Learn Guitar or Piano?

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Guitar or Piano?

Guitar
46
51%
Piano
44
49%
 
Total votes : 90

Learn Guitar or Piano?

Postby leo383 » Sun May 13, 2012 8:36 am

Which should I learn?

I am 43 years old. I studied trombone in college, and played professionally until 25. Since then, I have played electric bass on and off in various combos.

I have always wanted to play either guitar or piano well, and would like to study one of them. I understand what it takes to get good at an instrument. I am interested in taking on an instrument that will carry me into my golden years. lol

The guitar is appealing because of its portability and shorter learning curve, at least to the point where I can sound passable.

But there is something profound about the piano. It's really the ultimate, isn't it? I would want to learn to play standards and jazz; classical isn't really of much interest to me.

Any insight?
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Re: Learn Guitar or Piano?

Postby Midpack » Sun May 13, 2012 9:10 am

Whichever you enjoy most. The rest of my post is irrelevant IMO...

I've seriously played baritone, violin, guitar and piano. Piano is versatile but the instrument requires a significant investment in money and space unless you're talking the electronic keyboard option. Piano can be enjoyable alone or with friends, groups, audiences alike. Guitar is cheaper and more portable, but playing alone isn't much fun unless you go fingerstyle IMO (both hands). Strumming chords (left hand only if you're right handed) as many people do and sitting around singing gets old after a while without some "audience" or group. I only play guitar these days, but I enjoyed playing piano when I had access to one many years ago.

I took baritone and violin lessons for years. Only took piano and guitar lessons briefly, mostly self taught - my point, with your background you could be largely if not entirely self taught.
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Re: Learn Guitar or Piano?

Postby rocket » Sun May 13, 2012 10:06 am

The guitar is more portable than a piano.
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Re: Learn Guitar or Piano?

Postby climber2020 » Sun May 13, 2012 10:25 am

My vote is for the piano, but I'm biased.

If portability is a concern, you can always buy a very nice keyboard for cheaper than a quality upright and either headphones or an amp.

For me, starting off on piano was great because I learned to read music in both bass and treble clefs, making the transition to other instruments much easier (if that's something you're interested in).
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Re: Learn Guitar or Piano?

Postby KyleAAA » Sun May 13, 2012 10:43 am

You'll get more girls with a guitar
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Re: Learn Guitar or Piano?

Postby scrabbler1 » Sun May 13, 2012 11:40 am

I know how to play both. The guitar was much easier but the piano was far more gratifying. Playing the guitar is like riding a bike - once you know how to hit the chords you don't have to take a lot of time to get back up to speed. The piano is a different story; took me several weeks of frequent practice to get back to my old form.
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Re: Learn Guitar or Piano?

Postby saied45 » Sun May 13, 2012 12:03 pm

i play both. guitar and piano although im much better at guitar. honestly i think guitar is an awesome instrument but i think you should go for piano. guitar is much more for younger generation but i think piano is way classy especially if you can play it well.
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Re: Learn Guitar or Piano?

Postby tetractys » Sun May 13, 2012 12:50 pm

You can sing with either, so both. I would also add that since you are asking this question, you should also pick up some winds, horns, and bowed strings until you find your answer. To be able to play well on one instrument, you have to develop that part of the brain that can switch around between instruments, clefs, and keys anyway, so practicing on a variety of instruments in the beginning will speed things up quite a bit. -- Tet
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Re: Learn Guitar or Piano?

Postby SteveB3005 » Sun May 13, 2012 1:09 pm

I'm getting alternating images of Librace or Sting. Go with the guitar.
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Re: Learn Guitar or Piano?

Postby jodydavis » Sun May 13, 2012 1:13 pm

If you have the time (but only if you have the time), pick the piano. It takes a while longer to sound good, but if you are in it for the long haul, it's very rewarding. And since you were a musician, practicing shouldn't be a problem. I was classically trained growing up, but as an adult, started taking jazz lessons. So much fun.
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Re: Learn Guitar or Piano?

Postby reggiesimpson » Sun May 13, 2012 2:09 pm

Play the piano. Jazz in particular. One number is unique "Bumble Boogie" (the jazz version of Flight of the Bumblebee) is incredible. The version was created to "slight" the dominant classical musicians of its time (the late 1940s). It worked. My son played it when he was in grade school (yes, he was that good) and it blew everyone away.
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Re: Learn Guitar or Piano?

Postby Soonerintn » Sun May 13, 2012 3:04 pm

If you are single, go with the guitar.
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Re: Learn Guitar or Piano?

Postby gkaplan » Sun May 13, 2012 4:13 pm

What's with all the "If you're single, go with the guitar" posts? Liszt was arguably the greatest pianist who has ever lived, and that didn't hurt him with the opposite sex.
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Re: Learn Guitar or Piano?

Postby goggles » Sun May 13, 2012 4:56 pm

If you already play the bass, guitar is not a world of difference. Just get a guitar and play it.

The piano is substantially harder to sound competent at than the guitar, but it is a so-called complete instrument--you can play all parts and ranges of a piece of music. It's worth learning some. Plus if you compose it's extremely useful to have a keyboard.

Either one is good. But it sounds like you are interested in enough instruments that you'll end up playing both at some point.
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Re: Learn Guitar or Piano?

Postby KyleAAA » Sun May 13, 2012 5:07 pm

gkaplan wrote:What's with all the "If you're single, go with the guitar" posts? Liszt was arguably the greatest pianist who has ever lived, and that didn't hurt him with the opposite sex.


Because it's really, really, really easy to get women with a guitar, even if you aren't any good. Not so much with a piano.
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Re: Learn Guitar or Piano?

Postby rob » Sun May 13, 2012 5:08 pm

leo383 wrote:I have always wanted to play either guitar or piano well, and would like to study one of them. I understand what it takes to get good at an instrument. I am interested in taking on an instrument that will carry me into my golden years. lol

I have one kid really into one and another into the other....... Pick Guitar..... although a piano is far better at carrying you somewhere :-) As mentioned - it's a big commitment to space (the one we got much weigh 400lb and cost more to deliver then buy locally off craig's list) :-/
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Re: Learn Guitar or Piano?

Postby Fallible » Sun May 13, 2012 7:18 pm

leo383 wrote:Which should I learn?

I am 43 years old. I studied trombone in college, and played professionally until 25. Since then, I have played electric bass on and off in various combos.

I have always wanted to play either guitar or piano well, and would like to study one of them. I understand what it takes to get good at an instrument. I am interested in taking on an instrument that will carry me into my golden years. lol

The guitar is appealing because of its portability and shorter learning curve, at least to the point where I can sound passable.

But there is something profound about the piano. It's really the ultimate, isn't it? I would want to learn to play standards and jazz; classical isn't really of much interest to me.

Any insight?


Why don't you try both? Seems to me you could learn enough guitar on your own while taking lessons on the piano. Doing both, you could find out which you prefer and then concentrate on that. I think what will take you to a professional or semi-professional level, besides the obvious talent, good lessons and work, will depend on which one you truly love to play.

Since I can vote only for one, I didn't vote. :(
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Re: Learn Guitar or Piano?

Postby Soonerintn » Sun May 13, 2012 7:25 pm

gkaplan wrote:What's with all the "If you're single, go with the guitar" posts? Liszt was arguably the greatest pianist who has ever lived, and that didn't hurt him with the opposite sex.

You going to tote your piano out on a date to sing/play for her?

Sorry, but your odds go up if you are a guy with a guitar.
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Re: Learn Guitar or Piano?

Postby Fallible » Sun May 13, 2012 7:33 pm

Soonerintn wrote:
gkaplan wrote:What's with all the "If you're single, go with the guitar" posts? Liszt was arguably the greatest pianist who has ever lived, and that didn't hurt him with the opposite sex.

You going to tote your piano out on a date to sing/play for her?

Sorry, but your odds go up if you are a guy with a guitar.


Think about it again. If you played the piano, you could invite her back to your place. Oh, I mean to hear you play, of course.
"Common sense and a sense of humor are the same thing, moving at different speeds. A sense of humor is just common sense, dancing." -William James
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Re: Learn Guitar or Piano?

Postby SP-diceman » Sun May 13, 2012 8:30 pm

If you’re going to be in a band/combo situation guitar will get you going quicker.

Its much more difficult to sound good on guitar alone because beginners can typically only play lead or rhythm, the piano player has the chord/bass/lead going at the same time.
Classical techniques allow the guitarist the ability to sound good alone but its a much more advanced
technique.

You can also get by a lot better by ear and feel on guitar vs. piano.

I would try basic guitar, get good enough to play with a band, see how you like it,
add some piano as time goes on.

Maybe one will start calling you a little bit louder?

Thanks
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Re: Learn Guitar or Piano?

Postby VictoriaF » Sun May 13, 2012 8:37 pm

This is entirely out of my league, but would not an electronic keyboard provide a compromise? It does not require much space and is portable. If you master it and decide to have a real piano later, the transition will be easy.

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Re: Learn Guitar or Piano?

Postby reggiesimpson » Sun May 13, 2012 9:03 pm

gkaplan wrote:What's with all the "If you're single, go with the guitar" posts? Liszt was arguably the greatest pianist who has ever lived, and that didn't hurt him with the opposite sex.

Dont know about Liszt but Billy Joel claims that the piano was a definite chick magnet.
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Re: Learn Guitar or Piano?

Postby VictoriaF » Sun May 13, 2012 9:15 pm

reggiesimpson wrote:
gkaplan wrote:What's with all the "If you're single, go with the guitar" posts? Liszt was arguably the greatest pianist who has ever lived, and that didn't hurt him with the opposite sex.

Dont know about Liszt but Billy Joel claims that the piano was a definite chick magnet.

Considering that the OP is 43 years old, should not he try to impress hens rather than chicks?

Victoria
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Re: Learn Guitar or Piano?

Postby Fallible » Sun May 13, 2012 9:58 pm

reggiesimpson wrote:
gkaplan wrote:What's with all the "If you're single, go with the guitar" posts? Liszt was arguably the greatest pianist who has ever lived, and that didn't hurt him with the opposite sex.

Dont know about Liszt but Billy Joel claims that the piano was a definite chick magnet.


Somehow I feel quite safe in assuming that Lizst never thought of his piano as a "chick magnet." :P
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Re: Learn Guitar or Piano?

Postby reggiesimpson » Sun May 13, 2012 10:01 pm

VictoriaF wrote:
reggiesimpson wrote:
gkaplan wrote:What's with all the "If you're single, go with the guitar" posts? Liszt was arguably the greatest pianist who has ever lived, and that didn't hurt him with the opposite sex.

Dont know about Liszt but Billy Joel claims that the piano was a definite chick magnet.

Considering that the OP is 43 years old, should not he try to impress hens rather than chicks?

Victoria

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Re: Learn Guitar or Piano?

Postby reggiesimpson » Sun May 13, 2012 10:04 pm

Fallible wrote:
reggiesimpson wrote:
gkaplan wrote:What's with all the "If you're single, go with the guitar" posts? Liszt was arguably the greatest pianist who has ever lived, and that didn't hurt him with the opposite sex.

Dont know about Liszt but Billy Joel claims that the piano was a definite chick magnet.


Somehow I feel quite safe in assuming that Lizst never thought of his piano as a "chick magnet." :P

You never know? They were the rock stars of their era!
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Re: Learn Guitar or Piano?

Postby Fallible » Sun May 13, 2012 10:16 pm

reggiesimpson wrote:
Fallible wrote:
reggiesimpson wrote:
gkaplan wrote:What's with all the "If you're single, go with the guitar" posts? Liszt was arguably the greatest pianist who has ever lived, and that didn't hurt him with the opposite sex.

Dont know about Liszt but Billy Joel claims that the piano was a definite chick magnet.


Somehow I feel quite safe in assuming that Lizst never thought of his piano as a "chick magnet." :P

You never know? They were the rock stars of their era!


I guess you could call Liszt a "rock star," but wait...I think I just heard him turning over in his grave! :shock:
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Re: Learn Guitar or Piano?

Postby reggiesimpson » Sun May 13, 2012 10:49 pm

Fallible wrote:
reggiesimpson wrote:
Fallible wrote:
reggiesimpson wrote:
gkaplan wrote:What's with all the "If you're single, go with the guitar" posts? Liszt was arguably the greatest pianist who has ever lived, and that didn't hurt him with the opposite sex.

Dont know about Liszt but Billy Joel claims that the piano was a definite chick magnet.


Somehow I feel quite safe in assuming that Lizst never thought of his piano as a "chick magnet." :P

You never know? They were the rock stars of their era!


I guess you could call Liszt a "rock star," but wait...I think I just heard him turning over in his grave! :shock:

I believe gkaplan was treating Liszt lightly. His wild antics during his lifetime would put even the raunchiest of todays rock stars to shame. Fortunately its his skill as a pianist that has kept his name alive.
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Re: Learn Guitar or Piano?

Postby VictoriaF » Sun May 13, 2012 10:50 pm

Fallible wrote:
reggiesimpson wrote:
Fallible wrote:
reggiesimpson wrote:
gkaplan wrote:What's with all the "If you're single, go with the guitar" posts? Liszt was arguably the greatest pianist who has ever lived, and that didn't hurt him with the opposite sex.

Dont know about Liszt but Billy Joel claims that the piano was a definite chick magnet.


Somehow I feel quite safe in assuming that Lizst never thought of his piano as a "chick magnet." :P

You never know? They were the rock stars of their era!


I guess you could call Liszt a "rock star," but wait...I think I just heard him turning over in his grave! :shock:


As we have already disturbed Liszt in his grave, let's see whom else he reminds us.

Wikipedia about Franz Liszt wrote:After 1842, "Lisztomania" swept across Europe. The reception Liszt enjoyed as a result can be described only as hysterical. Women fought over his silk handkerchiefs and velvet gloves, which they ripped to shreds as souvenirs. Helping fuel this atmosphere was the artist's mesmeric personality and stage presence. Many witnesses later testified that Liszt's playing raised the mood of audiences to a level of mystical ecstasy.


Paul McCartney? Mick Jagger? Freddie Mercury?

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Re: Learn Guitar or Piano?

Postby Mrs.Feeley » Mon May 14, 2012 12:07 am

What is this...guitar is easy? I studied classical guitar for years and it was not easy.

I taught myself piano and although I never ascended to the concert hall or even the church choir, it seemed so much easier an instrument to play for personal enjoyment than the guitar. It's also much more versatile.

I advise that unless you have perfect pitch that will allow you to easily tune a string instrument, you do not take up a string instrument.

That rules out the domra as well as the ukulele both of which I've heard are real chick magnets.
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Re: Learn Guitar or Piano?

Postby Fallible » Mon May 14, 2012 12:28 am

VictoriaF wrote: ...

As we have already disturbed Liszt in his grave, let's see whom else he reminds us.

Wikipedia about Franz Liszt wrote:After 1842, "Lisztomania" swept across Europe. The reception Liszt enjoyed as a result can be described only as hysterical. Women fought over his silk handkerchiefs and velvet gloves, which they ripped to shreds as souvenirs. Helping fuel this atmosphere was the artist's mesmeric personality and stage presence. Many witnesses later testified that Liszt's playing raised the mood of audiences to a level of mystical ecstasy.


Paul McCartney? Mick Jagger? Freddie Mercury?

Victoria


Well, I guess we didn't disturb Liszt in the leeszt (but do I hear laughing?) and I am now ignorant on one less subject. I always thought of just his technical prowess and didn't know the extent of the "wild" side. (Apologies to poster "reggiesimpson.")
:oops:

I go with any of your three Liszt-alikes, or how about Jerry Lee Lewis?
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Re: Learn Guitar or Piano?

Postby SP-diceman » Mon May 14, 2012 12:36 am

Fallible wrote:
Soonerintn wrote:
gkaplan wrote:What's with all the "If you're single, go with the guitar" posts? Liszt was arguably the greatest pianist who has ever lived, and that didn't hurt him with the opposite sex.

You going to tote your piano out on a date to sing/play for her?

Sorry, but your odds go up if you are a guy with a guitar.


Think about it again. If you played the piano, you could invite her back to your place. Oh, I mean to hear you play, of course.



Lets hope Brahm’s Lullaby isn’t the only song you can play! :)

Thanks
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Re: Learn Guitar or Piano?

Postby GregLee » Mon May 14, 2012 4:36 am

I voted piano, but I think an electronic keyboard would be better still, since it doesn't put so much of a premium on dexterity as piano, and it leads you more directly to the chording and harmonies that dominate non-classical guitar work.
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Re: Learn Guitar or Piano?

Postby interplanetjanet » Mon May 14, 2012 5:21 am

Fallible wrote:Well, I guess we didn't disturb Liszt in the leeszt (but do I hear laughing?) and I am now ignorant on one less subject. I always thought of just his technical prowess and didn't know the extent of the "wild" side. (Apologies to poster "reggiesimpson.")

I seem to remember that he was the first performer who was documented as having ladies' undergarments thrown at him on stage. Then again, there was almost a cult of personality around Liszt - time adds to reputations even as it takes away.

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Re: Learn Guitar or Piano?

Postby interplanetjanet » Mon May 14, 2012 5:28 am

KyleAAA wrote:Because it's really, really, really easy to get women with a guitar, even if you aren't any good. Not so much with a piano.

I think it depends on who you go after and how. My SO was a piano prodigy and plays professionally, and I know it stood him in good stead over the years. My parents met in a music practice room. She was playing Liszt, he was playing Fats Waller - true story.

Though...yeah, I suppose I'd be a sucker for a good guitarist. Having a command of and being in tune with music is an amazing draw.

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Re: Learn Guitar or Piano?

Postby interplanetjanet » Mon May 14, 2012 5:41 am

leo383 wrote:The guitar is appealing because of its portability and shorter learning curve, at least to the point where I can sound passable.

But there is something profound about the piano. It's really the ultimate, isn't it? I would want to learn to play standards and jazz; classical isn't really of much interest to me.

It's got a larger range than any other conventional instrument. It has more potential for polyphony than almost any other as well. On the other hand, a guitar gives you more of a range of expression to the notes you do play, and is probably a better group instrument for most people.

I love the piano, it's one of my passions, but it has been a lot of work. I do think that as an instrument it's one of the best to play if you have an interest in composition and music theory, but obviously that's individual.

I would ask myself if I saw myself playing with others more often than not.

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Re: Learn Guitar or Piano?

Postby VictoriaF » Mon May 14, 2012 6:28 am

Fallible wrote:Well, I guess we didn't disturb Liszt in the leeszt (but do I hear laughing)?

Can you hear me now? :D

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Re: Learn Guitar or Piano?

Postby reggiesimpson » Mon May 14, 2012 8:27 am

VictoriaF wrote:
Fallible wrote:Well, I guess we didn't disturb Liszt in the leeszt (but do I hear laughing)?

Can you hear me now? :D

Victoria

Good back and forth on Liszt. Ken Russel did a movie in 1975 "Lisztomania" that likens Liszt to Roger Daltry. Dont know Daltrys view on that but it sounds like Tom Jones has been upstaged!
ps......any Johnny Carson fans out there? There is a biopic on him on PBS at 9 EDT
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Re: Learn Guitar or Piano?

Postby Jay69 » Mon May 14, 2012 10:24 am

I play both, if only one I would choose piano. When playing solo the piano is much more fun and sounds better IMO.

Playing solo guitar gets old fast, at least for me it does. Now playing guitar or bass in a band with a fun dance crowd is a gas.
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Re: Learn Guitar or Piano?

Postby Fallible » Mon May 14, 2012 3:53 pm

reggiesimpson wrote:
VictoriaF wrote:
Fallible wrote:Well, I guess we didn't disturb Liszt in the leeszt (but do I hear laughing)?

Can you hear me now? :D

Victoria

Good back and forth on Liszt. .../quote]

Yeah, I try to keep up with Victoria, but I don't think anyone can. It's fun trying, though. :D
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Re: Learn Guitar or Piano?

Postby lawman3966 » Mon May 14, 2012 4:06 pm

You can ultimately learn both easily enough. But, I'd say to study the piano first.

As you get older, the piano is less stressful on your fingers and joints, and you should be able to play it longer, with less discomfort. This has emerged as an issue with a cousin of mine who was a professional musician who plays both guitar and piano about equally well. He is now 58 and indicates he will play the guitar less and less as he ages.

The portability disparity may not be what it once was. I haven't kept up with the instrument technology that closely, but there are electric pianos and organs that are lighter and more portable than ever.

To me, there's always been the intangible aspect that piano playing encourages a more complete and formal understanding of scales, chords, and musical theory. Because guitars are easy to learn to play at basic level, such as strumming a few chords, some people become content with that minimal amount of learning and go no further.

If you want to learn some basic guitar strumming after becoming reasonably proficient on the piano, it likely won't take you more than a few weeks to learn.
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Re: Learn Guitar or Piano?

Postby Random Musings » Mon May 14, 2012 4:41 pm

Muscle memory (or finger memory) will make the guitar an easier transition. Perhaps you will know where you stand much quicker in that endeavor relative to learning a new instrument. If that doesn't pan out or satisfy you, you can always move to the piano. In that case, you can worry less that you won't get spooked in your old age if you forget to turn the amp down from 11. That is, if you can still hear. :wink:

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Re: Learn Guitar or Piano?

Postby reggiesimpson » Mon May 14, 2012 4:42 pm

lawman3966 wrote:You can ultimately learn both easily enough. But, I'd say to study the piano first.

As you get older, the piano is less stressful on your fingers and joints, and you should be able to play it longer, with less discomfort. This has emerged as an issue with a cousin of mine who was a professional musician who plays both guitar and piano about equally well. He is now 58 and indicates he will play the guitar less and less as he ages.

The portability disparity may not be what it once was. I haven't kept up with the instrument technology that closely, but there are electric pianos and organs that are lighter and more portable than ever.

To me, there's always been the intangible aspect that piano playing encourages a more complete and formal understanding of scales, chords, and musical theory. Because guitars are easy to learn to play at basic level, such as strumming a few chords, some people become content with that minimal amount of learning and go no further.

If you want to learn some basic guitar strumming after becoming reasonably proficient on the piano, it likely won't take you more than a few weeks to learn.

There was a terrific guitarist back in the 70s.......Leo Kottke. Great 12 string guy and fast as hell!. Saw him a year or two ago but he was a shadow of his former self. Gnarled finger joints and playing at half the speed. Still great...... but.
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Re: Learn Guitar or Piano?

Postby reggiesimpson » Mon May 14, 2012 4:46 pm

Fallible wrote:
reggiesimpson wrote:
VictoriaF wrote:
Fallible wrote:Well, I guess we didn't disturb Liszt in the leeszt (but do I hear laughing)?

Can you hear me now? :D

Victoria

Good back and forth on Liszt. .../quote]

Yeah, I try to keep up with Victoria, but I don't think anyone can. It's fun trying, though. :D

Agreed on Victoria.
When my son played the piano as a youngster we got a little piece of the history on the various composers and pianists he emulated. Liszt may have been at the top of his liszt but he certainly wasnt at the top of my liszt.
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Re: Learn Guitar or Piano?

Postby Fallible » Mon May 14, 2012 6:20 pm

reggiesimpson wrote:
Fallible wrote:
reggiesimpson wrote:
VictoriaF wrote:
Fallible wrote:Well, I guess we didn't disturb Liszt in the leeszt (but do I hear laughing)?

Can you hear me now? :D

Victoria

Good back and forth on Liszt. .../quote]

Yeah, I try to keep up with Victoria, but I don't think anyone can. It's fun trying, though. :D

Agreed on Victoria.
When my son played the piano as a youngster we got a little piece of the history on the various composers and pianists he emulated. Liszt may have been at the top of his liszt but he certainly wasnt at the top of my liszt.


From what I now know about Liszt's personal life, along with the egomania that often attends great composers, I'd say he was at the top of his liszt.

BTW, I think it's great that your young son took on Liszt's very difficult music. I had a high school friend who played piano extremely well but avoided Liszt whenever she could. She seemed almost afraid of his music.
"Common sense and a sense of humor are the same thing, moving at different speeds. A sense of humor is just common sense, dancing." -William James
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Re: Learn Guitar or Piano?

Postby reggiesimpson » Mon May 14, 2012 7:25 pm

Victoria[/quote][/quote]
Good back and forth on Liszt. .../quote]

Yeah, I try to keep up with Victoria, but I don't think anyone can. It's fun trying, though. :D[/quote]
Agreed on Victoria.
When my son played the piano as a youngster we got a little piece of the history on the various composers and pianists he emulated. Liszt may have been at the top of his liszt but he certainly wasnt at the top of my liszt.[/quote]

From what I now know about Liszt's personal life, along with the egomania that often attends great composers, I'd say he was at the top of his liszt.

BTW, I think it's great that your young son took on Liszt's very difficult music. I had a high school friend who played piano extremely well but avoided Liszt whenever she could. She seemed almost afraid of his music.[/quote]
I wish my son still played. His past piano skills are only evident in his present speed on the computer. But he is a Computer Science major so all is not lost. This was a fun thread. Thanks.
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Re: Learn Guitar or Piano?

Postby rwm » Mon May 14, 2012 8:29 pm

Nothing beats a good grand piano for jazz & standards. I wouldn't bother with an electronic keyboard unless you really can't afford anything else. Agree with Mrs. Feeley that classical guitar is harder than piano. Strumming and simple picking is easy, though. I play both and the grand piano is much more fulfilling for me.
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Re: Learn Guitar or Piano?

Postby kenschmidt » Mon May 14, 2012 8:38 pm

If you are looking to play jazz and standards, I think you would be better off going with piano. There will be a larger selection of music available, especially music you can play solo without vocal accompaniment.
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Re: Learn Guitar or Piano?

Postby guitarguy » Tue May 15, 2012 10:33 am

Coming from a semi-professional musician who plays (guitar and keys) live enough to pay the mortgage most months...I'd vote both as well. But it depends on your goals. If you want to just strum some chords to oldies songs around the campfire...go with guitar. If you're more interested in theory, you could start with either really.

I taught myself guitar when I was in college and picked it up so quickly I was performing on stage with bands (and getting paid for it) within 18 months. After 2 years or so, I got interested in the theory behind all these songs I was performing, and took guitar lessons focused in theory. To help explain theory and chord formation, my teacher pulled out the piano, and in less than 5 minutes taught me the basics of forming ANY major or minor chord on a piano. It's really amazing when you see the connection...a guitar is simply a piano layed out with a horizontal and a vertical element, whereas a piano is simply all horizontal (if that makes any sense). :)

Yes, piano is easier on your hands. After a weekend performing, my hands, especially on my fretting hand, are pretty sore and fingertips are pretty tore up, and I'm only 27. Although, I play very aggressively a la Stevie Ray Vaughan (not all blues but heavy bending is pretty prominent in my playing). Keep in mind too though that if you're not playing "all out" you can play for much longer with little or no soreness.

Not sure of your budget but obviously a quality piano is going to be more expensive than a guitar.

One other thing, having actually done it, it's much easier to switch from a piano (weighted keys) to a keyboard or a synth, than to go the other way. I learned on an upright and am glad I did it that way!

Good luck in whatever you choose to learn. Music is obviously a big part of my life and I find a lot of joy in playing. I hope you do as well!
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Re: Learn Guitar or Piano?

Postby scrabbler1 » Tue May 15, 2012 1:02 pm

guitarguy wrote:Coming from a semi-professional musician who plays (guitar and keys) live enough to pay the mortgage most months...I'd vote both as well. But it depends on your goals. If you want to just strum some chords to oldies songs around the campfire...go with guitar. If you're more interested in theory, you could start with either really.

I taught myself guitar when I was in college and picked it up so quickly I was performing on stage with bands (and getting paid for it) within 18 months. After 2 years or so, I got interested in the theory behind all these songs I was performing, and took guitar lessons focused in theory. To help explain theory and chord formation, my teacher pulled out the piano, and in less than 5 minutes taught me the basics of forming ANY major or minor chord on a piano. It's really amazing when you see the connection...a guitar is simply a piano layed out with a horizontal and a vertical element, whereas a piano is simply all horizontal (if that makes any sense). :)

Yes, piano is easier on your hands. After a weekend performing, my hands, especially on my fretting hand, are pretty sore and fingertips are pretty tore up, and I'm only 27. Although, I play very aggressively a la Stevie Ray Vaughan (not all blues but heavy bending is pretty prominent in my playing). Keep in mind too though that if you're not playing "all out" you can play for much longer with little or no soreness.

Not sure of your budget but obviously a quality piano is going to be more expensive than a guitar.

One other thing, having actually done it, it's much easier to switch from a piano (weighted keys) to a keyboard or a synth, than to go the other way. I learned on an upright and am glad I did it that way!

Good luck in whatever you choose to learn. Music is obviously a big part of my life and I find a lot of joy in playing. I hope you do as well!


Guitarguy, I like that you mentioned theory and the piano together. When I was taking some piano lessons when I was 9 years old, the piano teacher also taught me some good music theory, stuff which I retained years later and still recall today (40 years later). I used what theory I learned more towards the guitar, mainly when it came to transposing chords into a different key to make songs easier to play and to sing along with. Another key (no pun intended) item I bought soon after I began playing the guitar was a capo. I always hated bar chords so the capo accomplished both of my goals.

I owned a 5-octave keyboard for a few years until I bought my own piano. The keyboard was a minor nuisance because the touch was too light compared to the regular pianos I played while growing up. I was able to sell it years later and bought a spinet.
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