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Topic: Learning Guitar/Piano at same time  (Read 11426 times)

Offline raintree

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Learning Guitar/Piano at same time
on: September 20, 2008, 10:04:18 PM
Hi all,

...hope I'm posting this in the right section.

Does anyone here play guitar and piano?  I play a little bit of piano and would also like to learn some guitar. Thing is, I wonder about developing callouses from the guitar - will that be a disadvantage when playing piano?  Also, does the need of having longer finger nails on the right hand for guitar hinder piano playing? All comments/suggestions will be appreciated.

raintree

Offline Bob

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Re: Learning Guitar/Piano at same time
Reply #1 on: September 21, 2008, 02:18:21 AM
Callouses?  I doubt it.  Except for possibly making it painful to hit the keys.  You don't need a huge amount of sensitivity in terms of feeling the keys. 

Longer finger nails? Depends how long and how you finger comes in contact with the key.  I still doubt it.


Disadvantages?  Splitting your time between two instruments.  Having to develop the technique and sharing the same body parts -- The fingers might get worked out, the same parts.  But that can be cross-training in a way, not necessarily bad.  Maybe trying to learn tabulature along with a grand staff.

Advantages?  Being able to take a break from one instrument by playing the other.  Sitting with music for longer than you might have with just one instrument.  They're both percussive.  You'll get better ears for intonation with the guitar if you're tuning it a lot.
Favorite new teacher quote -- "You found the only possible wrong answer."

Offline allthumbs

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Re: Learning Guitar/Piano at same time
Reply #2 on: September 21, 2008, 03:11:57 AM
Callouses?  I doubt it.  Except for possibly making it painful to hit the keys.  You don't need a huge amount of sensitivity in terms of feeling the keys. 

Longer finger nails? Depends how long and how you finger comes in contact with the key.  I still doubt it.


Disadvantages?  Splitting your time between two instruments.  Having to develop the technique and sharing the same body parts -- The fingers might get worked out, the same parts.  But that can be cross-training in a way, not necessarily bad.  Maybe trying to learn tabulature along with a grand staff.

Advantages?  Being able to take a break from one instrument by playing the other.  Sitting with music for longer than you might have with just one instrument.  They're both percussive.  You'll get better ears for intonation with the guitar if you're tuning it a lot.


Bang on, on all four points. I've played both instruments for over 40 years.

With the nail issue, I would further add that it's a balancing act beween have your nails long enough for guitar and short enough not to interfere with the piano technique.

Over all as Bob stated, it's not a problem.

allthumbs

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Offline db05

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Re: Learning Guitar/Piano at same time
Reply #3 on: September 22, 2008, 03:32:38 PM
I started guitar more than a year before piano, and I don't mind.

The weird thing is that I have really soft hands that don't develop much callouses. You'd think I never touched a guitar in my life. LH fingertips only hurt at the start.

If you're worrying about the nails, I assume you're playing classical or fingerstyle. It's very important in classical, but the good news is it doesn't have to be very long. I prefer short nails for performance, shaped to my liking. You want to have the option to play with your fingertips and with a small shift, play with fingernails. Watch some bassists play. Some use nails, but not all the time.

Disadvantages/ advantages?

Depends on music you will play. It is good to be able to play different genres and rhythms. Guitar is good for accompanying and most pop music.

The LH work in guitar seems a disadvantage to me since the fingers either have to be curled or in a not-so-relaxed barre chord. My LH is mostly slow work, since I don't like to "shred". Shredders would have fast LH. The advantage is that there is as much control with my LH as RH, albeit the hands behave entirely differently.

Everything you do musically is bound to help. Stay away from mindless practicing. It happens a lot to guitarists.
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Offline guendola

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Re: Learning Guitar/Piano at same time
Reply #4 on: October 13, 2008, 06:00:52 PM
calloses don't matter at all!

An ugly workaround for long figernails: Use bandaids on the fingertips. I can't remember the name but there is at least one famous pianist who does this.

And you might even find a compromise on your right fingernails that works for both instruments.

Offline raintree

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Re: Learning Guitar/Piano at same time
Reply #5 on: October 14, 2008, 01:12:24 AM
Hi all,

Many thanks for all of the helpful feedback! ...just wondering, I'm practising on a keyboard w/ slightly weighted keys and notice that this is not a very effective way of really strengthening my fingers. If I were to practise guitar, would it help me develop a strength/dexterity in my fingers that would also be helpful when playing piano?

Thanks again for your time and consideration.

RT

Offline camstrings

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Re: Learning Guitar/Piano at same time
Reply #6 on: October 14, 2008, 12:18:43 PM
If you play classical guitar, you can shape your nails without having them too long.
Just be aware of your fingers & wrists as they work in different ways on these instruments. Stay supple.

Offline pianomom5kids

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Re: Learning Guitar/Piano at same time
Reply #7 on: October 22, 2008, 06:17:56 PM
It is smart to play the piano with short finger nails.  Otherwise your technic won't be as good and you could develop long term problems with that hand.  Good luck!

Offline healdie

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Re: Learning Guitar/Piano at same time
Reply #8 on: October 26, 2008, 05:25:47 PM
[quote author=db05 link=topic=31439.msg364612#msg364612 date=1222097558

The LH work in guitar seems a disadvantage to me since the fingers either have to be curled or in a not-so-relaxed barre chord. My LH is mostly slow work, since I don't like to "shred". Shredders would have fast LH. The advantage is that there is as much control with my LH as RH, albeit the hands behave entirely differently.

Everything you do musically is bound to help. Stay away from mindless practicing. It happens a lot to guitarists.
[/quote]

I get the feeling DB05 that you don't like shredding  ;) that could be an interesting debate
and yes i am guilty of the mindless practicing but sweep picking is just so cool ;D

but on topic i don't think it should be a problem a play guitar and piano and have had no problems

its just both instruments require very sound technical ability so splitting your time may be difficult, it may result in an uneven technique in one instrument but there should be no problems
"Talent is hitting a target no one else can hit, Genius is hitting a target no one else can see"

A. Schopenhauer

Florestan

Offline minor9th

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Re: Learning Guitar/Piano at same time
Reply #9 on: October 26, 2008, 05:39:25 PM
For those of you who play classical guitar and piano, which one is more difficult? I'd venture the guitar, at least in terms of sheer mechanics since one has to form the notes (beyond open strings) as well as hit them, too! Plus, it has so little sustain that's it very difficult to play legato. And, each hand is performing a different sort of action: the left is pressing, while the right is plucking.

Offline nanabush

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Re: Learning Guitar/Piano at same time
Reply #10 on: October 31, 2008, 04:22:02 AM
Starting guitar after having played 10+ years of piano is DIFFICULT!

I managed 83% on my ARCT which I did at the end of the summer (finally), played some pretty technical stuff, but I can barely play a scale on the guitar... the mechanics are so different it's insane.

I find every technique I try to learn on the guitar is like the very first time you learn to play scales hands together - except much worse :P

Alternate picking while moving my left hand around different notes for each pick is still way beyond me; and it's kinda frustrating because when you start piano you're exposed to [simpler] music... I've seen all the craziest stuff people can do with the guitar; imagine just learning your C major scale and seeing Chopin Op 10 #1... really bogs you down lol.

In other words I suck at guitar lol.
Interested in discussing:

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Offline db05

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Re: Learning Guitar/Piano at same time
Reply #11 on: October 31, 2008, 05:53:25 AM
Starting guitar after having played 10+ years of piano is DIFFICULT!
...
Alternate picking while moving my left hand around different notes for each pick is still way beyond me; and it's kinda frustrating because when you start piano you're exposed to [simpler] music... I've seen all the craziest stuff people can do with the guitar; imagine just learning your C major scale and seeing Chopin Op 10 #1... really bogs you down lol.

In other words I suck at guitar lol.

I think electric/ pickstyle guitar is the hardest there is, if you count shredding techniques and two-hand tapping. Especially if you're so used to piano, I recommend fingerstyle.

At the very start, you should practice A LOT of technical exercises focusing on each hand. I don't know if there's a way around this like in piano where you can learn pieces to develop technique.
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Offline popdog

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Re: Learning Guitar/Piano at same time
Reply #12 on: October 31, 2008, 08:40:43 AM
At the very start, you should practice A LOT of technical exercises focusing on each hand. I don't know if there's a way around this like in piano where you can learn pieces to develop technique.

Building technique via learning pieces works just as well on the guitar as piano.  I got my guitar technique from learning pieces, and have only ever done one exercise which wasn't really that helpful... 

Offline db05

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Re: Learning Guitar/Piano at same time
Reply #13 on: October 31, 2008, 11:03:27 AM
Building technique via learning pieces works just as well on the guitar as piano.  I got my guitar technique from learning pieces, and have only ever done one exercise which wasn't really that helpful... 

The irony is there are a lot of teachers who are against exercises for piano, but I have never heard of one for guitar. Maybe it's because most guitar students hack a lot of songs without doing their technical stuff, while piano students are more obedient with regards to exercises, so much that they rarely play music??

Or is it because for piano, HS practice and slow tempo practice is common, while for guitar, very difficult? (Imagines a guitar piece for RH or LH alone... And holding barre chords for 8 counts in 60 bpm...  :-X)

Or is it because there is no Hanon and Czerny in guitar literature? (Imagines books called The Virtuoso Guitarist and School of Shredding...  :-X)

It's too late for me... I have already spent 3 years of my guitar life doing exercises.  :'(
I'm sinking like a stone in the sea,
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Offline minor9th

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Re: Learning Guitar/Piano at same time
Reply #14 on: October 31, 2008, 11:04:16 PM
I think electric/ pickstyle guitar is the hardest there is, if you count shredding techniques and two-hand tapping. Especially if you're so used to piano, I recommend fingerstyle.

I've played both electric and classical guitar, and without question, classical right hand technique is far more difficult than using a pick, as you have to be able to play 2-3 different lines simultaneously, sometimes in different rhythms (at least pianists can separate these elements between their hands!). Sure, a good electric guitarist can play more notes per second than even some pianists/violinists, but they are playing only one line at a time. I used to be impressed by "shred" guitarists until I learned some myself...it's not all that hard to do.

Offline popdog

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Re: Learning Guitar/Piano at same time
Reply #15 on: October 31, 2008, 11:45:41 PM
The irony is there are a lot of teachers who are against exercises for piano, but I have never heard of one for guitar. Maybe it's because most guitar students hack a lot of songs without doing their technical stuff, while piano students are more obedient with regards to exercises, so much that they rarely play music??

I know plenty of guitar teachers that don't encourage exercises, even if they don't blatantly despise them - they teach technique via songs/pieces which is how I developed technique on both instruments. 

Or is it because for piano, HS practice and slow tempo practice is common, while for guitar, very difficult? (Imagines a guitar piece for RH or LH alone... And holding barre chords for 8 counts in 60 bpm...  :-X)

Or is it because there is no Hanon and Czerny in guitar literature? (Imagines books called The Virtuoso Guitarist and School of Shredding...  :-X)

It's too late for me... I have already spent 3 years of my guitar life doing exercises.  :'(

Hands separate practice is just as important on guitar as piano.  Think of it this way - the aim of hands separate practice on piano is generally to focus on a technical movement, although the piano sounds the notes you play.  On guitar the purpose is the same, although if you are playing LH alone, you won't hear the notes (unless you want to via hammer ons/pull offs).  But hearing the notes isn't the main point, the point is to focus your attention on a particular movement.  With the RH, you just play the strings as per usual without the left hand, which will sound different but doesn't matter a lot for the same reason. 

I haven't looked, but I'm quite sure you could find books of guitar exercises similar to Hanon etc.  By the way it's never too late to stop.

I've played both electric and classical guitar, and without question, classical right hand technique is far more difficult than using a pick, as you have to be able to play 2-3 different lines simultaneously, sometimes in different rhythms (at least pianists can separate these elements between their hands!). Sure, a good electric guitarist can play more notes per second than even some pianists/violinists, but they are playing only one line at a time. I used to be impressed by "shred" guitarists until I learned some myself...it's not all that hard to do.

I mostly agree.  Classical guitar often works with multiple voices which makes both RH and LH more difficult.  But to some extent I really don't think these can be compared that well.  They're just different. 

Offline chopinmozart7

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Re: Learning Guitar/Piano at same time
Reply #16 on: November 01, 2008, 05:23:18 PM
choose one of them  ;D
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