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#1
This is sort of a silly topic to me, mainly because I'm not as familiar with piano as I am with guitar. I had this debate with someone else, and the topic was more or less which instrument is more versatile. Your guess is as good as mine as to what that means, but I argued anyway.

What do you guys think? Is piano really the 'better' instrument (I assume this means which can do more in the realm of music), or is it guitar (my weapon of choice)?
#2
well, i think it depends really on what context they're being played in.
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#4
ya versitle is very open ended, the guitar is more versitle in its sound and aggresiveness to passive(heavy metal to acoustic medleys) while piano is way more versitile in the capable range or compositions can be played on it(classical piano sounds much more intensive and full than classical guitar while it can still play chord progressions and generally rock out)
#5
I would say guitar, although it's easily debatable.
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#6
neither is "superior". but i can say this, playing the piano very well is much difficult than the guitar very well in my opinion
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#7
guitar can make alot of different noises (w/ effects ect.)
but piano can too if its a synth/electric kind

soooo, idk
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#9
Well, pianos certainly can cover more octaves, and more notes can be sounding at the same time. However, piano cannot capture the dynamics a guitar can by strumming or palm muting. Bending notes also provides a cool feel that a piano cannot, because it only hits the exact pitches. I would argue the point of tone variations, though that can be discounted by keyboards and their many different voicings. Thats still a tough call between effects and wah and delay though.
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#10
Quote by Ackj
Well, pianos certainly can cover more octaves, and more notes can be sounding at the same time. However, piano cannot capture the dynamics a guitar can by strumming or palm muting. Bending notes also provides a cool feel that a piano cannot, because it only hits the exact pitches. I would argue the point of tone variations, though that can be discounted by keyboards and their many different voicings. Thats still a tough call between effects and wah and delay though.


what about a moog synthesizer or are we just talking acoustic pianos
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#11
Be more specific in the kind of each instrument.

What kind of piano and what kind of guitar?
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#12
Quote by ItsThatDude
what about a moog synthesizer or are we just talking acoustic pianos

Thats what I wasnt sure about. Straight up grand piano doesnt have the versitility , but a synth can do a hell of a lot.
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#13
Straight-up grand piano has a helluva lot of versitility. It can play Baroque music (arranged of course, seeing as the piano wasn't actually around), Classical, Romantic, Jazz, Rap, Rock, Pop. It can play all sorts of roles, from melody to harmony to bassline to a mix of all of them. It can play with an orchestra, a jazz big band, a rock combo, or solo. And thats just an acoustic. If you include synthesizers, its exponentially more versatile.

Don't get me wrong, the guitar can cover lots of ground to. I'd say both are neck-and-neck for the versatility award.
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#14
The piano is MUCH more versatile. The dynamic range is huge, it's capable of being extremely articulate, it can sound up to 88 notes at once and sustain them until the sound naturally decays, and a well-trained piano player is capable of playing much faster than a guitar player can (oooh, that'll get me quoted). The guitar, however, can create micro-tones through bending, detuning, or using a slide. However, a prepared piano can create mutes.

When we get in to the realm of keyboard instruments in general, the guitar cannot compare to the sounds that music synthesizers can create.
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#15
Comparing acoustic piano to acoustic guitar, piano wins hand down. But with electric guitar and electric keyboard, its pretty close i think.
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#16
Quote by Ackj
However, piano cannot capture the dynamics a guitar can by strumming or palm muting.

Well, the piano is named for its dynamic ability. Its full name is pianoforte, 'piano' meaning soft and 'forte' meaning loud.
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#17
Quote by Ænimus Prime
Well, the piano is named for its dynamic ability. Its full name is pianoforte, 'piano' meaning soft and 'forte' meaning loud.


Actually, it's Fortepiano
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#18
Quote by Muphin
Actually, it's Fortepiano

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#20
The Fortepiano is what the instrument was called when it was first constructed.

Quote by Wikipedia
The term fortepiano is nowadays often used to distinguish the 18th-century instrument from later pianos.


Later pianos, however, are NOT called Pianofortes... Well, I don't call them that

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#21
Yeah, if ever heard anyone actually say 'pianoforte' as in "Oh Andrew, be a dear and play me a tune on the pianoforte" I would bash them.

I just wrote pianoforte to prove my point about dynamics.
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#22
If you search 'pianoforte' on Wikipedia, it brings you to the piano article.

Quote by Wikipedia Piano Article
The word piano is a shortened form of the word pianoforte, which is seldom used except in formal language and derived from the original Italian name for the instrument, gravicèmbalo col piano e forte (literally harpsichord with soft and loud). This refers to the ability of the piano to produce notes at different dynamic levels depending on the speed with which a key is depressed.
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#23
well some of the things with a piano are you cant double up on the same note like you can with guitar, say like 5 frets up on the A string and open on the D, you can't hit both/layer notes on piano, unless you tune it all funny, but thats not what you do with pianos normally, guitars you can hit natural, and pinch harmonics, and bends... so idk

and when you get into the electronic side of these instruments, its completely different, a guitar can become a synthesizer with some pedals, both can run through effects, so the possibilities are endless on either one...
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#24
Quote by SOADrox429
What kind of piano and what kind of guitar?


Whichever is the more versatile of the two camps.

And nobody may agree with me, but I discount all that synth crap. Effects are fine, but a backing track at the push of a button is cheating.
#25
Quote by chitowncowboy
Whichever is the more versatile of the two camps.

And nobody may agree with me, but I discount all that synth crap. Effects are fine, but a backing track at the push of a button is cheating.


I agree. Synths aren't pianos, they're synthesizers. They're different instruments in my opinion.

This is a silly question, though. Measuring versatility is difficult and inconsequential in the long run.
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#26
Piano is much harder, guitar is easier to sound decent with little effort.
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#27
Quote by adamstartin
Piano is much harder, guitar is easier to sound decent with little effort.


That's only partially true. Piano does have some extremely complex and technical stuff (mainly classical), but there are a fair share of difficult things on guitar too. But yeah, it's easier to learn things that sound nice on guitar, but they are both extremely versatile instruments, which is why I play and love both
#28
Quote by adamstartin
Piano is much harder, guitar is easier to sound decent with little effort.


Eh, no? I started playing piano nearly 2 years ago and at first it was piss easy to make it sound nice. Playing a note on piano is much easier than on guitar you would agree? Then with piano to make a chord all you need to do is to count up in semitones, or if thats too hard, just play with your thumb, middle and pinky at the same time, with your fingers alinged to the white notes you will always get a simple major or minor chord, or diminished if its on B.

Seriously, if you think about it, piano is much simpler, it is one movement to create a sound, with guitar you have to synchronise the placing of fingers with your left and the striking with your right, most often without looking at either.

Sight reading with piano is much easier too, the positionin of the music and the piano allow you to keep a constant eye on the notes, what with peripheral vision.

However, once you get past that, it is easier on guitar to produce decent material, what with the use of power chords and simple melodies being very linear (staying on one string, staying in one "box"). With piano one has to adapt to different keys and the wide range of the keys makes it more difficult to find a particular note, let alone string them togetherl.

Simplicity is a factor, but not the determining one in finding which is the better instrument; for that one can only rely on personal experiances or musical preferences. From that one deduces that the question, which is better, is purely subject to opinion and personal thought. It is not written in stone which is better.

Personally I prefer the guitar, I have played it for much longer and I am much more competant at it; but the piano is very nice to play anyway, so I am almost split decided.
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#30
If you ask me, the guitar is a better lead instrument than a piano. Bends, slides, vibrato, harmonics...it's got about as many creative possibilities as you can get when it comes to playing a solo.

The piano makes a better instrument to have in a rhythm section, by a long shot. The number of notes that can be played simletaneously and the fact that a lead melody can be played ofver your chords so easily and effectively means it trounces the guitar in some respects.

The bottom line has to be, they both have theiur pros and cons, areas where they shine and their short comings.

But please, for the love of God, don't combine the two...

#32
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#33
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#34
piano:
-has more notes.
-the notes are laid out in such a way that making chords and visualising scales is so much easier than on guitar. lower notes to the left, higher to the right, accidentals are black, naturals are white. on guitar all the notes 'look the same', and are found in a few different places, making it much more confusing.
-a piano allows you to play a bass part and a higher part simultaneously, while this is much harder to do on guitar, and so is often accompanied by a bass player.
-no problems with breaking strings. well, less problems

guitar:
-chords can be easier to learn, because rather than learning the actual notes, a player can get away with learning chord 'shapes' (e.g. barre chords) and moving them left and right on the fretboard
-guitars are more practical, e.g. easier to carry round with you and transport, or walk around a stage with. tuning is much easier and you dont really need a professional guitar tuner.

both: can have crazy effects, bending notes (pitch wheel), you can sing while playing,

conclusion: i think piano is much better on a musical level, but guitar is better on a practical level. thats how i see it.
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#35
They are both versitile in different ways
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#36
Depends on the style of music....
Piano has a more emotional, dramatic feeling then the guitar but on the other hand the guitar suits metal-kind music better...

If we're talking about versatility they're both versatile in different ways BUT if we also include the keyboard then the keyboard is defo winning...

BUT

this doesn't say that the keyboard is a better instrument or something like that cause that's just an opinion of someone and not everyone loves the sound of a keyboard (MIDI-sound...)

Metal / Rock = The Guitar his territory
Jazz / Classical = The Piano his territory

And they both are occasionally used in each others territory!
#38
Quote by chitowncowboy
This is sort of a silly topic to me, mainly because I'm not as familiar with piano as I am with guitar. I had this debate with someone else, and the topic was more or less which instrument is more versatile. Your guess is as good as mine as to what that means, but I argued anyway.

What do you guys think? Is piano really the 'better' instrument (I assume this means which can do more in the realm of music), or is it guitar (my weapon of choice)?


better? not answerable.... thats a matter of opinion. they are 2 different instruments, each has its place.


more versatile? piano has a greater range, and if you include synths then there is a much broader sound palette as well. (ofcourse you could hook up a midi pickup to the guitar to match this )

- Also with piano you can accompany yourself. ( I know some guitarists can do this as well, but not as easily as on piano, and its not a common way to play guitar)

I would say piano/keyboard is more versatile overall, but who cares? Play what you like.
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#39
Quote by Freepower
Piano is older, thus more stuff has been done with it, thus seems most versatile.


I dunno. Guitar-like instruments have been around for thousands of years. Piano-like instruments (I'm talking harpsichord and clavichord) were developed in the mid-1900's.

But if you're talking about six-string guitars compared to pianos specifically, then the piano outdates the guitar by less than a century.
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#40
Quote by Muphin
The piano is MUCH more versatile. The dynamic range is huge, it's capable of being extremely articulate, it can sound up to 88 notes at once


I'd like to hear you play 88 notes at once and make it sound good Just cause you can do it dosn't mean you should!

And to person above the harpsichord is a defining feature of Baroque (im pissed atm cant spell ) music, which i htink was around 1650 - 1800 or 1600 - 1750, cant remember which... Well before mid 1900's!

And JvL do you listen to jazz? A guitar is used in alot of jazz tunes, it dosnt just occasionaly stray into that territroy
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