If you play one or both the piano or guitar, or have friends that play different instruments, the question might have arisen which one is harder to master.
You might even be starting out and wondering the same question as a way to determine which instrument you pick up.
The following will take a look at both instruments and what makes them unique and compare them to each other to help you.
Understanding and Learning Piano
With learning the piano from the start, there are quite a number of benefits for beginners. First off, learning to play the piano at the beginning you have access to all the notes which are laid out for you and you simply need to press the correct key. But this is not to say it is that simple. There are subtleties to learn as your pressure and combination of other key presses will drastically affect the sound.
When learning, unique instruments must be approached differently. There are various ways to learn from teaching yourself to going to an instructor. An article from merelymusic.com perfectly highlights key differences in the instruments and provides some valuable information if you are stuck on choosing between the guitar and the piano.
For example, it is mandatory for most to learn about musical notation to play the piano. Playing the piano, both hands will have to learn similar movements and dexterities, and arguably have equal responsibility in most arrangements and songs. Learning the notes with the piano, however, will translate to other instruments and make learning other instruments easier in turn.
There are more individual keys to learn on a piano as there are 88 in total for many pianos. These keys are repeating patterns that will be easy to map out once you have grasped it, but the initial learning involves being comfortable with the placement and positioning of the keys. Compared to setting yourself up with a guitar, your posture and hand positions will likely feel more natural than the hand positions you need to hold for guitar chords. These factors make the piano an easy choice for many parents to start out teaching their children.
Understanding and Learning Guitar
The basics of the guitar can be seen as initially a little more difficult. Unlike the piano, the notes are not as easily and readily available as pressing down a key but have to be independently created. However, knowing the different finger and hand positions makes learning the guitar a little easier without having to rely on musical notes. Many people learning the instrument use chords instead. This can, however, make transitioning to other instruments a little more difficult.
Next, the way a guitar is built and the way you play it won’t feel natural at the beginning and will require a lot of time to get used to. But after a few lessons or more time spent learning the guitar just like every other instrument, it should start feeling more natural. Your finger positions as well won’t feel natural as they contort to the fretboard to play in different keys. Your fingers will slowly get used to the guitar and naturally develop calluses as well.
Comparison and Contrast
When playing the piano, you need to take into consideration finger and hand independence. This means that playing certain keys and notes is taught to one part or half of your body, while the other side learns something different. This also changes depending on the song or the arrangement. This also comes into play with the guitar, however, the movements for playing the guitar lean more heavily on one hand’s ability to change chords and positions.
As you advance through the levels of learning your instrument, you need to find that coordination is very important for both piano and guitar. This comes into play because you have to be able to play in unison or complementary to each other and this may involve playing two lines of notes that sound nothing alike but paired together fit perfectly. With the piano, this is essentially broken down to the fact that you have two hands that are doing completely unique things than the other.
Now that both piano and guitar have been explored, the question remains, which is harder to master, the piano or the guitar? At the end of the day, playing most instruments requires a lot of time and dedication, especially when it comes to reaching an advanced level. Stating that one instrument is harder to master than another is biased and would downplay the difficulty it takes to master the other.
Learning one instrument can help your understanding of other instruments. If you are asking which instrument is harder to master, there is no concrete evidence that leans one way or another, and in most cases, will vary from person to person. Both instruments are perfect to start out with so do not let that difficulty stop you from picking up either one.