Learning Different styles of guitar playing

Often after I've given a performance in front of an audience and I invite people to ask questions, I get asked interest in learning other styles of playing like blues, country, or rock and roll. 

Most of the time the question goes something like, "can you play x?" (with x being any random song from the questioner's favorite band or group or artist). 

Unfortunately most of the time my answer to that question is "no, I'm sorry I can't play that song" or "I don't think I've heard of that artist." Usually, it's only because I have yet to really listen to that particular song and take the time to figure out the chord progressions and harmonies of that song. 

This is particularly challenging as a guitar instructor because our jobs are to be able to not only teach a student fundamental basics of the instrument but to be in a constant state of learning and listening to new music. This is truly one of the most beautiful things I have discovered as a private guitar teacher: music will never run out and we will truly never know everything on our instrument. 

This is really a drag as when I first began learning the guitar I thought that there would be some point of "ultimate mastery" on the guitar that was attainable through hard work and practice. Although I would say most music is fairly easy to learn; mastering the basic chords and basic bar chord position on the guitar makes is possible to play nearly any popular style of music. But I will say that this is always a reminder to me that being a musician is about choosing what to learn. It is in this process of exposing ourselves to new music and choosing to learn something new that is, in my opinion, one of the most beautiful qualities of being a musician that widens your view of humanity. 

 

Magdiel Zuniga