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  • Zoe Lim

Guitar vs Piano : Which Should You Learn First?

guitar and piano

Most people pick up either piano or guitar as their first instrument. If you are someone who is interested in learning music, but don't know which instrument to pick for your musical journey, here are some fun facts about the two instruments! Hopefully, by the time you are done reading this article, you have an idea of which instrument to pick.

Guitar vs Piano : Similarities

Contrary to popular belief, piano is also a string instrument. The guitar has 6 strings while the piano has around 230 strings! The guitar and piano are also similar in that they are both chromatic instruments, meaning they are capable of producing every note of the chromatic scale! However, the design of keys on the piano makes it easier to learn music theory as the way the fretboard is designed on the guitar can be a little more confusing to some. Most musicians use piano as a reference for notes and chords when things can confusing on the guitar. However, this does not mean piano is superior to guitar as the guitar also provides more than a keyboard in certain aspects!

Guitar vs Piano : Differences

On the guitar, there are 6 strings and around 20-24 frets on the fretboard. This means that the guitar has around 144 notes that you can play while the piano has only 88 keys, thus reaching maximum 88 notes. However, the piano can reach 7 octaves while the guitar only 4 octaves.

When it comes to play scales and chords, piano may be a tad easier to learn for beginners. Whereas, for variation of playing styles such as bending notes, sliding and vibrato, playing on the guitar would be more instinctive and natural.

So to summarise, learning music theory and for beginners who are looking for their first instrument, piano would be a better choice. However, prices for upright pianos would generally be more pricey than a guitar for beginners. Although, if you are up for a challenge, you can always go straight for the guitar and try out some basic chords!


Zoe is an avid fan of all kinds of music. Her primary instrument is the guitar but she is always passionately learning how to play other instruments such as the drums and keyboard. She is currently playing the bass guitar in a band and has been routinely involved in music since she was a child.

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