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Old 11-11-2012, 08:27 AM   #1
jesse music
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Guitar vs Piano/Thinking about instruments

I'm currently looking at starting studying music at the University down here, but I'm not sure whether to focus on guitar or piano. I have similar levels of ability on each, so that's not an issue, it's more just my lack of decision.

Guitar seems great to me because it seems to be very genre-neutral (I can play jazz, rock, classical, metal etc), while the piano seems not to have this genre-neutral quality to the same degree, obviously for jazz and classical it works fine, but rock and especially metal, it finds itself out of it's depths (I know Rudess does some metal stuff, but often that's with the assist of guitars anyway). Guitar also seems very expressive/visceral, i.e where piano seems to be notes + possible sustain + possible effects with guitar have a lot of choice in note articulation, bending, harmonics etc.

Piano seems great to me, because it seems to be where I naturally drift to play, and it seems the main instrument that I could ever compose or write on as I seem to have pools of tonality and rhythm and my fingertips. I love piano because I can play multiple rhythms, overlapping rhythms, polyrhythms etc. Also the sustain pedal lets me actually play, rather than as in guitar just jumping from riff to lick to noodling and back to the start again.

Sorry for the wall of text, I'm just writing this out here to see if any guitar players, piano players or musician in general if they have any tips, or if anyone can correct any misconceptions that I may be travelling with, cheers.
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Old 11-11-2012, 08:46 AM   #2
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I'd say study piano if you're going to study music. It's probably better not to study rock and heavy metal in school. Doesn't mean you have to quit playing guitar.
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Old 11-11-2012, 08:55 AM   #3
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I'm not talking about studying heavy metal in school, though in my mind, there's nothing wrong with it. The music university down here does include a bit of rock stuff with a jazz degree, going through fusion etc.

I agree with you on your last point though, I'll keep one or both as a hobby no matter where I'm at, because I find them both enjoyable.
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Old 11-11-2012, 08:59 AM   #4
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I'd say study piano because at a professional levels there would be less competition foe jobs.

That's not to say it will still be hard to make a living off the instrument, but guitarists are really a dime a dozen, and a good pianist is much harder to find than a good guitarist.
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Old 11-11-2012, 10:53 AM   #5
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whatever you choose. what you put in is what you get back.
If you are naturally gifted the temptation maybe to just fall into what you do well and feel comfortably.
I suggest you use this time as an opportunity for self discovery through music.
either instrument can produce amazing music.
if you have the maturity then a classical route is a wise choice.
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Old 11-11-2012, 12:24 PM   #6
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I think that as you've said you naturally gravitate towards the piano then my advice would be to go with what comes naturally and study piano.

I wouldn't say that the piano is necessarily out of of its depth when it comes to rock & metal, but it does tends to be used less frequently, and (bar one or two obvious examples) usually as a padding instrument (unless you're doing the kind of prog where keyboards tends to have more emphasis). Given that I would say that unless you find exactly the right kind of band and subgenre you're probably not going to find it that challenging playing keyboards in a rock/metal context.

If it were me I'd go for the piano but that has largely to do with the fact that I wish I'd stuck with it when I was 8 or 9 instead of giving up.

The question no-one's asked you yet is what you're going to do once you leave uni. You looking to concentrate on performance, teaching, or composition?
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Old 11-11-2012, 01:01 PM   #7
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the piano has far, far more versatility than the guitar does, particularly to a skilled pianist.

as a guitarist and pianist myself, i strongly suggest focusing on piano.
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Old 11-11-2012, 01:03 PM   #8
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Study piano. Since it's a one dimensional/linear instrument [in the sense that you cannot play the same pitch at two different points on the instrument], it should be much more simple to compose on. Plus, I get the impression people respect piano players more.

Also, you don't have to worry about tuning a piano every time you pick it up or take your piano with you [hopefully].

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Old 11-11-2012, 05:34 PM   #9
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I'd study piano and learn guitar on my own.
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Old 11-12-2012, 01:37 AM   #10
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It's the same as all other harmony. Surround yourself with skulls and candles if it helps.
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