Guitar vs Piano: Which One Should You Choose

Though both can be technically called string instruments, the piano and guitar are as different from each other as chalk and cheese. Though the piano has strings – a lot of it, in fact – it is not played in any way that other string instruments are played. A piano cannot be classified in that manner. It is more of a percussion instrument because the strings are struck by a hammer to produce beautiful music.

Anyway, what we are here to discuss is not the classification of the piano. We are here to find whether it is better to learn a guitar or a piano. What a weird question, you may say. True. But both are instruments that students who start to learn music will start with.

This is a question that many students who begin to learn music will ask. It is a difficult question to answer with just one line. It is much more complex than that. But we will see here what the major differences are, and which is easier to learn.

Starting Trouble

If you consider the starting troubles to make a comparison, you could say the piano scores here. For the beginner in music, a piano is much easier to start on. This is especially true if it is a child. The keys are laid out in an easy fashion. You need to just sit erect and press the keys. Of course, it will get tougher when you go for more difficult lessons.

In a guitar, the first few days are really painful. On the one hand, you have to hold it, even if you hang it by a strap. You have to use both hands together and in different motions. It is not like playing the piano with both hands. You have to use one hand to strum while other presses the strings. After a few days, it is even more difficult with sore fingers.

In a piano, you may be able to play a couple of easy songs in the first few days. It takes as many days to get a clear note on a guitar. But this is all in the beginning. More students leave a guitar class because of these difficulties.

Which is Cool?

As we know most learn music in the early years so that they can show off in front of friends or in a family gathering. In that sense, a guitar is cooler. You see heroes in movies play guitar in front of a campfire. The way it is being used in pop music makes it cool. Moreover, you can carry it to any place and play a few notes to impress those around you.

A piano, in that sense, is not seen as so cool by many youngsters. Being seen in movies played in more formal get-togethers like a ball or weddings, the piano has not earned the “cool” title.

But then this should not the basis for comparison. If learning music is the main concern both instruments are cool.

Once you are past the earlier years both instruments will garner the same interest. There is enough to keep learning in both the instruments. After about 15 to 18 months both instruments can be played easily enough to play out a couple of songs to please those gathered around you.

Play Where You Go

Which one can you play anywhere you are? Both if the instruments are available. But it is an easy question to answer if you are looking for a straightforward answer. The guitar can be carried around anywhere you go. If it is the classical guitar you don’t even need a power outlet. You can just play wherever you want. Not so with the piano. The guitar scores here. You may go to to know more about guitars.

Learning Music Theory

A piano is a better instrument to learn music theory because it is played using the exact keys, whereas a guitar is played more by hearing the notes. More piano teachers teach music theory than guitar teachers.


The Verdict

You cannot say one is better than the other. Both are great instruments to accompany vocal music or playing alone. But the piano scores a little better for students learning music, only because more theory is taught there. You can always learn guitar later once you know the theory of music.