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#1561486 - 11/20/10 10:43 PM Piano and Violin, which one is harder for late beginners ?
Tidal Offline
Full Member

Registered: 09/08/09
Posts: 22
Which one is harder for late beginners to begin and develop their skills until they reach amateur professionalism ? (I don't mean a virtuoso, I mean only an amateur.)

I count 20 years old and above the late beginner.

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#1561501 - 11/20/10 11:27 PM Re: Piano and Violin, which one is harder for late beginners ? [Re: Tidal]
Rui725 Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/19/09
Posts: 953
Both has its difficulties, but violin is harder to start out on because it could take 6 months to a year to get used to the posture for holding a violin, after that there's bowing and intonation. The concurrent use of muscles that are involved in violin can feel very awkward to say the least and intonation really takes an experienced violinist to teach/correct. But, you only have to read one line of music, as opposed to the piano....

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#1561588 - 11/21/10 04:45 AM Re: Piano and Violin, which one is harder for late beginners [Re: Tidal]
landorrano Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/26/06
Posts: 2443
Loc: France
Originally Posted By: Tidal
Which one is harder for late beginners to begin and develop their skills until they reach amateur professionalism ? (I don't mean a virtuoso, I mean only an amateur.)

I count 20 years old and above the late beginner.


What is your question, really ? What, for you, does "harder" mean, that if you knock yourself on the head with the instrument that you get the biggest bump ?

And why ? You are thinking of learning an instrument ?

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#1561590 - 11/21/10 04:50 AM Re: Piano and Violin, which one is harder for late beginners [Re: Tidal]
motif Offline
Full Member

Registered: 10/26/10
Posts: 215
definitely violin is harder unless you have exceptional ear.

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#1561597 - 11/21/10 05:06 AM Re: Piano and Violin, which one is harder for late beginners [Re: Tidal]
Rania Offline
Full Member

Registered: 02/07/07
Posts: 63
Loc: Jordan
Between the violin and the piano, I would say the violin is harder, because even someone with a really good ear needs to tolerate a long time (possibly a few years) of playing out of tune since there's so much to think about and perfect on the way- bow, posture, etc. It takes tremendous patience before you can get a beautiful sound out. I know someone who started the violin at 18 and became a very good player in three years, but he had already been a virtuoso on the Oud, another string instrument (unbowed). I'm no violinist so this is just an opinion. Are wind instruments a choice? They're probably more friendly to start at a later point in life. But again, playing any instrument needs a lot of work- if you know what it takes and you're willing to put in the time and dedication (and not give in to frustration), there's no reason why you can't play any instrument you want.
_________________________
I am hitting my head against the wall, but the wall is giving away.
-Gustav Mahler


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#1561633 - 11/21/10 08:09 AM Re: Piano and Violin, which one is harder for late beginners [Re: landorrano]
Tidal Offline
Full Member

Registered: 09/08/09
Posts: 22
Sorry for my confusing english ( I'm not good at english).

I just would like to ask "which one is easier to play and which one is more difficult".

I have started playing piano for about 1 years (I'm twenty now) and have only a digital piano that I feel it's difficult to control comparing to an acoustic upright or grand piano. And I have been practicing a lot (I think) but my skill doesn't improve.

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#1561640 - 11/21/10 08:35 AM Re: Piano and Violin, which one is harder for late beginners [Re: Tidal]
motif Offline
Full Member

Registered: 10/26/10
Posts: 215
Originally Posted By: Tidal
And I have been practicing a lot (I think) but my skill doesn't improve.


what do you mean by "a lot" and what kinda "teacher" do you have?

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#1561646 - 11/21/10 09:05 AM Re: Piano and Violin, which one is harder for late beginners [Re: Tidal]
Tidal Offline
Full Member

Registered: 09/08/09
Posts: 22
I try it by myself because I don't have time to study with teacher (I'm a medical student).

Some days I play many hours (up to 8 hours) and some days I don't play.

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#1561660 - 11/21/10 09:43 AM Re: Piano and Violin, which one is harder for late beginners [Re: Tidal]
chrisbell Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/11/07
Posts: 1310
Loc: Stockholm, Sweden
The answer: it depends on what you want to play. And if you really want to play the specific instrument. As with any 'late' learning, one has to immerse oneself in the particular music that one wants to play.
_________________________
I never play anything the same way once.

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#1561667 - 11/21/10 10:10 AM Re: Piano and Violin, which one is harder for late beginners ? [Re: Tidal]
appleman Offline
Full Member

Registered: 03/30/09
Posts: 188
Originally Posted By: Tidal
Which one is harder for late beginners to begin and develop their skills until they reach amateur professionalism ? (I don't mean a virtuoso, I mean only an amateur.)
This is a tough question, because it's not just about skill, it's also about amateur professionalism.

Since the piano is a push button instrument, you might be able to get up to a place where you can fool the masses much quicker on a piano than the violin. However, a violinist has more amateur friendly gigs than a pianist does.

If your goal is to be a weekend warrior, I would probably suggest violin over piano.
_________________________
Dr. Appleman, former NASA engineer, Empire of Earth and B.S. of Ninjutsu at MIT.

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#1561673 - 11/21/10 10:27 AM Re: Piano and Violin, which one is harder for late beginners ? [Re: Tidal]
Andromaque Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/29/08
Posts: 3885
Loc: New York
The greatest advantage of string instruments is the possibility of playing with some orchestral / chamber group within a relatively short period of serious practice (some years). The initial latency period is much longer for strings, ie the time it takes to reach the stage of playing a recognizable tune with minimal ear trauma. But within 5-6 years, a seriously practicing violin student could participate in a local amateur group, learn new music, enjoy the camaraderie with better (and lesser) musicians and a sense of achievement and musical development. Around the same period, a pianist is likely to be entering one of his / her longest (and may be terminal) phases of development: intermediate / early advanced. And they will be struggling alone..

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#1561811 - 11/21/10 03:30 PM Re: Piano and Violin, which one is harder for late beginners [Re: Tidal]
Dave Horne Offline
5000 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/07/04
Posts: 5261
Loc: Vught, The Netherlands
Originally Posted By: Tidal
I try it by myself because I don't have time to study with teacher (I'm a medical student).

Some days I play many hours (up to 8 hours) and some days I don't play.


I always smile when I hear how many hours some folks claim to practice.

I keep a sports stop watch attached with Velcro to my piano and it only counts the time my hands are playing the piano. If I take ten seconds from playing to take a sip of tea or coffee I stop the clock. You'd be surprised just how long it takes to get three hours of practice completed in one day. It can take the entire day, certainly more than eight hours.

Before I used a stop watch to time myself I thought I practiced many more hours than actually I actually did.

Just a thought.
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#1561816 - 11/21/10 03:45 PM Re: Piano and Violin, which one is harder for late beginners [Re: Tidal]
Andromaque Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/29/08
Posts: 3885
Loc: New York
Alas, very true, Dave.

I kept a "log" for one week once, with similar accuracy. I was honestly surprised.. An hour practice in our mind is in fact rarely more than 20-40 minutes, the latter on a really good day..

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#1561855 - 11/21/10 05:06 PM Re: Piano and Violin, which one is harder for late beginners [Re: Tidal]
motif Offline
Full Member

Registered: 10/26/10
Posts: 215
I counted once hours but soon realized this is pointless. I count only goals I want to meet.

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#1562130 - 11/22/10 02:24 AM Re: Piano and Violin, which one is harder for late beginners [Re: Dave Horne]
andrew f Offline
Full Member

Registered: 11/19/09
Posts: 120
Loc: Amsterdam
Originally Posted By: Dave Horne
Originally Posted By: Tidal
I try it by myself because I don't have time to study with teacher (I'm a medical student).

Some days I play many hours (up to 8 hours) and some days I don't play.


I always smile when I hear how many hours some folks claim to practice.

I keep a sports stop watch attached with Velcro to my piano and it only counts the time my hands are playing the piano. If I take ten seconds from playing to take a sip of tea or coffee I stop the clock. You'd be surprised just how long it takes to get three hours of practice completed in one day. It can take the entire day, certainly more than eight hours.

Before I used a stop watch to time myself I thought I practiced many more hours than actually I actually did.

Just a thought.


I once played in a (violin) masterclass given by Syoko Aki from Yale. She explained the kind of discipline she developed for practicing when the shear amount of professional playing she needed to do in her student days started conflicting with her ability to get in enough practice time. She said that she would actually sit and plan her practice, literally down to the second, i.e. ten seconds on this trill, fifteen seconds tuning that chord. Initially she spent more time planning than practicing, but eventually she could cram everything into 20 minutes. She called it pressure practicing.

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#1562495 - 11/22/10 05:34 PM Re: Piano and Violin, which one is harder for late beginners [Re: Tidal]
DadAgain Offline
Full Member

Registered: 08/09/09
Posts: 365
Loc: Brisbane, QLD
The learning curves for Violin and Piano are a distintly different shape (as others have suggested above):

1) Violin - VERY hard to start off. Can take a number of years to reach a point here people dont despise being in the same room as you playing. It takes a long time to learn how to play a single note with a high quality sound - and a long time to learn to play anything in tune. The upside, is however that once the steep initial part of the learning curve is dealt with, progressing on a Violin becomes relatively easy (thats not to say its wihout challenges).

2) Piano - VERY easy to start, you hit a key and it'll make a decent noise, it'll be in tune and provided you pick simple music within your capabilities you wont have people running screaming from the room with hands clamped over their ears like they do wih beginner violinists. However, at the level when the Violinists start relaxing and really enjoying their repertoire, Pianists start being really challenged and getting better requires dogged determination and a lot of work.


In my own experience I can say that Once I got past ABRSM Gr3/4 Violin+Viola I cruised very comfortably up to Gr8 without really having to work very hard. I have no idea how good I could have got if I put effort into it. The Piano on the other hand I cruised up to ABRSM Gr5/6 and then had to work. I did probably 3 or 4 **times** as much practice on the Piano to get my gr8 than I did with Viola (I did them at the same time) - and despite continuing to work a it have never really got much better.
_________________________
Parent....
Orchestral Viola player (stictly amateur)....
Hack Pianist.... (faded skills from glory days 20 yrs ago)
Vague Guitar & Bass player.... (former minor income stream 15 yrs ago)
Former conductor... (been a long time since I was set loose with a magic wand!)

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#1562534 - 11/22/10 06:56 PM Re: Piano and Violin, which one is harder for late beginners [Re: Tidal]
jeffreyjones Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/31/10
Posts: 2230
Loc: San Jose, CA
Originally Posted By: Tidal
Sorry for my confusing english ( I'm not good at english).

I just would like to ask "which one is easier to play and which one is more difficult".

I have started playing piano for about 1 years (I'm twenty now) and have only a digital piano that I feel it's difficult to control comparing to an acoustic upright or grand piano. And I have been practicing a lot (I think) but my skill doesn't improve.


Usually fighting a mediocre instrument holds you back. I have a pretty good digital, but it was still worth every penny to get my Schimmel upright and I have never gone back.

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#1562627 - 11/22/10 10:20 PM Re: Piano and Violin, which one is harder for late beginners [Re: Tidal]
Lingyis Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/15/09
Posts: 786
Loc: New York, NY
the violin is harder for sure. just look at the number of adults picking up the violin vs the piano and the answer should be fairly obvious.

this kind of argument doesn't always work but when the numbers are this skewed it's probably safe.

guitar vs piano... based on popularity alone harder to gauge.

that argument aside, never in my life have i heard people say the piano is harder than the violin to learn. the reasons are pretty transparent really as people have already stated in this thread.

obviously, to get to expert level, everything is hard, but certainly the piano is easier to "learn".
_________________________
Working on:
911, 110, 53. Listed in order of time of composition.


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#1562809 - 11/23/10 07:54 AM Re: Piano and Violin, which one is harder for late beginners [Re: Tidal]
the nosy ape Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/10/08
Posts: 681
Loc: Westford, MA
If you are talking about playing Mary Had a Little Lamb then the piano is much easier, mainly because the barriers to entry for the violin are so high (not fixed pitch, bowing). If you are talking about playing a Mozart concerto then I would say it is about the same, depending on your talents.

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#1563041 - 11/23/10 05:08 PM Re: Piano and Violin, which one is harder for late beginners [Re: the nosy ape]
DL33 Offline
Full Member

Registered: 07/16/09
Posts: 27
Not sure this will be of any help to you, but I've been wondering the same thing. I learned piano as a child and am still always trying harder material to advance. I am now taking up the violin for the sheer pleasure of it. I know how to read music, so this is a benefit. If you can laugh at yourself, then by all means try the violin. It is a great lesson in humility and a great way to keep people from bothering you when you want to be alone (at least until you start to sound good) : )

I would NEVER give up the piano, but I find that the violin enhances my ability to play the piano in that playing the violin makes me play with more precision in order not to sound like a cat being skinned alive. The bow must be held steady and the instrument resting on your shoulders at the proper angle so that you don't hit two strings at once. This takes concentration, muscle control, and strength. With the piano, you strike a key and like the above posters said, you get a tone and it's instant gratification. With the violin, you may hit the right note but then the bow slides and you get awful sounds. That's when you must laugh at yourself in order to not give up in frustration. AND, with violin you can experience fatigue quickly until you build up shoulder/arm strength. You can last at the piano longer.

All that being said, I'm not giving up the violin. There is a certain allure about the instrument that is complimentary to the piano and the bottom line is that I find practicing on one makes me better on the other BUT I already know how to play the piano.

If you start out with piano, you will get instant results and pleasure from your playing. But if you want to play the violin as well, go for it! If music is in you, it WILL come out with practice and determination. In the meantime, whichever you choose remember that the process of learning should be fun. Be patient with yourself and allow yourself to grow at your own pace on either/both instruments.

My advice is to try them both. You will probably find that one appeals to you more than the other. Then go with your gut feelings and concentrate on one of them and after having reached some degree of competency, explore the other one. I would not try to learn both at once as both need concentration and you will probably tire easily so each one would get only 50% of your best efforts.

One more thing to consider -- your living situation. If you are concerned about disturbing your family or neighbors, a digital piano might be best as you can plug in earphones. You can get a mute for a violin but it's not like earphones! I play the violin when no one is around but I can play the piano anytime day or night.
_________________________
DL33
Time passes too quickly. Follow your dreams.

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#1563090 - 11/23/10 06:58 PM Re: Piano and Violin, which one is harder for late beginners [Re: Lingyis]
John_B Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/17/10
Posts: 621
Loc: Bristol, UK
Originally Posted By: Lingyis
guitar vs piano... based on popularity alone harder to gauge.


Just quickly picking up on that point. From past experience, I would say that the classical guitar is easier than the piano in the sense that (a) the musical standards (in general) aren't as high, i.e. you can get away with a lot more and (b) some of the pieces I used to play on the classical guitar are in ABRSM Grade 8 and it would take me many more years to get the to standard required of the Grade 8 pieces on the piano than it did on the classical guitar. (Incidentally, I was amazed to see Duarte's English Suite classed as Grade 8 guitar.)

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