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Is Guitar More Difficult Than Piano?

Piano is usually considered to be easier to play and learn than guitar. However, it is easier to play new songs on a guitar, which often makes it a more popular instrument to learn. Piano is considered one of the easiest instruments for beginners of all ages to learn. This is because it requires a one stroke motion to create a sound. A guitar takes making a chord by holding down strings with one hand while the other hand strums or picks some or all of the strings to make a sound.

In addition, piano is often one of the easiest instruments on which to learn to read music. This is because music is written consistently for piano, whereas guitar can be written in notation, TAB, or chords.

Should I Learn Piano or Guitar?

If you are interested in starting music lessons, you may wonder whether piano lessonsor guitar lessonsare right for you. These are two of the most popular instruments to learn, and it’s no surprise. Both instruments are typically easier to learn than more technique-heavy instruments such as woodwinds like saxophone or clarinet or instruments requiring a bow such as violin or cello.

Choosing whether to learn piano or guitar comes down to personal preference. Consider:

  • Which instrument do you get more joy out of playing?
  • Which is more conducive to the songs or style of music you want to play?
  • Which musical sound do you appreciate more?
  • Do you have (or want) either of these instruments in your home now and in the future?

Piano vs. Guitar: Pros, Cons, & Difficulties in Learning

Below are some points comparing piano and guitar. Which is easier to learn? Which provides longer-term gains? Which is easier to support?

Piano is Easier for Learning Musical Theory

Piano is the quintessence of musical theory. It has clear notation, written-out rhythms, and all-inclusive dynamics. In comparison, guitar may be written in traditional notation, TAB (a numbering system that tells you which frets and strings to use in play), or simply naming chords and letting the player improvise strum patterns. Because of this, piano is easier and more straightforward in learning musical theory. 

Guitar is Easier for Playing Your Favorite Songs

Guitar allows you to play your favorite songs faster. While piano lessonshave a slower and steadier base of musical theory that must be learned before it is applied to your favorite songs, guitar students can typically strum along with the chorus of their favorite songs relatively quickly.

Piano Doesn’t Cause Fingertip Soreness

One of the biggest hurdles in starting to learn to play the guitaris fingertip soreness. Unless you already have tough finger pads, you will most likely have several weeks of fingertip soreness as the fingers get used to holding down strings on your fretting hand.

Piano is an “Investment”

In theory and in material possession, a piano is an “investment.” Learning to play piano vs guitar as an adult means you’re more likely to be learning musical theory that can be applied to any other instrument. In addition, while pianos are more expensive, they hold their value incredibly well and can often be resold years later without significant financial loss, which isn’t typically true for most beginner guitars.

Guitars are Less Expensive

One reason many students choose to take guitar lessons over piano lessons is that guitars are less expensive to purchase. They also require less space to store. There are some digital piano options (such as the Yamaha CLP-625 digital piano) that are extremely affordable starting at ($1999.99), but this is still more expensive than a beginning guitar which runs around $120-150.

You can Play Piano Using Headphones

Headphones. Need we say more? It can be intimidating to learn a new instrument, especially in a household with other family members or roommates. In addition, large families or families with multiple children practicing instruments simultaneously can become difficult or unmanageable if the sounds are competing. However, digital pianos offer the option to play using headphones—which means no one can hear you play unless you want them to.

Guitars are Portable

While pianos or keyboards can’t be transported without some effort, guitars can be carried virtually anywhere. This makes them fun for jamming with friends, camping, taking to a family member’s house or volunteer opportunity, and more. It also means you’ll be able to play your instrument in performances as opposed to having to use the piano or keyboard at a venue.

Pianos are Ready-to-Play

Pianos don’t require frequent tuning. While guitars require you to tune your guitar every time you play, pianos are ready to play when you sit down. This makes them especially beneficial to children learning to play an instrument since they may have trouble tuning a guitar accurately on their own—this may mean they ether require assistance multiple times per week to play or may practice out-of-tune, which can mean poor musical ear development. However, pianos do require professional tuning once a year.

Pianos Provide a Base of Musical Education

Because pianos work so well in teaching musical theory more easily than most other instruments, you’re building a base of musical knowledge that can be applied to almost any other instrument. This is especially beneficial for children who may switch instruments down the line. Piano lessons will help them learn to read and interpret music, train their ear, learn dynamics and other notations, and more.

Are you Interested in Lessons?

Are you interested in piano lessons or guitar lessons? Contact Yamaha Music School in Spanish Fork, Utah today and ask about trial classes to try out both instruments!