Why learn Classical Guitar?
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When I start working with a new student, I ask what they want to learn. They may want to strum chords and play rhythm guitar. Or improvise and play lead guitar. Or play bass guitar. These are important skills. And I am happy to help students achieve these goals. But I think it’s also important to learn skills that are emphasized in the classical approach to the guitar. These include the following:
Music Literacy: When you read staff notation, you understand music more thoroughly than when playing from tablature or chord charts. Reading staff notation also makes it easier for a guitarist to communicate with musicians who play other instruments.
Fingerstyle Technique: Plucking with right-hand thumb, index, middle, and ring fingers gives the guitarist more options than a single pick. Playing fingerstyle allows you to play lead, rhythm, and bass all at the same time on the same guitar. This gives you a technical reserve that is useful in playing lead, rhythm, or bass individually.
Left-Hand Precision: The classical approach encourages precision of left-hand technique. This is useful in any style of guitar playing.
Diversity of Repertoire: It is beneficial to study diverse musical styles from the present. It is also beneficial to study diverse musical styles from the past. Many guitarists who explore music of the past find masterpieces that they passionately enjoy. If not, at least they have developed an understanding of the roots of modern styles. This also provides a broader palette from which to draw in improvising and composing.