While crushing hard rock and metal guitar riffs played alongside searing solos are often incredibly impressive and fun to listen to, some of the most accomplished guitar playing comes in the form of classic music. Much of classical guitar is played with a finger picked style that often has rhythm bass notes played at the same time as lead melodies, requiring intricate finger positions that must be quickly changed much more than your standard contemporary guitar compositions. When it comes to classical guitar at its finest, there may be no one greater than Niccolò Paganini.
Niccolò Paganini was a talented musician with various string instruments, including the violin. Guitar was his mainstay however, and he composed many famous pieces such as 24 Caprices, II Fandango Spanolo, and Cantabile. He was responsible for incredibly imaginative pieces, and they all stood out since his peers and most other classical composers tended to write with the aid of a piano rather than any particular stringed instrument. There was a notable lack of polyphonics in some of his pieces – where multiple notes are being utilized to harmonize with one another – but in hindsight this only makes his work even more groundbreaking given the direction guitar ultimately took. Though not often given his due, Paganini is undoubtedly one of the all-time classical guitar greats.