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Versatile, Multi-Genre Training

Multi-genre, Versatile TrainingWhen it comes to studying music, it is only logical to delve into the style in which you predominantly play or prefer to listen to. I like to call this the “genre comfort zone” a place where you can flourish in your musicianship or become incredibly stagnant and uninspired in a drop of a hat. The bright side of this so called, “GCZ,” is that if you stick with a genre that you are familiar with, one that excites you, then you better your chances of actually picking up your instrument to practice. However, if you pigeon hole yourself into playing one specific type of music, you could find yourself quickly becoming bored and uninspired over time.

One of the most captivating aspects to playing music is that there is always a challenge, or a lesson to be learned, by studying a different genre. Multi-genre training, or versatile training, has proven to have incredible benefits when it comes to improving your instrument virtuosity and playing. There is always something to learn from other musicians and different styles of music, and one of the best things that you can have as a musician is an open mind. Here are some key benefits of branching out of your genre comfort zone and tapping into a new style of music to improve your playing!

 

1. GET CREATIVE

Jimmy Page is a different guitar player than BB King, who is different from Willie Nelson who is far different from Jerry Garcia, so on and so forth. Each genre of music is the product of various creative minds coming together and collectively defining the genre through their innovation, skill, and technique. Studying a variety of composers, musicians, singers, and artists can help in generating ideas to make your sound a bit more experimental or unique. If you on the opposite side of the spectrum and consider yourself an experimentalist, you can always pull ideas and phrasing from more popular genres to allow your music to be a bit more approachable and appeal to larger audiences.

 

2. LEARN, REFERENCE, AND SHARE RHYTHMIC PATTERNS

Playing the rhythm is an instinctual task as each genre of music has a distinct rhythm unique to the style of playing. For example, in some genres the drums and the bass are primarily the driving rhythmic force. By themselves, or paired together, these instruments can define a rhythmic pattern that can be traced back to the region in which the genre comes from. You will also notice in some rock music, R&B, country, and bluegrass, rhythm is often assisted by the role of rhythm guitar. The role of the rhythm is a responsibility that is not taken lightly and oftentimes demands for a flawless execution handled with great sophistication and finesse. Although genres may be different from one another in terms of rhythm, you can easily learn, translate, reference, and share rhythmic patterns to help diversify your playing.

 

3. MELODY AND HARMONY

Some of the most captivating and complex melodic and harmonic approaches come from music that’s unfamiliar to you and your ear. Although some melodies may be similar between both genres, they do vary slightly. It’s beneficial to study genres on your own terms and then apply it to your craft in your own unique way. If you're a jazz guitarist, maybe consider listening to a more structured type of music like classical or bluegrass to incorporate strong, established riffs and runs into your own playing. This can help tighten up your playing while still allowing you to be as improvisational as you desire.

 

4. IMPROVE YOUR TECHNICAL SKILLS

Every genre of music requires a different skill set to execute the style of music proficiently. This includes improving your dexterity, speed, or overall complexity in your playing technique. Studying new types of music helps expand your technical vocabulary and musical repertoire as a technical player. Also, having a deeper knowledge of technical skills in your playbook allows you to become universal and sought after when playing with others.

 

5. HAVE AN OPEN MIND

One of the only ways for you to grow as a musician is to have an open mind when it comes to genre experimentation. When it comes to studying other styles, it is important to try and tap into the minds of other musicians, and their audience, to see what makes their genre popular. You may strongly dislike pop music or even new age country, but you cannot deny the tremendous success that those genres have in the industry. The question is, why do people all over the world connect so deeply to this kind of music? Is it the rhythm, melody, harmony, instrumentation, or lyrics? Explore what makes their music click with players and their audience. You might often find that it's a similar thread shared between multiple genres.

 

FINAL THOUGHTS

Although learning a new genre may be irrelevant to your immediate musical goals, don’t fall victim to the same old thoughts like, "this is cool and all, but when am I ever going to use this?" Just remember that when it comes to music, there's always something to learn from other genres, musicians, singers, and artists – even if it comes from influences that don't play music similar to your own.

Understanding the universal language of music requires a much greater understanding of music beyond one or two genres. It’s like that saying, “the more you see, the less you know!” If you allow yourself to open your mind, and dedicate some time to study and understand other genres, the more you'll be able to open your heart to other sounds. It’s through these new genres and types of playing where you might find inspiration that can resonate deeply, and in turn, can be applied to your playing.

There is a high demand for multi-genre accessible platforms, and at ArtistWorks, we just launched the first of what could be the beginning of various multi-genre memberships available on our platform in the future. Introducing: The Power Trio Package; an entirely new membership devoted to the needs of electric guitar players from around the world. This is the ultimate addition to our guitar playing curriculum that encompasses Electric Rock Guitar with Paul Gilbert, Electric Country Guitar with Guthrie Trapp, and Electric Blues Guitar with Keith Wyatt within one monthly membership.

Ready to dive in and start playing? Explore the in’s and out’s the Power Trio Package and get started on diversifying your playbook! If you aren’t quite sure where to start? Try some Free Sample Music Lessons on us! Don’t underestimate the power of multi-genre, versatile training, it could easily encourage you to take your playing and musicianship down a path you would have never gone down before!

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