For practical purposes, think of me as your garden variety "indie rock whatever" guitarist. I tend to play mostly barre and open chords, the occasional triad/jazz chord thrown in, and, for the most part, minor pentatonic soloing. I'm not trying to be the next Guthrie, but my skills work well for what I want to play.

I want to learn to play keyboards, however, to augment my guitar, and I realized that there doesn't appear to be a pianist on earth who doesn't know hundreds of chords/chord shapes if you add up all the inversions, since they generally have some kind of classical training.

Voice leading on guitar seems to be reserved mostly for jazz, classical and other "technical" genres. Those of us playing radio friendly pop rock seem to get by more or less fine with root position 90% of the time, which makes me wonder -- can I do the same thing as a "rock pianist"?

I'm not looking for shortcuts, mind you. But I want to learn the keyboards as a secondary instrument, and I'm having trouble envisioning a practice schedule that eventually includes the hundreds of piano chord shapes I'd need to know to play "normal" piano while still practicing guitar every day. It seems like it'll be years before I'm even halfway decent, which just seems like overkill for a secondary instrument.

So my question is, how many of you, who play guitar in a pop/rock/indie/whatever genre, have learned piano AFTER guitar, and how did you approach it?

I was thinking about learning piano as well for the hell of it, I think I remember Paul Gilbert saying that piano is technically easier than guitar. If you know some theory and know which notes make which chord you shouldnt have much trouble finding the shapes on piano as well. I guess it would take some time getting used to though.
just start off with triads man. (1-3-5)

then play scales.

then get to know what the intervals between notes feel like.

if you're reading sheet music, you should be able to tell by sight what intervals are between notes in chords

apply that within the key signature; let your fingers do the rest
I learned chords with this: http://www.8notes.com/resources/notefinders/piano_chords.asp

That also helped with knowing where notes are. After figuring that out, it's pretty easy to at least sound decent.
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Lessons. Go. Now.

Best thing I ever did. Years and years of playing guitar, yet I never learned by myself as much as I did in six or so piano lessons. That helped my guitar playing incredibly, too. An overall better musician because of it.
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I took up piano before guitar. Been playing several years. I decided to go with guitar to find more people to play with and I just like the bending, vibrato and tone that the piano doesn't offer.

Technically, I think piano is a lot easier. If you want to play stuff like Bach fugues and Beethoven sonatas, I find them more musically interesting and challenging.

I have looked at a lot of self study materials. I have found the Alfred's to be the best for learning basic theory, technique and musical examples. You could also go traditional with the sonatinas and inventions.
I'm playing with piano for 8 years in music's school, now I'm 3 years playing for piano. Actually you will never reach good results in piano music if you play guitar, believe me, or atleast you will make it harder. I'm playing professional classical and jazz piano music, it's much harder because of fingertips sensitivity. My piano teacher is telling this every lesson but I don't give a ****, I love guitar, I love metal, I only play piano because my mom wanted when I was little kid. And when I finish music's school, I'll be able to took advanced guitar course for two years.

But if you want to play indie rock or something like that, the piano work there is very weak, so I think it wouldn't be a problem for you to learn to play piano. I prefer to you learn basic chord theory, T5, T6, T46, S5, S6 and so on, and then, major and minor scales. And I think it will be enough for you.
I would suggest finding a piano teacher as I have. Piano is a whole new 'ballgame' and most instructors you run into tend to be very anal about the theory side of the house. I picked up piano to improve my overall ability as a musician with the hope of....maybe one day becoming as proficient at the instrument as I am at guitar. You can hardly afford to make mistakes on piano like you can the guitar and after a few months of hitting the ivories...you'll see your guitar playing start to improve quite drastically due to the 'attention to detail' and 'perfectionist' attitude that is almost necessarily required for the instrument.
I'd learn it the same way pianists do, since it results in pianists that sound like pianists. Unless you want to sound like a guitarist playing piano.

With an instrument so old and thoroughly mastered as Piano, the pedagogy is pretty well refined by now. There are methods by which any person with 10 fingers and two eyes can get good at it.

How you relate the piano to guitar is up to you. I actually prefer to let piano styles influence my guitar playing.
Last edited by cdgraves at Aug 7, 2013,
I have been playing the piano for 7 years now and I can Personally Say that playing the piano is a lot easier than guitar.

Pianolessons are usefull but often very boring. What I did was starting to play really easy songs or melodies and learning the basic chords. After that, playing the piano is a lot easier.
Quote by dragnet99

I want to learn to play keyboards, however, to augment my guitar, and I realized that there doesn't appear to be a pianist on earth who doesn't know hundreds of chords/chord shapes if you add up all the inversions, since they generally have some kind of classical training.

it's arguably a lot easier to know lots of chords on piano, though, because it's linear. You aren't learning hundreds of chords, you just learn what makes a chord and then on piano it's pretty easy to extrapolate that out to all the keys (even with inversions). The same method works on guitar, too, but as there's a lot of overlap with the different strings, it's a fair bit trickier.

The other thing as well I'd say is that, from what I can remember, classical piano lessons don't really teach you how to come up with chords etc. very much. classical piano lessons are geared more towards music theory in a way that lets you read music etc. rather than make up your own music. I mean I only learnt about what different chords etc. were when I took up guitar, lol (I played piano for several years first).

So if you want to learn similarly to guitar, i'd look for a teacher who'll teach you "popular" piano/keyboard, rather than classical.
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