Guitar Styles – Classical or ???

This maybe should go under the FAQ section, but it mostly gets asked about guitar lessons. “If I want to play (fill in the blank) style, such as rock, what kind of lessons should I take?” Well, 90% of rock music uses three to four chords. If that’s all you want to learn, then those chords can be learned in a day. But if you want to write your own music, invent your own rhythms, and learn to play the music of the masters of any style, then definitely learn to play classical. And, if you really want to rip it up on the other styles, then classical training paves the way for that, too. So many hot guitarists came from, and still play, classical guitar. Sting plays classical guitar. Sting’s guitarist, Dominic Miller, who wrote “Shape of My Heart” among others, is a trained classical guitarist. John McLaughlin played classical guitar and played very fast rock guitar and played in a jazz fusion band. Other classically trained guitarists include Steve Howe of Yes, Andy Summers of The Police, and the heavy metal guitarist, Randy Rhoads, who played with Quiet Riot and Ozzy Osbourne. Sharon Isbin (director of Classical guitar at the Julliard School) has performed with Billy Joel and recorded an album of guitar music with rock guitar luminaries Steve Vai and Steve Morse. Classical guitarist Edgar Cruz has basically made a career out of arranging and playing rock pieces on classical guitar, and he’s particularly known for his solo arrangements of Queen pieces, including Bohemian Rhapsody. Cruz can rock! And then there is country, and of course, the Spanish influence and its different styles including Flamenco and tango. There’s a whole world out there when you begin with classical training. And, start that training with a master teacher. Otherwise, you might spend years breaking bad habits.