CHRISTIAAN  DE  JONG                          

 

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Differences between electric guitar and nylon string classical guitar for (jazz)improvisation:

When playing jazz on a nylon string guitar classical or semi acoustique guitar I think we have to beware of the differences, strong and weak points compared to electric guitar. Both istruments need a different aproach.

Nylon (amplified) classical guitar

  1. it sounds great to use open strings (but we have to be aware until when we want to hear them!)

  2. fingerpicking style sounds great, we can use the whole classical guitar tradition and flamenco techniques to make the playing varied and interesting

  3. we  can use the body for great  percussion effects

  4. effect pedals can be used, but effects like distortion donīt work so well

  5. single line melodies are not so effective as they are on electric guitar

  6. easy to switch between bass, chords and melody passages

  7. we can use the pick when we want to sound more percussive

  8. playing in a heavy metal or rock way needs a special treat and sounds very different from what we would expect playing on a distortioned electric guitar

  9. we can not so easily build on a jazz tradition and have to be more inventive, most licks like on electric guitar are less effective in its original one melody form

Electric guitar:

  1. using finger picking needs strong nails, since they break easily with steel strings

  2. especially using effect pedals melody playing is interesting, we can tread the instrument like a wind instrument more easily then a classical guitar

  3. we can borrow more easily from the rock and heavy metal tradition

  4. we can build on a large tradition of jazz players and use licks, etc.