of the neck. Ooops.) :oops:

I like a five string bass since it is about the same width as my Thames CG, -my main concert instrument.

Starting in August, I'll start working hard on my CG program for the Fall recitals.

Larry McDonald
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Ken Whisler
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Re: Both Classical and Electric Guitar?

Post by Ken Whisler » Mon Jun 07, 2010 4:27 pm

Hey Larry, what's all that smoke behind your head? While on these tours, do you eat your dinners out of a frisbee? Do you rinse it out in the creek?

All tongue in cheek, ;-), I did one of these once and it was fun.
Ken Whisler, guitarist and luthier

cerusin

Re: Both Classical and Electric Guitar?

Post by cerusin » Mon Jun 07, 2010 7:28 pm

If you are talking about casual playing then I think you can play both with no problem. If you are talking about being a master of both then that's a different story. In my experience picking technique and fingerpicking technique both require a lot of practice. If you devout a lot of time to one and not the other then naturally one is going to be better. There's an old saying, "you can't serve two masters". There are exceptional people who can master both but that's rare. I play electric and classical and I always found that whenever I put alot of effort into one, the other suffered in some way.

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Les Backshall
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Re: Both Classical and Electric Guitar?

Post by Les Backshall » Mon Jun 07, 2010 8:49 pm

Here's a clip of a much younger John Williams playing fingerstyle electric in his group Sky.
Search Youtube for "SKY - Cannonball (live)"

And another of kevin Peek, also fingerstyle, while JW plays his fabulous Ovation - on BBC's Top of the Pops :roll:
Search Youtube for "Sky - Toccata"

In a TV interview in his Sky days, Williams was asked the difference between playing classical and electric. He said it was the left hand - he really admired the way electric players zoomed all over the fretboard seemingly effortlessly. Then, when he played one, he discovered the action was so low, it actually was effortless - so he was less impressed.

Les
Lester Backshall, Guitar Maker - Aylesbury UK

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