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Old 06-04-2014, 08:42 PM   #1
Unreal T
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For piano and guitar players

Which instrument did you find it most difficult to learn and remember the shapes of intervals and chords on?
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Old 06-04-2014, 10:13 PM   #2
cjohnson122989
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Originally Posted by Unreal T
Which instrument did you find it most difficult to learn and remember the shapes of intervals and chords on?


From my experience, people in this forum aren't big fans of "shapes."

But to answer your question, finding a pattern like that on either instrument seemed impossible to me for years. I figured out the guitar first, but only after I tried looking at scales from a "big-picture" view of 3 octaves. I still struggle with piano, but I do like how every octave is consistent (finger position-wise). Piano is much more ideal for reading sheet music by far.

On guitar, you have to constantly calculate and recalculate from string to string (if you haven't already come up with a system... or memorized every note). Unfortunately, the linear major scale "shape" across 6 strings (I usually go 3 notes per string between 6 frets as a starting point) doesn't really repeat until you've covered 21 notes (almost 3 octaves), and that would require 7 strings or some imagination. If you want to see what I'm getting at without using a 7-string guitar, try identifying both the major and minor scales in the way I described (limiting yourself to 6 frets), and then see where the shapes intersect. These "shapes" or "scale fragments" always appear in this same order every time for major/minor and any other mode of the major scale.

I realize this is not proper theory advice (and also very guitar-specific), but if you keep the intervals from the root in mind when you try what I suggested, it absolutely ties into theory.
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Old 06-04-2014, 10:59 PM   #3
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Piano is visually easier to learn than guitar. Personally, I find piano to be much more difficult to master though. But at the end of the day, it's all opinion and both instruments can be challenging.
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Old 06-05-2014, 03:40 AM   #4
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Theory is more easily applied to piano, but technically piano is over 9000 times harder if you ask me. I've been playing for over a year and still struggle with hand independence. Especially if I play triplets or some more complex rhythms.

Improvising and playing a bass line (a real bass line. Not just triads in quarters or arpeggios) on the left hand at the same time is very hard to me.

But so far piano has been a far superior compositional tool. I've pretty much memorized every interval number of every major scale (and 50% of minors) It's relatively easy because piano is just a simple repeating pattern in octaves. On a guitar neck the notes are all over the place. The last time I touched my guitar was a year ago.

I'm not saying guitar is a bad instrument by any means. I like the sound of guitar and it can be a much better melody instrument.

Last edited by Elintasokas : 06-05-2014 at 03:50 AM.
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Old 06-05-2014, 03:30 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by b00m
Piano is visually easier to learn than guitar.


+1, far easier. IMO.

It may well be harder to master like the other guys have been saying. I definitely prefer playing guitar
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Old 06-05-2014, 04:03 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by Elintasokas
Theory is more easily applied to piano


i don't agree with this at all. though i think you might have meant the visual aspect, and that i agree with. it's easier to voice chords on a piano than it is on guitar.

EDIT: html sucks
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Old 06-05-2014, 05:35 PM   #7
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I always found playing chords on a piano to be far more difficult. I've been playing for about six years, and I still struggle with basic major triads.

Interval wise, the piano is far easier in my opinion. But for some reason, I completely suck at chords on the piano. I always found the guitar to be easier for chords.
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Old 06-05-2014, 06:31 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by AeolianWolf
i don't agree with this at all. though i think you might have meant the visual aspect, and that i agree with. it's easier to voice chords on a piano than it is on guitar.

EDIT: html sucks

Well yeah, that's what I was mostly going for in my post. My playing has always been quite harmony oriented so piano is naturally a better instrument for me. What always annoyed me with guitar was running out of fingers or being unable to reach all notes and thus having to omit some.

With piano I can play a ton of notes without many limits and easily voice chords however I want.
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Old 06-05-2014, 07:30 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by Elintasokas
Well yeah, that's what I was mostly going for in my post. My playing has always been quite harmony oriented so piano is naturally a better instrument for me. What always annoyed me with guitar was running out of fingers or being unable to reach all notes and thus having to omit some.

With piano I can play a ton of notes without many limits and easily voice chords however I want.


yeah, that's a tremendous benefit.

the key inherent in thinking of music in this way is that you truly begin to realize that you don't need to play every note in every chord with a doubled root or a tripled fifth or anything like that. you can really start to get away with playing a maj13 chord as 3 7 13 instead of worrying about the 9, R, 5, or a muted string.

i think you've probably got that pretty well figured out, though.
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Old 06-05-2014, 07:38 PM   #10
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I started out on piano lessons, and one day my friend forgot his bass at my house (for 2 months) so i kinda fell in love with the damn thing. I also think im just an all around better string player than I am a piano player, and the theory and musicality that i learned from playing piano helped me ALOT in bass and guitar, so they are very much interconnected with me. Like when i try to figure out something music theory-y ill imagine the keys and I can work pretty efficiently in translating that on to the guitar. It really depends on what you love playing the most.
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Old 06-05-2014, 10:00 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AeolianWolf
yeah, that's a tremendous benefit.

the key inherent in thinking of music in this way is that you truly begin to realize that you don't need to play every note in every chord with a doubled root or a tripled fifth or anything like that. you can really start to get away with playing a maj13 chord as 3 7 13 instead of worrying about the 9, R, 5, or a muted string.

i think you've probably got that pretty well figured out, though.

You're absolutely right. I think the doubling and tripling (and playing more extension notes) happens more often in solo piano if you want to sound "big".

Last edited by Elintasokas : 06-05-2014 at 10:02 PM.
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Old 06-06-2014, 03:50 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by slap-a-bass
Like when i try to figure out something music theory-y ill imagine the keys and I can work pretty efficiently in translating that on to the guitar.


Same here. Any time I think in theory I'm pretty much imagining a piano keyboard (at least when I'm thinking of note names rather than intervals). I mean I still occasionally play piano once in a blue moon when the mood takes me, but I play it very, very rarely compared to guitar. I haven't played piano properly (i.e. with any aims/goals or with any regularity) for probably close to 20 years, yet I still think in terms of a piano.
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Old 06-06-2014, 06:10 PM   #13
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Yeah I agree. I think every guitar player needs to have a basic understanding of piano...it just opens up a much better view of the fretboard.
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Old 06-07-2014, 10:17 AM   #14
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As a brass player, a string player, and an intense piano dabbler, I would say they are all equally difficult in different ways.

For instance, guitar has the easiest time doing real transposition. Brass is the hardest (fingerings for E major and Bb major look absolutely nothing alike)

If you are in C, piano is the best visual tool for teaching diatonic chords and similar concepts.

The best part about playing multiple instruments is to learn a concept on one instrument and use that knowledge to further color in your understanding of another instrument.

I think all musicians should know some basic piano because a lot of the rules of theory were developed by keyboard composers on keyboard instruments so it makes the most intuitive sense on that instrument

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