Many professionals in the music industry usually know how to play more than one instrument. Some know how to play the piano and the guitar. Which instrument you should begin with depends on why you decided to learn music in the first place. Some learn musical instruments as a hobby, but others want to gain these skills to make music a full-time career. Either way, if you can’t make up your mind about which instrument to begin with, this article will help.
Why Should You Learn How to Play the Piano First?
A career in music requires a strong foundation in music theory. According to most experts, pianos are the best instruments to get a good grasp of the theoretical aspects of music. Some basic skills are essential to start a career in the music industry, especially in areas that involve writing, composing, and playing music. Pianos are considered the ideal instrument to learn these basics by most musicians and experts,1 and here’s why:
- Every key on the piano is perfectly tuned to play a note. When students practice a piece of music, this allows them to focus on understanding the relationship between different notes and pitches instead of learning how to play the right notes.2
- These perfectly tuned notes also help in developing a good sense of pitch and ear training.
- It is easier to understand music theory on the piano due to the easy placement of notes and keys. The keys from the right begin with lower notes and get higher as you go to the left.3
- Piano notation covers far more concepts compared to other instruments. Learning how to read piano music makes it easier to read music for other instruments.
Guitars have more notes compared to the piano. There are around 144 notes on a six-string guitar and 88 notes with three additional lower notes4 on an 88-key piano. However, what gives a piano more sonic range is the fact that a 24-fret guitar covers four octaves, whereas a piano with 88 keys covers seven octaves.
Why Should You Learn How to Play the Guitar First?
If you want to learn music to entertain yourself or your friends with popular songs, then guitar is the way to go. You can learn a few chords and begin playing your favorite songs in a week.
Learning music theory and concepts, however, can be difficult on the guitar because the notes are not only spread across the fretboard but they repeat, and have to be played in the right pitch. Your mind can be preoccupied by these details, and this may delay your progress in acquiring the theoretical skills. This doesn’t mean it is impossible to get a good foundation in music theory; it is just a bit harder to learn it on the guitar. So, in case you are still looking for reasons to choose the guitar, here’s why you should learn how to play the guitar first:
- You are excited about the guitar, and this was the instrument that got you interested in learning music
- Guitars are more accessible than pianos, and they are also more portable.
- The playing techniques are easier as the left and right hand coordination is not as challenging as it is on the piano.
- Guitars are comparatively more affordable, so you can get started sooner if budget is an issue.
Whether you choose the guitar or the piano, one thing is the same: both require consistent effort if you want to master them. The journey is pretty much the same to get good at anything. So, begin anywhere and keep going until you get better. When the time is right and you feel like you’re ready, you can always start learning the other instrument.
1. Guitar vs. Piano: Difficulty, Difference, and How to Choose – Spinditty. (n.d.). Retrieved July 4, 2022, from https://spinditty.com/learning/Guitar-vs-Piano-Difficulty-Difference-and-How-to-Choose
2. Why Piano Is The Best Instrument To Learn First – Suzan Stroud. (n.d.). Retrieved July 4, 2022, from https://suzanstroud.com/why-piano-is-the-best-instrument-to-learn-first/
3. Why Is Piano A Great Instrument To Learn First? – GwinnettmusicGwinnettmusic. (n.d.). Retrieved July 4, 2022, from https://gwinnettmusic.com/blog/piano-great-instrument-learn-first/
4. A standard piano has 88 keys. But why? – Classic FM. (n.d.). Retrieved July 4, 2022, from https://www.classicfm.com/discover-music/instruments/piano/why-pianos-have-88-keys/