The guitar and piano are instruments that are found all over the world and compared to other instruments, they are easily accessible. It is not uncommon to hear of a significant percentage of any given population that had an opportunity to learn either of these instruments, even if they did not master them.

There is an interesting perspective on these two instruments that will give you insight in learning the guitar. The following account by Christopher Scapelliti gleans on the observations made by a well-known guitarist:

Piano Basics and Guitar Learning

The basics of the piano-learning rules will go a long way in helping you to learn the guitar more efficiently. This advice is given by Eric Johnson who is skilled in both the piano and the guitar:

vintage guitar and piano
Image Courtesy of Wikimedia

Speaking recently with Total Guitar, Johnson said that learning the basics of piano playing is an essential part of becoming a well-rounded guitarist. In particular, he says, the instrument’s layout can give players a valuable perspective on music. Via Guitar World

He clarifies that you need not master the piano, but a good understanding of how things work will give you the advantage when learning the guitar. The piano gives a comprehensive understanding of the entire music learning spectrum.

“I think understanding the piano really helps,” he explains. “And you don’t have to become a great pianist, that’s not really important. A lot of people play just enough piano to write a song or figure out chord changes. Via Guitar World

The Piano Layout

The way the piano is structured gives one a bird’s eye view of all the notes and keys in a continuum. This is very different from the guitar, which doesn’t have such an arrangement. When one is able to catch this arrangement and how it works, the knowledge will greatly assist in learning the guitar, and other instruments too.

“When you look at a piano, you can see every note. All 88 keys—the whole spectrum. It’s like laying out a long piece of paper that has all the architectural plans for a building. It’s a great center-point and home base to look at and study music. Via Guitar World

Every piano player can tell the keys and the notes since they are arranged in a standard manner, as described by Peter the post below:

If you look at a piano keyboard, look at the patterns of black and white keys. You see groups of two black keys and groups of three black keys. Right now, just look at a group of two black keys. The white key to the left of that first black key is a C. C is really the starting point of piano, as the other white keys follow in sequence: C D E F G A B C D …and so on. Via Seymour Duncan

Reading Music

The language used in piano learning is standard notation, and the best part is that it’s much easier to read than guitar. This is explained as follows:

the piano and guitar in a room
Image Courtesy of Pixabay

The 300 years of music written for the piano isn’t taught or learned any other way. But the good news is revealed in the previous paragraph: when you see a note on the staff, it only occurs in one place on the piano. This makes reading incredibly easy, as much as it makes it frustrating on guitar. Via Seymour Duncan

Learning to read music written for the piano will in many ways open up your boundaries so you can learn more guitar and also communicate with other instrumentalists.

Besides, as we learn more tunes on piano, we undoubtedly will find a few things we never knew existed. Being exposed to new, great music is bound to help our guitar playing, and change what box we put ourselves in. Via Seymour Duncan

Dynamics

The piano has the ability to play a bigger range of music, which explains why two players can play it at the same time in harmony. Exposure to such rich music will go a long way in making your guitar playing more interesting and give you ideas you wouldn’t have.

Learning piano will teach your ears harmony that isn’t generally available on guitar unless you have two or more guitars playing at once. Learning about complex chords can help our guitar arranging skills when layering guitars together. Via Seymour Duncan

Piano Playing and Songwriting

The nature of playing the piano demands that both hands are put to use. This is a very important skill that many guitarists do not possess. It helps in songwriting since the concepts can be used to add more variations to a song which are typically not possible for a guitarist.

man playing the guitar and the piano
Image Courtesy of YouTube

On piano, it is easy to try out one part that ascends, while another descends and then transfer the idea to two guitars or a guitar and a bass. Your harmonies can be worked out easier, and you will have an easier time either writing a melody over chords, or chords behind a melody because you’ll be able to play both at once.  Via Seymour Duncan

All Keys

Playing the piano will give you the opportunity to play all the keys available to you instead of being restricted to the few you are used to. You will expand the range of music that you know and thus become a guitarist whose playing is not “predictable”

Guitarists (myself included) are guilty of playing in a few guitar keys (as other instrumentalists tease us) like E, A, G, D, and C. Playing a little bit of piano will let us explore those other keys (there are 12) as many composers were happy to compose in keys that don’t quite make things easy on guitar, with our open strings ringing. Via Seymour Duncan

Featured Image: Image Credit

Related Articles:

HOW LEARNING GUITAR MADE ME A BETTER PIANO TEACHER

piano-n-guitar-1Question: Why is learning guitar so popular?

Answer: Because it’s easy to sound cool and play great music in just a couple of lessons.

What can piano teachers learn from this?

Can we use a guitar-teaching method and apply it to piano?

The backstory
Back when I was working as an outdoor education teacher on an island off the coast of Tasmania (if you haven’t heard that story, then I’d recommend listening to Hugh Sung interview me on A Musical Life Podcast) I didn’t have much of an opportunity to play the piano. We were often out on trips and it wasn’t exactly an instrument you could play beside the campfire. Other students were bringing guitars and singing and I wanted in on the action. Via Timtopham

6 Benefits Of Learning How To Play The Piano

piano-n-guitar-2You have a better mental well-being

According to scientists, playing music promotes brain health as you have to be creative. For a long time, there had been theories that playing music led to higher intelligence levels. This is no longer the case. Researchers have been able to prove that playing an instrument increases one’s IQ. Practicing the piano also sharpens hand-eye coordination, hones your memorization skills and enhances the ability of your brain to think creatively. Via Best Guitar Models

 

Is It Easier For Pianists To Learn Guitar Or For Guitarists To Learn Piano?

piano-n-guitar-3World renown classical pianist and composer Vladimir Horowitz once opined, “The piano is the easiest instrument to play in the beginning, and the hardest to master in the end.” It comes as no surprise to many of us that the piano is often said to be the best instrument to learn first as it introduces you to the foundational rules of music where you can play both the melody as well as the chords. It teaches you time signatures, chord progressions, musical scales, musical timing, musical notation and overall by and large gives you a comprehensive understanding of musical theory. Via Online Pianist

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