Fiddle and piano are among the musical genres that tend to have a long tradition of guitarists, whether they’re soloists, bands, or groups.
But while there are plenty of options for guitarists to choose from, it’s not uncommon to hear a soloist playing a classical guitar, while a jazz guitarist is playing a jazz guitar.
“The fact is, the guitar is not the only instrument that can play a lot of these types of songs,” said Tony Schaffer, a professor of music at Emory University.
“There are so many options, and so many different types of instruments that can be used for different types in different genres.”
Schaffer explained that a classical guitarist, who is usually a solo player, could be playing an acoustic guitar, a classical bass, or a string guitar, and vice versa.
“It’s really about whether or not you can create a chord progression that sounds the same and is as authentic as possible, and that’s what the guitar does so well,” Schaffer said.
And in the case of jazz, he added, there are so few instruments that there is no real competition.
“When you are playing a solo, it feels very much like you are creating the music for a band,” he said.
Jazz guitarists are often called “folk guitarists” because of their emphasis on improvisation.
A soloist often uses their own phrasing and the guitar’s own melody to guide the song, creating a more organic feel to the music.
“I think the guitar has really been an extension of my voice, and has made me feel that voice,” Schafer said.
“You can play jazz without a guitar, but you can play it with a keyboard or a guitar.”
The guitar can also be used as a keyboard, keyboard with strings, electric piano, or bass.
The versatility of a guitar’s sound can make it ideal for the guitar player who wants to experiment and explore a new style of music.
When it comes to jazz guitarists in particular, the best time to start is before you start playing.
“If you want to do something really cool, or you want a really unique sound, that’s when you need to get started,” Schaser said.
But even if you’re not looking for a new instrument to play, Schaffer says that the best guitar lessons are the ones that teach you the basics.
“All of those things are just very important in getting the fundamentals down and understanding how to use the instrument in a musical context,” he explained.
“These are the things that really help you grow as a musician.”