Is Guitar Harder or Easier Than Piano?

Discussion in 'The Pub' started by Kyle B, Sep 18, 2019.

Which is harder to play?

  1. Guitar

    89 vote(s)
    41.8%
  2. Piano

    100 vote(s)
    46.9%
  3. Kazoo

    24 vote(s)
    11.3%
  1. Kyle B

    Kyle B Supporting Member

    Messages:
    4,883
    Joined:
    Sep 10, 2012
    Location:
    Western NY
    Any why?

    There's certainly aspects of both that are harder/easier than the other

    * Guitarists can use a single 'scale' and change keys by just sliding up/down the fretboard. Pianists need to memorize 12 distinct scales to do the same (electronic boards with pitch-control knobs not withstanding...). So +1 on 'piano is harder'.

    * A single note can be played in one & only one location on a piano. If ya want a "C4", there's only one way to do it. On guitar, we have to memorize at least 3-4 different places to play any given note. +1 for guitar.

    * On a piano, you can hit the key harder or softer, but you can't do things like vibrato, bends or slides. If you hit a note, it's "on pitch" automatically. Bend a note on guitar, and you have to have a good enough ear to tell if you're bending it to the proper pitch. +1 for guitar

    * Pianists often play two distinct parts at the same time. Running a bass-line with the left hand, melody with the right. I honestly don't know how the hell they do that. +1 for piano (maybe +3....)

    * For a piano to 'sound good', it just has to be in-tune and be an instrument of reasonable quality. I never hear of piano players chasing "tone" like guitarists. For an electric guitar to 'sound good', you gotta be able to dial-in all those knobs and such ... It's easy to make a great rig sound like an elephant farting, but you really can't screw up a piano's tone. +1 for guitar


    What else ya got????
     

    Attached Files:

    Angeln and Aaron Robinson like this.
  2. Mayo5

    Mayo5 Member

    Messages:
    3,308
    Joined:
    Apr 13, 2009
    Location:
    Chicago,IL
    I can't really play either of them but I can damn sure describe the tone of guitar. So that's also a factor.
     
    cratz2 likes this.
  3. rickt

    rickt Gold Supporting Member

    Messages:
    1,164
    Joined:
    Feb 26, 2018
    Location:
    North Carolina
    It is much harder to carry a piano than a guitar.
     
  4. Penguinchit

    Penguinchit Member

    Messages:
    1,482
    Joined:
    May 4, 2017
    Location:
    Minneapolis
    Guitar. On a piano, you learn the notes in a linear fashion. On the guitar, you have up and down the neck and up and down the neck.
     
  5. Jazzandmore

    Jazzandmore Gold Supporting Member

    Messages:
    8,467
    Joined:
    Jul 22, 2011
    Location:
    Cali
    And in addition to playing two distinct parts, they also read two different lines of music, and involve the feet to do specific things. IMO piano is definitely harder to play.
     
  6. tonyhay

    tonyhay Member

    Messages:
    5,306
    Joined:
    Feb 4, 2009
    Depends. Classical guitar with all its nuances is quite a hard instrument to learn to play properly. Playing ‘Wooly Bully’ on Saturday nights, however, is not all that hard to master.
     
  7. djem

    djem Member

    Messages:
    2,828
    Joined:
    Jan 13, 2005
    Location:
    Canada
    Yup. And I've never seen a pianist smash or burn his piano after a wicked solo and/or show finale.
     
    84superchamp likes this.
  8. Redub

    Redub Supporting Member

    Messages:
    5,308
    Joined:
    Aug 6, 2014
    Location:
    USA
    That's a good question. I think that initially piano is easier, but both are similar in levels of difficulty as one progresses
     
  9. Swami Asango

    Swami Asango Member

    Messages:
    221
    Joined:
    May 2, 2019
    I bought a piano two weeks ago, maybe three.
    it is not here yet but will arrive this friday.

    can't wait to give it a go, not sure if a teacher is needed though.
    But looking for good times ahead for sure.

    will take serious time to sound any good I believe

    :aok
     
    Thx-1138 likes this.
  10. JoeB63

    JoeB63 Supporting Member

    Messages:
    12,877
    Joined:
    Jan 4, 2002
    Location:
    Austin, TX
    It takes me a bit longer to tune my piano than it does to tune my guitar. And changing the strings takes A LOT longer on the piano!!

    +2 guitar!
     
  11. muzishun

    muzishun Member

    Messages:
    5,246
    Joined:
    Dec 9, 2014
    Location:
    PNW
    The piano. The rubbing belly patting head aspect.
     
    84superchamp, Tommy Biggs and Peppy like this.
  12. dspellman

    dspellman Member

    Messages:
    7,585
    Joined:
    Mar 26, 2008
    Piano has traditionally been considered more difficult.

    I originally learned on piano and then transitioned to pipe organ. That's probably the most difficult of all, since you're playing on at least two different manuals, and you need to learn to play bass pedals, both feet, heel and toe. Beyond the playing aspect, there's also the control center business; you're often playing on three or more manuals (keyboards), you need to control volume with foot pedals that are already hard at work, and you need to control the tonal stops that configure the collection of pipes and whistles (on a Hammond, those would be the drawbars, reverse keys, leslie controls, percussion switches, etc.).

    Guitar, then, was a piece of cake, and when Jennifer Batten and then Emmett Chapman showed me that the strings could be tapped, played and chorded like a keyboard, it was an obvious transition. I remember that it was a bit annoying at first that you had several choices for the same note on a guitar, and I never understood why the guitar wasn't organized in perfect fourths or fifths from one string to another.

    Moving to a modern keyboard, with all of its options wasn't all that tough, but I often wondered why they crammed everything together on ONE set of keys rather than giving me a couple of keyboards and pedals as well -- it just seemed so limiting. And when digital screens showed up that didn't offer multiple positions (ever play outdoors with one of those and try to read it, or place the main keyboard with the screen under another keyboard on a stand and try to read it?) or even the ability to use a remote keyboard (an iPad, etc.), I used bad words aimed at the manufacturers and designers.
     
    Sam Hill, thirsty one and Peppy like this.
  13. RTR

    RTR Supporting Member

    Messages:
    3,497
    Joined:
    Mar 3, 2013
    Location:
    Alabama
    You should check out Jerry Lee Louis.
     
  14. Mayo5

    Mayo5 Member

    Messages:
    3,308
    Joined:
    Apr 13, 2009
    Location:
    Chicago,IL
    Tuning a piano is substantially more expensive than a guitar. Thus guitar is for poor people and pianos are for the rich. Becoming rich is much harder than being poor. Thus piano is harder.

    this is a joke.
     
    Jules, Lef T, 84superchamp and 7 others like this.
  15. MatchFive

    MatchFive Silver Supporting Member

    Messages:
    3,331
    Joined:
    Dec 29, 2009
    Location:
    North Texas
    The Kazoo is a cruel mistress..
     
    Jules, 84superchamp, Angeln and 5 others like this.
  16. Mngwa

    Mngwa Member

    Messages:
    3,926
    Joined:
    Apr 25, 2012
    Location:
    So Cal
    Guitar is harder.

    Piano is more "predictable" in that every sharp or flat falls in the same 'visual spot" in every octave - and every note is "available" at any given time. Guitar chords preclude certain notes; and their shape can change depending on where they're played.

    My keyboard player is a musical genius, tried guitar and decided against persuing it.
     
  17. dspellman

    dspellman Member

    Messages:
    7,585
    Joined:
    Mar 26, 2008
    Guitarists can transpose, but learning a solo on the guitar and then transposing everything when someone needs the whole thing moved can be difficult when that transposition leads beyond the comfort zone of the original solo (past the 21, 22 or 24-fret mark on the fretboard, for example, or below the open notes). I have often thanked several deities for the ability to use a Variax guitar in those instances.

    Performance nuances (bending, vibrato, etc.) aren't really part of learning to play the instrument. For centuries, guitar strings weren't skinny enough, etc., to bend or produce horizontal vibrato. There were things you could do with a guitar (drum on them, bend behind the nut,, jerk the neck back and forth, rotate a tuning peg while a note was ringing, etc.) that were performance enhancements, but these are different from learning to play. Let's not forget the pedals on a piano. Traditionally three, but there are more available.

    Pianists don't JUST play a bass line with the left, nor do they always handle melody with the right. That's beginner-required stuff, though. Chording and melody lines run the full length of the piano keyboard and are done with both hands.

    Pianists chase tone, just like guitarists. A short spinet will have almost no definition in the bottom five keys, for example, while a nine-foot grand will ring them out distinctly. My Korg Kronos has a library of different piano tones, including country of origin (Japanese, German, etc.), string length, honky-tonk, and even up to eight positions of the lid on a grand piano (yes, you can hear the differences). Guitar players may not notice piano players chasing tones, but they most definitely do. There are differences in pickups for pianos as well, and sharp-eared piano players are as picky about those (and the number of them used) as guitar players are about theirs.
     
  18. pickaguitar

    pickaguitar 2011 TGP Silver Medalist Silver Supporting Member

    Messages:
    21,843
    Joined:
    Oct 7, 2005
    Location:
    TEXAS
    I want to take piano lessons.

    As a kid my mother made me take a year of piano before I could get a guitar. While I do appreciate the theory lessons...it was traditional classical music. I was bored.

    I want to learn honky tonk, blues and saloon style piano!
     
    84superchamp, Fred132 and ckfoxtrot like this.
  19. dspellman

    dspellman Member

    Messages:
    7,585
    Joined:
    Mar 26, 2008
    I was a touring keyboard player when I took up guitar as a favor to the other guitar player, who essentially wanted to both reduce his workload and add the second instrument. I was working in a guitar store, so I picked up a raggedy ES-335 and was on stage with it within a couple of weeks (thanks to the other guitar player, who was an enthusiastic and insistent teacher), playing fairly simple stuff at first. At the time I was also playing a couple of saxes where needed (not at once, though there are those maniacs who can and do). I used the keyboard to orchestrate the band (ten fingers playing notes, as opposed to three or four with the guitar), and these days the Korg Kronos and the PA3X makes that even easier, since there are built-in sequencers on both keyboards that will let me do 16 tracks (plus bounces) that include not only recordings from the keys (which are capable of mimicking most instruments and even whole orchestra stabs), but also guitar parts *played* on the guitar and vocals.
     
    doghouseman and Mngwa like this.
  20. bean

    bean Supporting Member

    Messages:
    963
    Joined:
    Dec 4, 2004
    Nobody goes home with the piano player after the Tuesday night gig at Burt's BBQ Shack.
     

Share This Page

  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.
    Dismiss Notice