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#2139809 - 08/27/13 06:57 PM Just picked up a guitar.
findingnemo2010 Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/17/09
Posts: 1586
I was curious if anyone plays. I have been playing piano for a couple years and wanted to expand my musical knowledge. The question I have is if anyone in here plays do they find it easier than piano or the same or?
music to me is kind of like putting together pieces of a puzzle
i call it the paino because its where i put all my pain

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#2139823 - 08/27/13 07:29 PM Re: Just picked up a guitar. [Re: findingnemo2010]
Polyphonist Offline
8000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/03/13
Posts: 8109
Loc: New York City
Using what criteria? This is a completely subjective, apples-and-oranges question.


#2139892 - 08/27/13 10:10 PM Re: Just picked up a guitar. [Re: findingnemo2010]
Emissary52 Offline
Full Member

Registered: 10/17/09
Posts: 340
Loc: Monroe, NC USA
findingnemo2010 - As a recent piano player and an on-and-off guitar player, I think initially that the guitar is a bit easier. You can learn a dozen chords or so and a couple of strumming and finger-picking patterns and feel you're on your way! I remember buying a "Play Bob Dylan with Three Magic Chords" book (C,F,G7) about 40 years ago and thought I was pretty cool! Those same chords played on the piano seem a little forlorn without the melody added in. But it's like anything else in life, the more you put into it, the more you get out of it! Many excellent guitar players are self-taught unlike most of the top pianists - and you got to admit that a Martin is a lot easier to carry around than a Steinway!!

Sometimes when I'm playing a piece on the piano, I think some of the chords I might be playing, feel better or are easier on the guitar than on the piano and then - sometimes the reverse is true! Many of my old music books were piano transcriptions of guitar-based songs, so they have retained their value over the years. A lot of the musical knowledge that I picked up from my guitar playing transferred very nicely to piano.

I think it's a great idea for you to expand your musical knowledge by learning guitar. Go for it! grin
I'm Craig, I'm retired, It's Saturday every day!
Alfred's Masterwork Classics Vol 3 and Vol 4
YDP-160, GH-170R
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#2140050 - 08/28/13 05:19 AM Re: Just picked up a guitar. [Re: findingnemo2010]
de cajon Offline
Full Member

Registered: 06/10/13
Posts: 191
Loc: London, UK
I think playing both is great. Go for it. Do you sing? For some reason I find it easier and more satisfying to sing along to a guitar than to the piano. And if there is a song I want to do, it's usually a lot less work to find a nice guitar accompaniment - strum or pick - than it is to find a nice piano accompaniment. Although I am trying to remedy this by working my way through Mark Harrison's pop piano book.

And I think that having both enhances the mental picture of music. Everything is there in front of you with the piano and I tend to picture melody by seeing piano keys. But the guitar's regular semitone arrangement of frets, without the arbitrary black note/white note choice of the piano promotes a different kind of picture. And I think that playing chords on the guitar helps with harmony appreciation. I'm learning Downtown Train by Bruce Springsteen. There's a C in it that's obviously a Cmaj7 when you're playing the guitar, but which wasn't obvious to me when trying out the piano (pump organ) version. And that chord sounds nice on the guitar whereas I haven't found a nice voicing on the piano yet. And that particular song needs transposing, which is a piece of cake with a capo but a different matter altogether on the piano.
Yamaha C3X SH

#2140137 - 08/28/13 09:39 AM Re: Just picked up a guitar. [Re: de cajon]
BillTheSlink Offline
Full Member

Registered: 10/24/12
Posts: 123
Loc: Cincinnati, Ohio, USA
In all fairness I am not advanced on either guitar or piano, but my experience was at the beginning it was more difficult to get my first sounds right out of the guitar than piano, but once I did the pace of learning picked up faster on guitar than on piano. That said guitar hurt my hands and I gave it up. I later learned I had carpel tunnel and ulnar nerve entrapment so that might have had something to do with it, but I am not sure as I was fooling with the guitar long before it was discovered due to pain while playing piano and typing. I still find it difficult to put the bend in my wrist that would be necessary to play guitar in the left hand, so I guess that could be the problem. That said my hands do not naturally take to guitar. I wish I could find a narrow and thin necked acoustic. Stretching my index finger over to the low E string just is awkward for me. My teacher said I wasn't naturally cut out for it, but could probably learn to do better with hand exercises. It doesn't help I am stiff as a board either and squeeze the neck of the instrument. I just can't help myself. I found to get basic sound out of piano to be much easier, but there is a lot more to learn, not to mention getting over the hurdle of harmony in the left hand and melody in the right.
Currently I am without a piano, but when I get mine back I will be working on "The Complete Piano Player", as well as Neely's "How to Play from a Fake Book. I am spending my time working on theory and learning how to construct chords currently.

#2140172 - 08/28/13 11:05 AM Re: Just picked up a guitar. [Re: findingnemo2010]
Bob Newbie Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/02/06
Posts: 1555
The piano can be as easy or complex as you want it to be...same goes for guitar, here's an example...


this one's my favorite..the dolphin


Edited by Bob Newbie (08/28/13 11:11 AM)

#2140518 - 08/29/13 01:46 AM Re: Just picked up a guitar. [Re: findingnemo2010]
Brian K. Offline
Full Member

Registered: 02/21/07
Posts: 106
I've been playing for about 20 years. I play professionally these days as my main job. Piano is something I've always wanted to learn....I'm glad I finally got into it now! I'll always love the guitar though...

As stated above, the guitar and piano are both two different, yet very similar ways of looking at music. Scales and chords are easily "movable", whereas on piano, everything needs to be learned within one octave, and then each subsequent octave is an exact duplicate.

IMO, it's easier to get semi good at the guitar and impress people with your playing in a relatively short amount of time. Learning about 10 chords (mix of barre chord shapes, and the basic open position chords), and you can play most popular songs. With piano, each song is more or less "a piece", which takes much longer to perfect.

Of course, you get out of it what you put into it. That applies to any instrument.

Both are awesome instruments, and knowing both is a great thing! I'd definitely go for the guitar in addition to the piano. No one said you can't learn multiple instruments at the same time.
My personal blog/website dedicated to giving answers on the age old question - how to escape the "rat race" and make a living from your passions. I now play guitar for a living at night and learn piano during the day!


#2140816 - 08/29/13 03:09 PM Re: Just picked up a guitar. [Re: findingnemo2010]
findingnemo2010 Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/17/09
Posts: 1586
For me it seems it's much easier to make music on a guitar involving melody or chords. The only problem I have is getting my weak small fingers in the right shape to play a chord. But with a couple chords your on your way. The piano in that sense is different to me I think you have to know more theory and it's much more visual where as the guitar I find I use my ear more and less traditional reading of music. My fingers are killing me and starting to callous. But my first love is still with the piano I believe. The chords do sound different on the guitar and I believe they are much easier to string together than on piano to make a song. I figured I'd pick up a real acoustic instrument that only relies on sounds strings and vibrations of the air to further my musical knowledge.
music to me is kind of like putting together pieces of a puzzle
i call it the paino because its where i put all my pain

#2140836 - 08/29/13 03:53 PM Re: Just picked up a guitar. [Re: findingnemo2010]
Kymber Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/25/08
Posts: 1348
Loc: MA
I play the bass guitar.
My first attempt at bass was about (ahem) well lets just say it was a long time ago.
This time I have a much better understanding of music theory (intervals) and that has made a HUGE difference in my bass playing. I completely understand the layout of the fretboard now.
So, in my first attempt at bass I would have told the piano was easier to understand. But now I think they are about the same. Although I think it is easier to learn and understand theory using a keyboard instrument.

I do notice I am much harder on myself when it comes to the piano. On bass I find I am much free-er so I experiment a lot and am more spontaneous. But its fun. I really enjoy it.
“The doubters said, "Man cannot fly," The doers said, "Maybe, but we'll try,"
And finally soared in the morning glow while non-believers watched from below.”
― Bruce Lee

#2140838 - 08/29/13 03:55 PM Re: Just picked up a guitar. [Re: Emissary52]
Kymber Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/25/08
Posts: 1348
Loc: MA
Originally Posted By: Emissary52
Martin is a lot easier to carry around than a Steinway!!

laugh ha
That reminds me of another point. I can sit on the couch, TV on, relax and play the bass for ages. I don't feel like I can really do that on piano.
“The doubters said, "Man cannot fly," The doers said, "Maybe, but we'll try,"
And finally soared in the morning glow while non-believers watched from below.”
― Bruce Lee

#2140911 - 08/29/13 07:02 PM Re: Just picked up a guitar. [Re: findingnemo2010]
Oasismfg Offline
Full Member

Registered: 05/16/13
Posts: 125
Loc: So Cal
I've been playing both for almost 40 years. Is it easier? Yes. And no.

Once you get past having your left hand in funny positions, build up some callouses on your fingertips and learn some chords, it's pretty easy to sound good and entertain. To play at a higher level (leads for example) piano is easier, at least for me. So much on guitar depends on that finger/string interface that piano hammers do for you. I consider myself a fairly decent piano player, and just a mediocre guitar player. And I spend more time on guitar, because I can do it anywhere - even if it's just noodling around while watching tv with the family with an unplugged electric.

Playing guitar has made me a better piano player, and vice-versa, and with a better understanding of music both ways. Most things I can play on one, I can do on the other, and I have a blast. The sum of knowing both far exceeds each individual. I say jump in with reckless abandon.

Edited by Oasismfg (08/29/13 07:03 PM)

#2143853 - 09/04/13 04:49 AM Re: Just picked up a guitar. [Re: findingnemo2010]
Marco M Offline
Full Member

Registered: 08/28/12
Posts: 453
Loc: Europe
OASISMFG has just pointed out what is also my experience. I would have to exactly say the same, except that I was by far never playing any instrument for such a long time.
learning Piano on my Roland HP-505
before playing Drums in adults bluesband on handpicked set; before crashing E-Guitar in kids garage band; raised on home entertainment Organ and Keyboard models Eminent Solina P240, Farfisa Maharani 259R, Technics KN800, and on Mouth Organ, Recorder and Accordion

#2143929 - 09/04/13 09:06 AM Re: Just picked up a guitar. [Re: findingnemo2010]
Farmerjones Offline
Full Member

Registered: 05/25/12
Posts: 233
Loc: USA
I've played guitar since the early eighties. Chords come fast, but the scales are not as straight forward. Important, calluses were mentioned. Many give up when their fingers get sore. Good to mention string instruments can be set up to play easier. I've been lucky enough to find instruments and luthiers to where my rigs, I think, are very easy to play. This then in turn, doesn't hinder your development. Good Luck!

#2145950 - 09/07/13 06:54 PM Re: Just picked up a guitar. [Re: findingnemo2010]
findingnemo2010 Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/17/09
Posts: 1586
Yea just trying to have fun with it. I think thats the most important part which
I didnt really in the beginning with the piano. The piano i take the practice, theory, technique and repertoire a little more serious and spend more time on it.
music to me is kind of like putting together pieces of a puzzle
i call it the paino because its where i put all my pain


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