Guitar Playing Styles – Which One Is For You?

Some guitarists can perform all of the many different styles of guitar playing whilst others just concentrate on their favorites and leave it at that. The majority of styles can be played on either electric or acoustic instruments. However, heavy metal music would be played on an electric guitar and styles such as flamenco or classical require the nylon strings of an acoustic model.

When you are new to playing the guitar its best if you stay with the one style you know until you are confident with it, and then, if you so choose you can move on to learn another one. For example, if you like the blues make sure you learn the techniques of slides, bending the strings, hammer-ons and pull-offs and the vibrato that is required. Playing the blues on a guitar with steel strings will involve a different technique as there is not a great deal of room between each string and the fretboard is narrower. In order to get the right tone pitches when playing the blues it is important to master string pulling.

Another very popular style of guitar playing is jazz. Although acoustic guitars with steel strings are the most frequently used guitars to play jazz, many players also prefer to use an electric steel guitar. Jazz musicians learn how to play several different chords and also to cobble together the use of scales, arpeggios and modes within the tune’s chord progression, known as “comping”, which is an abbreviation of accompanying.

Playing “classical” music requires no pick, so if picks are your thing, it would be appropriate to choose a different style. This music is played on a classical guitar and is usually well known and long lasting amongst its audience as opposed to music styles which come and go quite quickly. To play this style of music all four fingers are placed on the frets and the thumb and three fingers of the “picking” hand are used. As the player uses fingernails and the fleshy part of the fingers when playing classical music, it is necessary for the guitar strings to be made of nylon. If you try it with steel strings you are likely to remove your finger nails and the sound would be totally ruined.

The distorted and severe sound and speed of heavy metal is appreciated by many guitarists and you will often hear a guitar solo being played in the middle of a song with the vocals and drumming featured around the solo.

Guitar styles are categorized into defined varieties and each has their own individual flavors. Folk, bluegrass, and country are some of the other well know styles and they all have their die hard fans.