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Classical to the Blues

April 15, 2014

There is no better foundation than studying classical music first. The technique and persistent challenge of note reading can't be beat. Voice students become better at singing with this training. Even if you never sing opera, this concise training is unbeatable. And although there are no drums in classical music, the varying percussion that is taught will only make a drummer better and more varied. An upright bass is initially bowed in classical training, but can be later transferred to other styles such as jazz and bluegrass using right hand finger-style. The saxophone and violin techniques can also be easily transferred as well. (Note that "Fiddling" in bluegrass can be a challenge on its own.) Guitar and piano students are taught rigid posture and finger techniques in classical music, which is extremely useful. Really all classical training teaches this. Great technique and note reading are gained.

Then there's the blues! The blues is played "by ear" with an emphasis on improvisation (neither are encouraged with classical). A musician that reads well, has great technique that plays with great feeling and can improvise is very, very hard to come by! These two styles of music lay the groundwork for jazz, pop, country, etc. If I had to learn all over again, it would be in this progression. 

P.S. Always use a metronome, at least in the beginning!