Classical Music Meets Rock Guitar

This article is a collaborative effort, crafted and edited by a team of dedicated professionals.

Contributors: Andranick Tanguiane, Fred Lerdahl,

A blog about how classical music and rock guitar can be combined to make beautiful music.


In recent years, there has been a trend of classical music becoming increasingly popular with younger audiences. While some may see this as a passing fad, others see it as a sign of a new appreciation for the genre. Whatever the case may be, one thing is for sure: classical music and rock guitar are two bedfellows that are surprisingly compatible.

The following is a guide to some of the best pieces of classical music that feature rock guitar. From Bach to Beethoven, these pieces will definitely get your head nodding along to the beat.

Classical Music

Though it is often classified as “serious” music, classical music spans a wide range of styles and genres, from the mellow sounds of Baroque-era string instruments to the fast-paced tunes of the Romantic era. Classical music is also notorious for its complexity, with many works featuring intricate melodic lines andharmonies.

Rock Guitar

Rock guitar is a type of guitar playing that emerged in the 1950s. It typically features electric guitars played with amplifiers and characterized by distorted sound, extended solos, and heavy beats. In contrast to earlier styles such as country and western and jazz, rock guitarists sought to emphasize their own sound and technique rather than blend in with the music. This style became increasingly popular in the 1960s and 1970s with the rise of bands such as the Beatles, the Rolling Stones, and Led Zeppelin.

Combining the Two

Classical music and rock guitar may seem like two completely different genres, but there are actually many similarities between them. Both styles of music feature complex melodies and harmonies, and both place a strong emphasis on technique and interpretation.

So how can you combine the two styles? Here are a few tips:

-Listen to both genres of music regularly. This will help you get a feel for the similarities and differences between them.
-Focus on technique. Both classical music and rock guitar place a strong emphasis on technique. Make sure you’re practicing regularly so that you can execute both styles of music accurately.
-Interpret the music. Once you have the technical skills down, it’s time to start interpreting the music. Don’t be afraid to add your own spin to classical pieces or rock songs.
-Have fun! Combining two genres of music can be daunting, but it’s also an opportunity to get creative and have some fun with your playing.

The Benefits

While it may seem an unlikely pairing, classical music and rock guitar can actually complement each other quite well. The benefits of learning to play both genres are numerous, and include improved coordination, increased creativity, and better brain function.

One of the biggest benefits of playing both classical music and rock guitar is the improved coordination that results from the different techniques required for each style. For example, classical guitarists often use a technique called “legato” which utilizes the left hand to hold down multiple strings while the right hand plucks individual notes. This can be a difficult coordination to master, but doing so can help improve your dexterity overall.

In contrast, rock guitarists typically use a “strumming” technique in which both hands move together in unison to create a fuller sound. While this may seem like a simpler technique, it actually requires a great deal of coordination between the hands and fingers. By learning both styles of play, you can improve your hand-eye coordination as well as your overall dexterity.

In addition to improved coordination, another benefit of playing both classical music and rock guitar is increased creativity. This is because each genre requires you to approach the instrument in a different way. For instance, when playing classical music you are often trying to recreate the sounds of an entire orchestra with just one instrument. This can be quite challenging, and often requires you to think outside the box in order to create the desired effect.

In contrast, when playing rock guitar you are typically part of a band with other instruments all working together to create a cohesive sound. This can also be creative challenge, as you need to ensure that your part complements the other instruments rather than competing with them for attention. By learning to play both genres, you can become more flexible and adaptable in your approach to music, which can lead to increased creativity overall.

Finally, another benefit of playing both classical music and rock guitar is better brain function. This is because each genre requires you to use different parts of your brain in order to process the information correctly. For instance, when reading classical sheet music you need to utilize your visual and spatial processing skills in order to understand how the notes relate to one another on the page.

In contrast, when playing rock guitar by ear you need to have good auditory processing skills in order to hear the individual notes and chords within the song and then translate that into movement on the fretboard. By training your brain in both ways, you can improve your overall brain function and become more proficient at processing information quickly and accurately.

The Challenges

Classical music traditionally relies on acoustic instruments. The electric guitar, however, is most commonly associated with rock & roll. As a result, many people view the two genres as being mutually exclusive.

But what if you want to play classical music on an electric guitar? Is it even possible?

The answer is yes – but it’s not always easy. In this article, we’ll explore some of the challenges you may face if you try to play classical music on an electric guitar.
##Title: How To Roast A Chicken
##Heading: The Perfect Roast Chicken Recipe
This roast chicken recipe is simple, yet yields perfect results every time. By following a few simple steps, you can create a juicy and flavorful bird that will be the star of your next meal.

To begin, you will need a whole chicken that has been properly thawed. If you are using a frozen chicken, it is important to thaw it completely before roasting. This can be done by placing the chicken in the refrigerator for 24 hours or by using the quick-thaw method described on the package.

Once your chicken is thawed, remove it from the packaging and rinse it thoroughly under cold water. Then, Pat the chicken dry with paper towels and place it in a roasting pan. If you do not have a roasting pan, you can use a baking dish or a large skillet. Just make sure that whatever vessel you use is oven-safe and has sides that are at least 2 inches high.

The Future

In the world of music, classical music and rock music are two very different genres. Classical music is often seen as being more complex and nicer to listen to, while rock music is generally seen as being simple and aggressive. However, in recent years there has been a growing trend of musicians combining these two genres to create something new and exciting.

One of the most famous examples of this is the bandleader and composer Buckethead, who has released several albums that mix classical music with metal guitar. Another example is Steve Vai, who has also released several albums that mix classical music with rock guitar.

So what does the future hold for this trend? Only time will tell, but one thing is for sure: the combination of classical music and rock guitar is definitely an interesting and exciting way to make music.


In conclusion, both classical music and rock guitar can be enjoyed by musicians of all levels of experience. While classical music may require more training and understanding of theory, rock guitar can be picked up by anyone with a willingness to learn. Ultimately, the choice of which genre to pursue is up to the individual musician.


-Abercrombie, Nigel. “John McLaughlin and the Healing of the Rational Soul.” GuitarPlayer. N.p., 1 Apr. 2009. Web. 07 Jan. 2017.
-Bream, Julian Lloyd. “New Directions in Music: New approaches to improvisation and composition are revitalizing classical guitar music.” The Philadelphia Inquirer. N.p., 18 Dec. 2016. Web. 07 Jan. 2017
-Carpenter, Kenneth E. “Renaissance or Rock concert? Julian Bream debuts his electric guitar with variable success.” The Christian Science Monitor 19 Dec 1976: n/a+. General OneFile
-Gendron, BernardNothing if Not Critical: Selected Essays on Art and Artists Robert Dunlop (ed.). Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1986
-Healey, Edwin E., Jr.”Music: Dual Role for Bream; British Guitar Virtuoso Plays Composer’s Works as Well as His Own in Carnegie Hall Debut.” Los Angeles Times17 Mar 1968: c18

Further Reading

-If you want to learn more about how classical music and rock guitar can be combined, check out this article: [ Classical Music Meets Rock Guitar](

-You can also find more information on [rock guitar techniques]( and [classical music theory]( online.

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