I used to listen to classical violinists all the time; unaccompanied solos, duets with pianists, string quartets, concertos, etc. One favorite player of mine was the incomparable Itzhak Perlman, whose records I would buy almost as often as any rock guitarist that I adored. Two pieces, in particular, that truly impressed me were Sarasate’s Zigeunerweisen and Bazzini’s “Dance of the Goblins”. I would then buy the sheet music and labor through the numerous cascading arpeggios and scales, which were enough to keep me occupied for quite a while. I even got through Mendelssohn’s Violin Concerto in Em, which was beyond splendid!
The real learning experience, however, was the adaptation of violin to guitar; as the former, being tuned in fifths with a much shorter scale length, gave my instrument more challenges than usual. Those of you that are familiar with my playing know well of my numerous arpeggio sweep-picking techniques that were a direct result of all of this; I had NO ONE show me how to do any of these.
Same thing goes for my bluegrass affinity and the instruments, other than guitar, found in this wonderful genre…and in particular, the banjo, mandolin and fiddle. The techniques associated with each (double-stops, finger-picking, etc.) I modified to the guitar, which helped to create a unique and internationally acclaimed guitar style.
As well, learning to play Irish folk songs and dances such as jigs, reels and hornpipes, helped give me a sense of timing and melody that was simply not found with my beloved rock music and players.
Find a teacher that inspires and elevates you; one that opens up worlds previously unknown. You may be quite amazed!