Guitar vs Piano: Which instrument fits you the best?

What do you think is the most played instrument?

If you answered guitar, then, we’re both wrong.

It turns out the piano is still the most played instrument, according to Creative Soul Music School.

On the other hand, Piano and Guitar are the most popular instruments.

guitar vs piano

Now:

Let’s find out the best instrument for you, Guitar vs Piano. 

The Piano (Intro)

playing piano

The piano has more of a classical feel. Most of the famous pieces are in the classical genre.

To be honest, I only know a little about those classical pieces, but I do know that they sound fantastic.

If you’re into Beethoven, Paganini, Chopin, or Mozart, you’re probably gonna go with the piano.

It has a “clean” sound compared to a guitar.

The piano is also considered as a “complete instrument.”

Here’s what I mean:

With the piano, you can play harmony, melody, and rhythm. Without the other, something just seems to be missing.

In other words, the piano is sort of like “independent” compared to some instruments.

The Guitar (Intro)

On the other hand, guitars sometimes need an accompaniment, like your voice.

Strumming (or harmony) alone sounds like something is missing.

The same goes for simple fingerpicking (or melody).

guitar playing

Don’t get me wrong, you can definitely play melody, harmony, and rhythm on the guitar at the same time, but that will take some mastery.

That’s like the goal for most guitarists: fingerstyle. At least, that’s true for me.

Guitar also has a coolness vibe to it.

“I want to play guitar because it looks cool.”

That’s one reason for some people.

Honestly speaking, they are both excellent for me. Seeing someone play either instrument is just inspiring.

Similarities of Guitar and Piano

We didn’t have a piano before, so I didn’t know that pianos are also in the string family.

Now:

They are also both considered chromatic instruments. 

In other words, these instruments have all the notes in a scale (including sharps or flats) and it repeats them.

Simply put, guitars and pianos have an excellent range. They can play lows, mids, and highs.

Another awesome thing about these two is they are a perfect combination with voice or singing.

guitar vs piano

You know what else is lovely?

When guitars, pianos, and singing come together, resulting in sweet and relaxing music, just like Boyce Avenue’s covers.

At the same time, they both can be a solo instrument.

For a guitar to be a solo instrument, you have to practice playing both harmony and melody in a guitar.

Now that we’ve learned a little something from both instruments, I’d like to know:

Why do you want to learn how to play an instrument?

Leave your answers on the comment below.

One thing we probably have in common:

We love music, don’t we?

Guitar and Piano Songs

Did you notice? Any duets with guitar and piano are relaxing.

It’s not as smooth as jazz, but it still makes you unwind.

With the acoustic power of guitar and piano:

It can make hard rock music to melodramatic music.

Vice versa, it can make any sad songs to more lively music.

Here is one of my favorites:

Here are some other guitar and piano duets you might like:

Please note that any song can be played by both instruments.

Though if there isn’t any free sheet music or tabs online, you’d have to transcribe or arrange them yourself.

Unfortunately, that’s on the advanced level.

Though don’t worry. I’m sure you’ll see tabs or sheet music for the song you want with all the people sharing information on the internet.

Is Guitar Harder Than Piano?

Here’s the thing:

I play more guitar than piano, so I might be a little biased. For your sake, I will be fair as much as possible.

Depending on the circumstances that I will provide, you will be the one to answer “is guitar harder than piano?” 

Let’s get on to it!

wondering guitarist

Learning Guitar vs Piano (Basics)

I’m not gonna lie, starting to learn something is exciting. But that’s also one of the reasons why many people are stuck at the beginner level.

If it gets too hard, some people will just give up. To be honest, that WAS the same for me.

So, if you really want to go beyond, you’ll have to do some hard work and practice. 

Don’t worry, it will definitely pay off.

Piano Basics

Frankly, the piano is more comfortable to start, but that’s not all there is.

Here’s the reason:

For pianos, the notes repeat the same linear pattern.

So, your first lesson will be notes and scales, which is really easy.

Most piano teachers will begin with white keys for adults and black keys for kids.

piano keys

With this, you can easily and quickly learn a melody even with just one finger. In other words, you’ll have an early accomplishment!

Guitar Basics

Basics with the guitar is a little bit different.

You’ll start with an immediate challenge instead of achievement.

To be more specific, you have to practice the coordination between your fretting hands and your strumming/picking hands.

Basically, you start with chords.

It’ll take a lot of practice for you to get the chord right, aka no ghost string.

Then there’s also shifting from one chord to another. That’s while strumming with your other hand.

After you got that coordination right, that’s when you can finally play a whole song.

I don’t mean to make it sound harder than it’s supposed to, but if you don’t even try, nothing will happen.

how to play guitar

It’s only hard if you think it’s hard.

The power of perseverance and hard work can get you a long way, you know.

If you can pass the basics of guitar, you will surely master the guitar, without a doubt!

There is also another learning curve for guitars: tuning.

Nowadays, there are a lot of apps or devices to help you with tuning. But! I suggest you also learn how to tune using your hearing skills.

It will take time, but trust me, it will be worth it!

Bonus:

Changing keys in the guitar is effortless with the help of a capo. On the other hand, you have to use music theory to transpose the key in a piano.

So, does that answer the question: Is a guitar or piano easier to learn?

Maybe, but it’s just the beginning; let’s finish the rest before you make your choice, shall we?

Sheet Music for Guitar and Piano

Learning music theory is like learning a new language. 

You start with letters or notes, and then words or chords, next are symbols or dynamics, etc.

I took the hard path, so I can’t say for sure if it’s simple to learn music theory or not. 

guitar terms

It’s not a must, but if you want to pursue a career in music, it’s ideal.

Not only that but if you learn music theory, learning other instruments will be a breeze.

Piano and Music Theory

Now:

If you happen to choose a piano, you’ll learn music theory along the way. In fact, reading music is a necessity for piano players. 

If not, you’d have to learn to play by ear, which is a lot harder.

It’s also easier to learn music theory with a piano because it makes more sense. Here’s a picture showing the relationship between standard notation and piano keys.

piano and standard notation

So, if you plan to learn more instruments in the future, you might want to use the piano as a starting instrument.

Why?

When you have a background in music theory, you’ll have a “cheat code” when learning other instruments.

Instead of just memorizing, you’ll actually learn the “why and how” behind the music.

Don’t get me wrong, it’s not pre-requisite, but your skills (without music theory) can only get you so far.

Guitar and Tablatures

Here’s the thing:

You can also learn music theory if you choose the guitar. Although the journey won’t be as easy because music theory is more complicated with a guitar.

guitar tabs - arpeggio sample g7 and d7

Here’s the sad part:

The relationship between the guitar and standard notation is more intricate.

Guitar has a different string arrangement. One musical note can be found in more than one spot on the guitar.

It’s definitely harder to tell if a “fret” is either a sharp/flat or a natural. Compared to a piano, one look and you know the sharps and flats (black keys) and the naturals (white keys).

If you’re planning to seek for a guitar teacher, you can also ask him or her to teach you how to read music. Your teacher will definitely be glad to.

Tabs and chord charts are an alternative if you choose the guitar. It’s not accurate, as the standard notation, but it’s an excellent fit for guitar playing.

Reading tabs and chord charts are way more manageable if you’re using a guitar.

chord diagram details

Note:

Guitar and Piano chords are the same. Actually, they’re the same in any instrument since they’re using one language (music theory).

I suppose that’s another reason to pursue music theory in the long run.

Mastery: Guitar vs Piano

Earlier, the winner for learning the basics is the piano, right?

Here’s the kicker:

When mastering, or learning the advanced techniques, the guitar will be a lot easier than piano.

It will still take some time, but my previous statement remains true.

For most beginners in guitar journey, the most significant hurdle is the barre chords. After that, the rest of the path for guitar mastery will be a lot easier and faster.

All that’s left is to practice every day.

playing guitar

Now let’s go with the piano:

It’s easy to visualize the music in piano since its more linear and visual. If you’re skilled in math, you can even relate it mathematically, and possibly create beautiful music.

The latter part of the piano journey is the hard part.

Here’s the thing:

If you plan to learn piano on your own, I’d advise against it.

There is more to just hitting the keys in piano, there’s also discipline and such. For example, posture and mannerisms.

If you happen to learn on your own and picked up some bad habits along the way, you wouldn’t know, would you?

learning piano

That’s why there should be a teacher to teach you. Possibly point out your mistakes and tell you how to improve them.

Especially if you’ve been doing it for a year. It’ll be tough to rid of those bad habits.

(Look for someone who provides you with constructive criticism.)

I, for one, had a bad habit of slouching when playing. To be honest, it took some time to actually fix my posture.

Better yet:

It didn’t just help me improve. It even helped my posture in my daily life.

So, I guess you could say playing the piano can have significant changes in your life.

Update

It turns out that there are now online tutorials that will teach you the right techniques and postures.

So, it will be a matter of being mindful of your own posture.

One idea is to take a video of yourself and look for any mistakes you might have.

You can also join communities like Reddit to help you with this. You just need to be able to accept criticisms because, well, that’s one way we learn in life.

Now:

Is it Easier to Learn Piano or Guitar?

Basically, they both have easy paths and steep paths. Furthermore, everyone has different preferences, so it’s a matter of practicing.

What we should be asking is this:

Do you think YOU CAN practice frequently to master your fancied instrument?

Learning Guitar and Piano at the Same Time

Yes, it is possible.

Unfortunately, there’s a but.

But, your time will be divided, or the progress will be slower compared to focusing on one instrument.

If you’re up for the challenge, why not?

reading tab blog header

For people with 9-5 jobs, this isn’t an easy challenge.

Better yet:

Learning guitar and piano is more doable than learning 2 different string instruments at the same time.

An example is a guitar and ukulele. When you’re memorizing chords and notes for each instrument, it’ll be insanely confusing.

The D-chord shape in the guitar is a G chord shape in the ukulele.

Here’s the thing:

If possible, choose the primary instrument that you will put more hours in. Then, practice the secondary instrument on the side.

It will be more comfortable, and you can spend your time wisely with this plan.

Of course, it’s still up to you.

Stay on the easy path or go beyond?

Which is more affordable?

(NOT) News flash:

Guitars are cheaper.

But, here’s the thing:

You can also get a piano for almost the same price. Although technically, it’s more of a keyboard than a piano.

For practice, I’d say a keyboard is good enough.

Beginner keyboards are around $100, albeit they depend on the number of keys, weighted or not, etc.

Budgeting

If you’re wondering what to look for, you might want 61-keys and weighted. They might be more expensive, but it’ll have a similar feel of a real piano!

There are also digital pianos that replicate the sound of an acoustic one.

If you’re rich, real pianos cost $1,500 or more.

On the other hand:

If it’s beginner guitars you’re looking for, the minimum price I’d suggest is $200. Guitars that are cheaper than $200 tend to have poor quality and won’t last long.

Of course, that doesn’t apply to all cheap guitars. If your budget is below $200, you’ll have to look for the best affordable guitars with a likable quality.

Here’s my ultimate guitar buying guide to help you.

I also have a list of best guitars if you really want to commit to music.

Do you want to carry the instrument around (or not)?

This is rather apparent, so I’m gonna make this short.

Guitars are lightweight and easy to carry around. 

Hence, for traveling, guitars are more ideal.

traveling with guitar

In fact, there are small guitars that are particularly for traveling.

You can carry keyboards as well; however, it’s not as comfortable as a guitar.

Now:

There are places with piano in public that you can use to entertain yourself and others. Of course, those are only select places.

Piano Genres

Even though the piano is more prevalent in the classical style, it’s still the most versatile instrument.

Upon learning the piano, you’ll encounter a lot of classical pieces.

Classical music is underappreciated nowadays. Maybe because of new pop music every day.

piano concert

But, there are still who loves classical music. If you’re one of us, you might want to go with the piano.

Classical music is just one of many genres of the piano. Here are others that fit perfectly with the piano:

  • Country and Western
  • Rhythm and Blues
  • Jazz
  • Gospel
  • Contemporary or Modern

Genres of Guitar

Now:

If I say rock and roll, what instrument comes to mind?

If you say guitar, then we’re on the same page.

Of course, there are also keyboards in the rock genre.

The guitar is the representative of the rock genre, electric guitar, to be exact.

Don’t get me wrong, the guitar is still a versatile instrument. Right now, it’s widely used in our pop music, so looking for a chord chart for pop music might be more comfortable.

But!

There are different types of guitar for different genres.

parallax 1

You can use an electric guitar for classical music, but it’s not exactly a perfect fit. Instead, you can use a nylon guitar, which is also called a classical guitar.

There are even hybrid acoustic guitars that have both nylon and steel strings.

For me, I really love the acoustic guitar. I can play classical music and rock. It’s not the same as the said instruments but still sounds great!

I’m probably biased with the rock genre. So, here are more genres that the guitar shines on:

  • Bluegrass Acoustic
  • Blues
  • Electric Country
  • Jazz
  • Classical
  • Reggae
  • Metal
  • Pop

Guitar Vs Piano (Final Breakdown)

Note

They are still different instruments. Comparing them is possible but NOT with all its aspects.

Now:

The piano has a very relaxing sound. It sounds more natural than the guitar.

playing piano

Classical guitars also have a mellow sound. The acoustic and electric feels and sounds more lively and bright.

They do sound fantastic in their own right.

Here’s the kicker:

Guitars are more expressive.

You can express the music by the way you attack the guitar. It can be powerful, and it can be mellow.

air guitar strumming

It can be done with the piano but not as striking.

Here’s more:

Once you become a professional guitarist, you’ll probably have a signature sound. 

Just like how you listen to excellent music (guitar) pieces and immediately figure out who’s playing by how they strum their guitars.

Now, that is almost impossible with a piano. You need to have a good set of ears and years of experience in piano to tell the difference.

For the next best thing:

Both instruments are suitable if you simply want to play along with the songs you fancy.

[BONUS] Guitar with Keyboard

Still can’t decide?

Why not choose both?

For fun only:

There’s literally a guitar with a keyboard! Though it’s not the same as the individual instrument.

Also, it’s a whole other learning curve.

But hey, what’s the harm of trying different instruments, am I right?

For an easy reference, here’s the final comparison:

 GuitarPiano 
Learning the BasicsHardEasy
MasteryMediumHard*both takes time
Sheet Music / Music TheoryOptional (Tabs)Required
Affordability$$$$$
PortabilityDefinitelyNo (Keyboards, maybe)

Can Bradley Cooper Play Guitar and Piano?

I understand why some people may be skeptical about actors/actresses portraying a musician.

But, in this case? Bradley Cooper really prepared for his part in “A Star is Born.”

So, yes, Bradley Cooper does play guitar and piano.

He had a strict practice schedule for six months just to prepare for his part.

For someone who likes real music, I gotta say I’m really impressed with Bradley.

Does Ryan Gosling Play Piano?

La la land is also an excellent musical that won 6 Oscars and 7 Golden Globes.

When I watched it, my first question was:

Does Ryan really play the piano? I mean, it was really believable.

So after the movie?

I did a simple google search to confirm my suspicion and voila! He also had a real piano training.

Even John Legend was impressed by Ryan’s piano skills.

I hope for future musicals, it’ll be like this. Not just some silly finger doubles, or some awkward angles.

So for actors and actresses like these, you have my respect, thank you for such a fantastic performance!

So, What do you think?

We’ve come now to the last part:

Decision making.

These are the main factors to consider when weighing the two: Budget, your goal or reason, portability or space, and your favorite genre.

guitar vs piano

There’s also one big, or rather the BIGGEST variable you should know and answer. 

Which Instrument Do You See Yourself With?

Here’s the thing:

It’s essential to know which one you love or will love. 

Even if all the other factors align, it just won’t work if it isn’t something you like.

You’ll get bored, lose enthusiasm, and probably not pursue it.

So, for my final advice. Please make sure that you have a concrete answer before proceeding.

If you’re still unsure, maybe watching some music videos with the instrument(s) might help. You can also try to tinker around a music store to try them yourself.

P.S.

If there’s anything you’d like to add, feel free to leave a comment. Because honestly? This article is like the tip of the iceberg for the topic: Guitar vs Piano.

If you decide on which instrument you’re going with, let me know in the comments!

Enjoy? Share with your friends!

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