I'm relearning guitar after several years -- well, several decades -- away. I'm actually finding that not only is it coming back to me easily, but I'm learning more than I ever knew before due to all the amazing resources available on the Internet.

Which gives rise to my question. I'm relearning the rock and roll that I played as a kid, but at the same time I'm studying jazz chords, learning pentatonic scales, practicing blues solo techniques, and on and on. I'm wondering whether it's wise to do these things all at once, or if it's better to spend a few weeks concentrating in one area before moving to the next. So far I feel like I'm progressing in each line of study, but would I learn more efficiently if I specialized?

2 Answers 2


I think you may get a range of answers here, but in my experience, getting as much input from different disciplines will benefit you immensely, allowing you to utilise chord changes, licks and other features that you won't necessarily see in rock and roll.

Many of the top rock guitarists use this cross discipline knowledge extensively - think Eric Johnson, Steve Vai, Ritchie Blackmore, Joe Satriani etc.

Put simply - you will have more tools at your disposal, so will be able to compose or improvise more interesting music.

  • Absolutely--the more cross-discipline work, the better; so long as you don't sacrifice quality for quantity!
    – NReilingh
    Jul 30, 2012 at 15:09

When learning (or re-learning!) instruments, the most important thing is not to get bored, so learning different aspects at once enable you will never be short of something to practice. You can practice jazz chords and inversions with improvisation over backing tracks, pentatonics you can solo around with. Give yourself things to do so that the enthusiasm remains!

  • 2
    Sometimes I think that certain things just need time (not necessarily effort) to gel mentally/physically. You try something, put it aside for a while, and then, boom, when you come back to it, it seems much easier. So having many irons in the fire is a way to keep that up.
    – Dave
    Jul 30, 2012 at 13:21

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