Can I be a world-renowned Classical Guitarist?

by State Library and Archives of Florida

Question by Daniel Almodóvar: Can I be a world-renowned Classical Guitarist?
Hi, I’m from Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic and I want to dedicate my life to the world of music. Unfortunately, my father disagrees and is forbidding me to study Classical Guitar. He says that the guitar “is not an instrument with class”, that there’s no way I can make my live and earn enough money to live and maintain my family being a guitarist. That Music is not a real career, that it’s just a hobby. I’ve tried to talk to him hundreds of times, but it’s useless, he’s extremely authoritarian and repressive.

I know I don’t live in a rich country, and that music here (specially classical) has a lot of limitations. But I want to apply to an American or English Music Institute and make my life out of this island. I’m not a child prodigy, and I’m not a “never before seen guitar virtuoso”. At least not yet. But that can be achieved with practice, effort, determination and passion. And those are things I’m sure I have.

Since I don’t have the support of my family, I would have to do this alone, but I’m willing to take the risk. However, I need some suggestions, recommendations, orientations, on how to do this the best way possible, because it’s really depressing and frustrating to have such a great love and passion for something and not having your family with you to share that feeling. Thank you a lot for your help and answers.

Best answer:

Answer by Ashkan
That’s very interesting for me to see someone else this much interested in classical guitar. I’m 22 years old and I have been playing guitar for about 10 years, the last 5 years of it only classical and flamenco guitar. I personally love the soft relaxing tone of classical guitar and the aggressive tone of flamenco guitar. Since my childhood I always wanted to study music and become a musician. But things didn’t go as I planned. To be quite honest with you, I’m a bit happy that I didn’t study classical music. Now I am studying to get my MA degree in linguistics. Learning a language professionally is much more PRACTICAL than studying music. The music business is not the way it used to be. It takes more than passion. As I told you, I still play classical guitar up to even 3 hours everyday and I’m always practicing and I also teach it from time to time.

I had to study Russian for 2 years and take courses before I could study music in Moscow but my dad was always saying “it’s a waste of time and in 10 years from now, you won’t be able to make enough money to run a family and provide opportunities to your wife and children.” he was kinda right but unfortunately some jobs are not well paid. As you said it’s a hobby which is great. But as your profession, personally I wouldn’t go with it. I am now taking professional photography classes and I can make thousands of dollars in a month. But it would be to hard to make that money with classical music. Of course this is my personal and subjective opinion. I’m not saying don’t do it. But by doing it, in 10 years from now, think about how you will make enough money not only for yourself but also for your family. I always thought my dad is wrong. But he was right about this. Of course I don’t agree with everything he says but older men think more about how to make money than what you love. You must be really into music and you should accept the life of a classical guitarist. They usually have financial problems and they are not well-known and/or well paid.

As I told you, when you grow up and when it comes to responsibilities, what matters is not what you love but what you can do. I’m telling you my own story because I find them very similar. So in short, think about what works in 10 years from now. In 10 years now, everything will be digital and classical music will not have as much fans as it had 50 years ago and making money just by playing guitar won’t be guaranteed. I’m not trying to disappoint you, just be logic and honest with yourself.

You can study something more practical and keep playing classical guitar as a hobby. That’s what I recommend but after all, it’s up to you.
Make up your mind about this and be sure about it before committing to it.

Good luck

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