Guitar101 – Choose a Guitar Style that Inspires you

The guitar is a powerful instrument that can produce a range of sounds. There is a guitar for every genre and playing style, with many designs and models.

When it comes to learning to play the guitar, most aspiring guitarists are unsure of which technique to pursue. If you’re a newbie, you might be thinking about whether you should start with rock, blues, metal, jazz, funk, or country. The answer is simple, ‘ Play the guitar for the reason you picked it, Play the music that inspired you to Pick up the Guitar‘.

One thing in common between guitar gods & seasoned guitarists is “They have their Signature Sound & Style.” However, one common rookie mistake every underpaid guitarist made in his/her guitar learning journey was to go for “Jack of All” rather than “Masters of One.

We all have favorite musical genres/styles, and when learning guitar, we should gravitate toward them, forming a learning process centered on a specific guitar style. Picking too many things at once can be quite overwhelming, and playing the music style you like would keep your passion alive for the instrument.

Guitar enthusiasts have given up on their hopes for this reason, and many are still struggling while we talk about it.

If you ask any advanced guitar player, there is one regret almost everyone has, if only they had the proper guidance or path, they would have saved countless hours.

Online and YouTube Guitar Lessons – Boon or a Curse?

Today YouTube has several options to choose from when it comes to starting your guitar career with some easy & affordable & accessible online guitar learning.

The BIG problem

Guitar lessons are either good, bad, or ugly.

“Guitar journey is a solo journey for eternal & divine music salvation, you will meet many travelers, learn some, share some, and at times forget some for your own good, but you will walk this path alone”

Learning from others is like learning from their experiences rather than having your own. Discovering & Exploring new concepts keep you on your toes and give the precious feeling of achievement.

The silver lining in YouTube Guitar Learning is the gems of the guitarists on this platform who share their knowledge acquired over many years of hard work and craftsmanship. However, you should know what to choose before you choose. Choose your purpose for the instrument and put your soul into it.

Be Realistic, Think Music

You pick a guitar to become a Rockstar. Many people believe that the guitar journey always leads to a rockstar’s lifestyle and stardom for which many people would trade their souls. 

However, learning & playing guitar should be purely for the love of music first, and then for other materialistic reasons. A big misconception that I often come around to is ‘either you make BIG in music or you join the RAT RACE every person is running in the professional or so-called corporate kingdom.

I’ve seen people going through the GRIND in the early college days and then choosing a job, which is perfectly alright, what I don’t agree with is putting your guitar in the bag of oblivion.

Guitar learning is an ongoing process and a never-ending journey, just like the art of kung-fu is mastered by Shaolin monks with sheer will, your ‘AXE’ needs the same commitment from you.

You have to just ‘Trust the Process’ and keep the love for Music alive, ironically, we don’t trust the process but we would rather blindly follow all the processes when we work at an office.

The journey is long, tiring, and frustrating, but so is life. The results would be sweet, you just have to face some heat. “Keep On Keeping On“.

Now, before you go on your guitar expedition, understand the ten different guitar genres or guitar styles.

Guitar Styles Guitar Genres

Guitar Styles | Guitar Genres

To play any style or genre of music on the guitar, you must first master the fundamentals.

You’ll need to exercise and muscle your fingers to play rock, blues, or pop, as well as improve flexibility, strength, speed, coordination, and precision. You’ll need to learn how to read the fretboard and practice your finger style. You can also do daily harmonic or arpeggio exercises, and knowing a little music theory may be beneficial.

Each music style and guitar genre have its own set of rules and features which will influence the amount of effort and time it takes you to master it completely. While blues guitar solos are often centered on the pentatonic scale, jazz guitar solos are significantly more complicated, incorporating many chord progressions and melodies.

Whether a guitarist is learning funk, rock’n’roll, hard rock, or punk, he/she will face challenges during his guitar lessons and training. You’ll also have to let go of any preconceived notions you may have about guitar and its various styles. Understanding how each guitar style works, and which guitar genre suits you the best is the KEY CHOICE you would have to make.

If you’ve never played before, it can be difficult to know where to begin because there are so many different sorts of guitars genres and guitar-playing styles to pick from. Each playing style has its own set of techniques, which we’ll go over in detail in the following post. Some are simple, some are complex, and still, others are somewhere in the middle.

Influential Guitar Genres/Guitar Styles every guitarist should know to Skill-Up

1. Classical

Due to the popularity of rock and electric guitar, the classical guitar is frequently ignored as an instrument and genre of music. Classical guitar, on the other hand, has a long and illustrious history that includes more than just beautiful music.

However, classical guitar is related to the musical genres that are composed, performed, and communicated through scores by highly skilled experts. 

The classical guitar has evolved and continues to thrill listeners and musicians who play it.

Since the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, a large number of composers have been superb guitarists, and they have accompanied each other when they composed this beautiful instrument, while not being members of an orchestra (Andrés Segovia, Xuefei Yang, Carl Maria von Weber, Franz Schubert, Niccolo Paganini, Miloš Karadaglić, etc.).

Andres Segovia, one of the most well-known guitarists in the world, was a key figure in the development of the guitar. He was one of the first guitarists to adopt nylon strings after World War II, which increased the instrument’s stability.

2. Blues

Blues is an expression of emotion, a melody of passion, anguish, hope, and grief.

The blues is a music genre and musical form that emerged in the Deep South of the United States around the turn of the century for African Americans. It’s a vocal and instrumental musical genre that first appeared at the end of the nineteenth century and has impacted a wide range of other musical styles. It is based on music from the African-American community (work songs, gospel).

The blues had a significant influence on the guitar. Especially when it comes to rock. All of the blues musicians began playing the guitar in their unique styles, which evolved from traditional music. Electric guitar became popular because of the blues.

Blues music has some of the first recordings of distorted guitar. The strumming method was popularised by the blues. Harmonics became popular because to the blues. The blues have a unique scale.

BB King, Stevie Ray Vaughan, Albert King Clapton, and Jimi Hendrix were all masters of this approach. Hendrix was a blues guitarist as well.

3. Rock

Rock music originated in the 1940s and was quite a popular genre during the 1960s, 1970s, 1980s, 1990s, and 2000s. A guitar player, a drummer, a bass player, and a singer are the most common members of a rock band. Heavy metal, alternative, hard rock, grunge, and other subgenres of rock music.

Rock has evolved into the unavoidable march of the electric guitar as a logical extension of rock’n’roll. It doesn’t have as much of a dance progression as its predecessor. In the 1960s, it paved the way for the first “guitar heroes,” such as Jimi Hendrix, Jimi Page, Eddie Van Halen, Eric Clapton, Eric Johnson, Jeff Beck, and many more.

The Beatles were at the forefront of this evolution, pushing the album ahead of the single as the main form of recorded music expression and consumption in the mid-1960s.

Simple unsyncopated rhythms in a 4/4 tempo, with a repetitive snare drum, back beat on beats two and four, have traditionally been the cornerstone of rock music.

Melodies are frequently inspired by earlier musical modes like Dorian and Mixolydian, as well as major and minor modes.

Rock is a hard & loud kind of music based on chords derived primarily from the blues. Rock is Raw.

4. Jazz

This musical genre was influenced by African-American music and originally debuted around the turn of the twentieth century. It gives the artist with a wide range of execution and improvisational freedom as a dialogue between numerous instruments on a complicated rhythmic background.

Jazz guitar is one of the most expressive styles of guitar. The guitar genre is filled with technicality and improvisation, and it lends itself to a wide range of guitar methods, as well as a wide range of guitar tones.

Wes Montgomery is regarded as one of the founding fathers of jazz guitar, and his rendition of “Round Midnight” is a staple of the genre. To begin with, it demonstrates a comprehension of jazz standards, which is essential for grasping jazz.

To perform standards, you’ll need to know how to play melodies and chords and improvise over them. The delicate, crisp, pure tone heard in this track emphasizes melody, with ornamentation, chromaticism, and a thorough command of jazz harmony guiding his note selection. Some other celebrated jazz musicians are Birelli Lagrene, Pat Metheny, John McLaughlin, and Django Reinhardt.

Jazz is unquestionably one of the foundations of modern music. Jazz is also the most essential genre for electric guitar development. Sweep picking, alternate picking, tapping, and other guitar styles became popular thanks to jazz. Guitar microphones were born as a result of this style.

Guitar Styles Guitar Genres

5. Reggae

Reggae is a Caribbean music genre that originated in Jamaica. It was made famous by Bob Marley and his band The Wailers.

Reggae guitar style playing is based on a single, distinct style of play that, once mastered, will immediately increase your ability to play the genre. There are definite artistic qualities that make reggae playing possibly the most defining feature of the entire genre. It isn’t technical in the least.

Bob Marley is, as you may know, the undisputed reggae king. To play this guitar technique, pick up a guitar and play simple chords all the way through (diatonic and functional), with a rich reverb on the guitar whose chords are staccato and offbeat.

You’ll want to make a downstroke on beats 2 and 4 of the bar (reggae is nearly solely in 4/4), followed by a crisp, slightly muted upstroke. You won’t even need to add anything further to make your playing sound reggae-friendly. If you want to go any farther, try balancing the force with which you press down on the frets, making it a little lighter than other genres.

Notes are played with a pick (downstrokes) with the right hand, and setbacks are made in return. Silences are achieved with the left hand by suspending fingers while retaining touch with the strings.

It’s crucial to play “staccato” and not let the sound go on for too long.

6. Metal

Metal is divided into many subgenres, ranging from thrash to melodic to black metal to progressive metal. Each has its quirks, but there are a lot of broad parallels that bring the genre together.

What is likely the first track in the genre, Black Sabbath’s ‘Black Sabbath,’ has a characteristic metal sound. The tune blends tritones (the devil’s interval) with a gritty overdrive sound that, when combined with Tony Iommi’s playing style, gives the metal its ‘evil’ sound.

The slow, spooky tempo that defines Sabbath and the doom metal subgenre is also present in this composition. The primary distinction between rock and metal is that metal favors a more angry, aggressive sound and a harsher guitar tone.

With bands like Metallica, Megadeth, Anthrax, Slayer, and others breaking away in the early 1980s, it’s the darkest side of metal. It’s known for its aggressive musical style, fast and forceful guitar riffs, and themes like justice, conflict, and mental illness.

Solo guitar, harmony and rhythm guitar, and bass guitar are usually the three guitarists present.

With bands like Metallica, Megadeth, Anthrax, Slayer, and others breaking away in the early 1980s, it’s the darkest side of metal. It’s known for its aggressive musical style, fast and forceful guitar riffs, and themes like justice, conflict, and mental illness.

Solo guitar, harmony and rhythm guitar, and bass guitar are usually the three guitarists present.

To heavy metal, turn up the distortion even more than in the rock, employ chromaticism and non-diatonic notes in your riffs, and use power chords that don’t fit out the rest of the harmonies (like a normal rock). Sabbath influenced the doom metal genre, which features crushingly slow tempos, intense dynamics, and a devastating amount of overdrive.

Use dissonant riffs and severe overdrive to make a lot of noise while playing rapidly, technically, and with chromaticism. The riffing has death metal characteristics, but the piece’s sheer volume and aggression are more in line with grindcore.

7. Funk

There are a couple of nuances to playing funk that is difficult to master. While technical sophistication isn’t required, there is a distinct approach to funk guitar playing that is shared by almost all funk guitarists.

There are two distinct funk features. The first is the chords’ percussive sound. Instead of letting chords ring out as if you were strumming them, they are staccato cut short. The addition of a wah pedal effect, which gives the chords that whirling quality, is another crucial approach.

You’ll want to keep your fretting hand in check so you can mute strings swiftly before they ring out. As we’ve seen, power chords are common in rock and metal, but funk takes things to the next level, with extended chords like 9ths and fleshed-out harmonies. You could also wish to invest in a wah pedal and work closely with the band’s rhythm section.

Basic concepts like rhythmic flow, swing, and accentuation are required. If you don’t know what these are, ask your acoustic, electric, or bass guitar teacher for assistance during your classes.

To play funk, practice with a metronome as much as possible to ensure that you have a consistent rhythm. Slow down the tempo of several exercises to help the right hand integrate, and begin with a clear sound without any effects. Add on a wah-wah pedal or a Phaser and you are good to go.

8. Pop

It’s a popular guitar style that features dance rhythms, simple tunes, basic harmonies, and recurring structures that are simple to memorize and hum for all listeners.

Usually, guitarists in this genre exist to offer accompaniment, but Jennifer Batten, who spent many years working with Michael Jackson, the King of Pop, stood out. Electric guitars and bass are used the majority of the time.

Pop arose from the American Folk movement, which was influenced by re-imagined Irish ballads. Today, pop is referred to as “international variety” because of its overuse. Great bands like The Beatles, REM, U2, Dire Strait, Genesis, The Police, and even Toto popularised it.

The upshot of rock arrangements is pop music. It modified material requirements, particularly in terms of sound effects: multi-effects racks, endless pedals, tremendous compression, and a Stratocaster or Telecaster guitar are all you need to become a pop guitarist.

9. Country

Country music is a popular style in the United States, particularly in the south. The timbre, rhythms, and chords of this musical genre are easily identifiable.

You must master pick strokes on the guitar in order to play country music. Metal strings (rather than nylon strings) that are thicker and hence sound louder are preferred, even though they are tougher on your fingers.

A bass accompaniment with alternate chord positions and low-string notes with a brushing chord on the acute strings is how country music is played.

When it comes to country music, especially related genres like bluegrass, the technique you perform is crucial. It may not appear to be one of the most difficult genres to master, but numerous intricacies define the style that is extremely difficult to master.

You’ll need to improve your fingerstyle playing to the same level as your chosen playing to play like this. However, you might use a hybrid picking approach, in which you alternate between picking and using your fingers. Alternate finger-picked (usually basic) chords with thumb-picked bass notes (which outline the root and 5th).

Most country guitar players use a combination of compression, delay, and tremolo pushed through a fender telecaster with a single-coil bridge pickup and low gain to achieve their twangy tone.

Chet Atkins, Mike Coppola, Luther Perkins, Vince Gill, and Jonny Cash are some of the vital representatives of the genre as a vocal soloist, guitarist, and country composer who ranks among the best guitarists. The acoustic guitar is the best instrument for this type of music.

10. Flamenco

This musical genre, which is regarded as a one-of-a-kind phenomenon, developed in Spain and is a combination of rhythms and melodies from several countries.

This style refers to more than simply music for Spaniards; it also refers to their attitude toward life, which is impacted by daily emotions and moods. Paco de Lucia is a well-known flamenco guitarist who has made a lasting impression on the genre.

It is performed on a flamenco guitar which is similar to a classical guitar but differs in a few aspects, such as having a safety area around the rosette to prevent it from being damaged when your fingers touch the instrument’s body, being smaller and lighter, and having a slightly different shape.

Francisco Rodrguez “El Murciano,” the first historically documented flamenco guitarist, was born in 1850. The oldest record of flamenco music, however, is found in José Cadalso’s book Las Cartas Marruecos, which was published in 1774.

Flamenco guitars are comparable to classical guitars, except they have thinner parts and fewer internal reinforcements. It is mainly made of nylon and is worn like a toque.

Cypress wood is commonly used in flamenco guitars, as it intensifies the sound and responds well to the peculiarities of this musical style. It also has a narrower box, which makes the sound smaller and less likely to overpower the singer’s voice.

The fundamental difference between a classical and a flamenco guitar is that the harmonic bars are arranged differently in the latter, resulting in a more percussive and dazzling tone.

Paco de Lucia, Manolo Sanlúcar, Manolo Sanlúcar, Paco Peña, and Niño Miguel are some of the influential flamenco guitarists.

Three factors to consider to become a proficient Guitarist

Regardless of the genre, there are three factors to consider to become a proficient guitarist in that style:

Train your fingers effectively: This is the foundation of your guitar practice. You’ll never attain all of the possible development in your guitar style if your fingers aren’t appropriately trained and all of your muscles aren’t warmed up. You can manipulate your fingers while relaxing and at peace by strengthening your finger muscles and increasing the flexibility of your wrists and forearms.

Get the tools & gear you’ll need to play the music genre you want. Each style necessitates the acquisition of specific gear, methods, scales, and basic chords, among other things.

By practicing the genre’s well-known techniques, you can gain musical experience in the style you desire to play on the guitar. A musician’s game will be enriched and progressed if he knows how to apply these numerous strategies.

The CRUX

  • Classical – elegance and balance, diatonic harmony, melodies, contrasting moods
  • Blues – melancholic and somber tone, dissonant harmonies, syncopation, melisma and flattened ‘blue’ notes
  • Rock – expressive, explicit, energetic, catchy melodies, insightful lyrics, Fast Tempo, 12-bar chord structure (mostly)
  • Jazz – swing & blue notes, complex chords, call and response vocals, polyrhythms, syncopated rhythms and a heavy emphasis on improvisation
  • Reggae – characteristic rhythm in 4/4 with missing beat emphasis, repeated offbeat quavers, underpinned by Bass Line Riffs, melodic riffs, syncopated rhythms, and LYRICS and an association with Rastafarianism,
  • Metal – intense, powerful, versatile, loud distorted guitars, emphatic rhythms, dense bass-and-drum sound, and vigorous vocals
  • Funk – funky, syncopated bass lines, polyrhythmic, jangly, and infectious drum grooves
  • Pop – simple repetitive rhythm, catchy melody, the drop, eight-bar sections verse, and a chorus
  • Country – happy, folk harmonies, major scale chord progressions (mostly), Honky Tonky, simple chords progressions, repetitive rhythms, and catchy riffs
  • Flamenco – Cante, Toque, Baile, Jaleo, Palmas, and Pitos

GUITAR IS NOT FOR THE FAINT-WILLED

The Guitar is for Curious People, and for Curious people, we have another Cure.

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