Playing Classical Pieces on Electric Guitar


It seems that one of the only person can do these technical pieces from the likes of Paganini, Chopin, Stravinsky, Bach, etc. is Marshall Harrison. I was wondering if you guys knew of any other players who do this and wanted to share some of their videos.

On another note, does anybody have a review on the books and livestream licks that Marshall offers on his website?

I guess I’ll leave on of my favorite pieces: Clair de Lune done with two handed tapping.


The problem with finding this stuff is that when you search it, most of the results are shred guys doing (frankly kinda generic-sounding) speed metal covers of classical pieces with loads of distortion. Look up any Bach violin piece and then “electric guitar” on YouTube if you’re a glutton for punishment :stuck_out_tongue:

Beyond that, there’s definitely examples scattered all over.

The jazz player Ted Greene did a pretty killer version of Debussy’s Girl with the Flaxen Hair:

He was also known for doing utterly badass improv counterpoint in the style of Bach:

My teacher Joe Ricker is in a group called Duo Orfeo that does classical music on both classical and electric guitars. They’re coming from a classical guitar background so it’s all fingerstyle and pretty mellow/stately stuff for the most part. Couple of tracks:

And then of course there are some modern classical composers who have written for electric guitar. Electric Counterpoint by Steve Reich is the most famous one, and is insanely beautiful:

If you’re a pick-style electric player and interested in learning classical pieces, Berklee has a book of classical pieces for pick-style guitar. Although if you read music, there are tons of pieces you can read right off the score, including practically all violin pieces. Electric guitar necks go up so high that you can often play violin pieces in the original octave, too. is also a great resource, if tab is more your speed.


I tried to come up with a way to do classical tremolo with hybrid picking, it more or less works but it’s pretty hard work when 6-string skips are involved:

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Uh, never watched Anton Oparin?


Livestream Vol. 1: The transcription is by K. Pádraig O’Kane, not Harrison himself. I’d say it’s very accurate and has complete picking and right hand fingering notated. There’s a nice variety of phrases in Sweep and Hybrid patterns. 6 Pages on Eric Johnson phrases, some classical phrases, Jason Becker stuff, diminished and pentatonic lines. Obviously, it’s very difficult. It is only 14 pages, and kinda pricey for what you get.

Probably Guitar Book 1 is a better value, 80+ pages and it’s more focused on Classical pieces. This book is transcribed by Marshall, but is TAB only (no music notation) and does NOT include and picking or fingering guidance. If you’re familiar with the Swybryd approach, you can figure these things out, but it’s annoying to pay for a lesson product and not get the Keys to the Lambo.

M.H. YouTube Lesson: Legato + Hybrid Combination
M.H. YouTube Lesson: 5 Notes Per String
M.H. YouTube Lesson: Advanced Hybrid Picking I + II
M.H. Sliding Fourths Etude
Henri Herz: Variation from Hexameron
C.V. Alkan: Scherzo from Sonatine
F. Chopin: Etude Op. 10 No. 2 “Chromatic”
H. Wieniawski: Caprice No. 3
K. Czerny: Etude No.2, “School of Velocity”
F. Chopin: Etude Op. 25 No. 11 “Winter Wind”
J.S. Bach: Prelude No. 5 in D, “Well Tempered Clavier I”
N. Paganini: Moto Perpetuo
D. Schostakovich: Prelude No. 5
C.P.E. Bach: Solfeggietto
K. Czerny: Etude No.3, “School of Dexterity”
C.V. Alkan: Etude Op. 76 No. 3 “Pour les mains réunies”
N. Paganini: Caprice No. 1, Op. 1
J.S. Bach: Prelude, Partita for Violin in E

The Harrison interview clips on CTC are nice with the Soundslice Transcription. I kinda wish these books were published as slices instead of pdf.


I’m actually going to try and alternate pick most of it (and by that I mean all of it) so that I can work on my Crosspicking. Of course I can always go back and work on the Sweep + Hybrid picking if I want to get better at that technique.
I was mainly interested in the Moto Perpetuo (Troy doesn’t have a transcription?) and the classical pieces so I went with guitar book 1.
Maybe I’ll upload a clip of one of the pieces when I have it memorized and played at a good tempo.

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Troy didn’t include a transcription in the MH interview, just the outtake featuring the performance.

Troy did transcribe 27 licks, and they’re grrrreat.


I like classical music (I like almost any music genre in general )) ). Though it’s hard to find some piece that would fit electric guitar without a lot of changing.
Last year I tried to play my lovely Bach’s Badinerie (flute part, as close to original as possible). However, since I’m not a good guitarist it sounded… not so well ) especially that fast runs in the end (32th in 120 bpm).
I believe Bach’s Prelude in C-minor from WTC would sound good with 2 guitars, but I can’t play it though I tried (

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Rick Graham is a classical guitarist on-top of being a shred god (my words). He has many videos explaining how he uses hybrid picking to play classical pieces on electric guitar, and so I suggest him as a study.

Here’s a piece:


Michael Romeo plays the C Minor Prelude in the solo from “Dressed to Kill”. It’s awesome.

Kiko Loureiro plays the Fugue in 2 parts with tapping, crazy :slight_smile:


Check out Adam Fulara’s two handed Bach stuff. That is truly unbelievable. Try the BWV 848 if you haven’t seen it before.


Dope Technique. Serious Guitar Face. :rofl:


Absolutely. That clip never seizes to impress me every time i watch it.
In addition to this, some of the comments are also really entertaining: “Adam’s hands play classical but his mouth does all the metal” :slight_smile:

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