I have received many questions about whether or not playing other instruments or different styles of music can negatively affect your piano playing. Many people have asked whether playing jazz will hurt your Classical music skills. Many people want to know how playing the guitar impacts your piano playing. So here are some points worth considering.
It is my personal feeling that the more you assimilate musically, the richer musical experience you will have to offer. I majored in both piano and French horn in music conservatory. I always felt that the breakthroughs I had with one instrument always seemed to translate to epiphanies for the other instrument!
Guitar and piano are very different instruments. They do share the ability (that few instruments have) to play many notes at the same time (playing polyphonically). The piano offers a very easy way to understand the basics of music theory because of the half-step arrangement of the keys. Guitar has frets which are half-steps apart, but the strings are tuned at different intervals from one-another which isn’t as intuitive as the piano. So, piano can be beneficial to understanding music theory which can help your guitar playing. Does this work the other way around though? Can playing the guitar help the development of your piano playing?
One aspect you can draw on immediately is the ability of the guitar to alter the tone of held notes while the piano has limited ability in this regard (with the exception of the pedals). For example, you can bend notes on the guitar and create different tones and expressiveness very easily. On the piano, without the use of the pedals, the notes you play will always produce the same basic tone. The thing you can impart on your piano playing is the ability to think about creating expression and tonal differences like you can with the guitar even with a more limited tool set. With practice and proper techniques, you can begin to create new and interesting sounds in your music much like you can working with the strings on the guitar.
You will also find that certain chord voicings are more easily accomplished on one instrument or another opening avenues of creativity when exploring the same music on both instruments.
But does playing guitar hurt your piano playing in any way? Absolutely not! Play what you want and expand your horizons however you can. Learning new music and instruments will only enrich your musical experience. I would love to hear your opinions on this subject. Please feel free to email me directly with your comments or questions, Robert@LivingPianos.com
I have received many questions about whether or not playing other instruments or different styles of music can negatively affect your piano playing. Many people have asked whether playing jazz will hurt your Classical music skills. Many people want to know how playing the guitar impacts your piano playing. So here are some points worth considering. It is […]Read More