A deep love of music and creativity fosters the desire to play an instrument in many aspiring musicians.

There are many ways to learn an instrument, from watching YouTube videos to taking formal lessons from an instructor. After deciding which instrument to play, one can move forward with pursuing mastery.

It is easier to learn the piano after playing the guitar. Musicians will have developed the necessary skillset to play music, discipline to practice and improve, and drive to develop their musical prowess further. The ease of mastering an instrument is dependent on the amount of time to practice and interest level in developing one’s skills. 

In this article, we will explore the necessary steps and skills to learn and master both guitar and piano. We will also look at the reasoning behind the choice to play each instrument while discussing the advantages of learning the piano after mastering the guitar. 

Learning to Play Guitar

man using guitar while performing on stage
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The basics of playing guitar have a bit of a steep learning curve. You will need to train your fingers, both physically and mentally, to be able to sustain enough endurance to play for longer periods. 

Once your fingers have built up enough callouses and become familiar with basic chords, you can start putting them together to play entire songs. 

The process of adding in more chords will lead to more complex sounds and songs.

However, the art of picking up individual notes can be much more time-consuming. Getting the sounds just right takes precision and an educated ear for identifying correctly-tuned tones and notes. 

Playing by ear is a good strategy for harmonizing with well-known songs, but it will skip the step of visualizing and reading the notes you are playing.

If you learn how to read music, it will be easier to memorize the chords and transfer your skills to playing other songs.

Using Internet Resources to Learn the Guitar

Although there are many avenues for learning to play the guitar, one of the easiest methods is to utilize internet resources.

You can learn how to play by watching YouTube videos, listening to songs and playing by ear, or even taking online courses from various music schools or programs. 

This approach makes learning guitar much easier for and more accessible to many people. You can learn at your own pace and in the style that works best for your personal desires.

You will also have your choice of music to play, ranging from rock to blues to even classical tunes. Additionally, many resources are free and easy to find.

If you decide to go the route of using teaching videos to learn the guitar, you will have the benefit of learning the basics of music theory and skills in a linear fashion. 

The lessons are usually structured in an easy-to-understand format, with a natural progression through learning chords, scales, and more difficult songs (source).  

Guitar, Music, Plectrum, Musical, Instrument, Sound
Image by Ian Wilson via Pixabay

Skills You Will Develop

Once you have learned the basic chords and progressions on a guitar, picking up your favorite songs will come quite quickly. 

The combination of knowing the chords to play and love of music will make learning songs an enjoyable process. Based on your learning style, you can apply your knowledge to reading chord sheets or tabs, or playing by ear after listening to the songs.

Understanding and being able to play the notes of songs is a natural progression after learning the chords. 

Although it is not essential to learn the notes, it will make the transition to playing other instruments much easier. This knowledge will build your music theory base, which will serve you well as you grow as a musician.  

In addition to developing the skills of playing, reading, and learning the chords and notes, you will also cultivate personal strengths.

Your fine motor skills will grow stronger as you learn the finger positions and movements. Your concentration and memory skills will also evolve as you continue to practice the guitar. 

Learning to Play the Piano

As you delve into the world of piano and keyboards, you will find the basics quite easy to pick up. The linear fashion in which the piano is laid out makes it simple to see, hear, learn all of the notes.

You can quickly learn the individual notes, chords, and scales as there is a natural progression in sound as you move up and down the keys.

Options for Learning the Piano

There are quite a few choices for learning to play the piano, each of which comes with their own merits.

The most common ways of learning the piano are utilizing the internet to teach yourself from videos and lessons, or pursuing a more formal music education with a teacher. 

Once you find a website with lessons/curriculum, it is wise to stick with the resource you found to follow through with the entire program.

Many curriculums follow a progressive schedule with lessons, exercises, and tips that work for many learning styles and music goals.

Private teachers and piano schools frequently offer lessons online at varying price points. If you are looking to spend less money, there are many free avenues as well. 

YouTube offers the option of individual videos or entire channels dedicated to teaching piano skills. There are also many forums available to ask questions or pick up tips.

Having a piano teacher is a more traditional route to learning the instrument. You can find teachers that will come to your home or offer lessons in their own homes or studios.

You will need to be able to adhere to a set schedule that works for both you and the instructor.

One advantage of seeking piano instruction from a teacher is that you can utilize a piano outside of your own home. Additionally, the teacher can offer feedback at each lesson and correct any mistakes you might be making. 

This structure works well for many people who wish to learn all of the components of playing the piano and music theory.

Transitions to Learning Piano After Guitar

Musicians who wish to expand their skills and musical knowledge do not necessarily need to choose one instrument to learn.

Practicing more than one instrument can have many benefits. One should carefully select which instruments to learn to best benefit one’s current and future aspirations.

The biggest advantage of beginning the piano after learning guitar is that you will already know the basics of chords and chord patterns.

This experience will allow musicians to improvise and experiment with different sounds on the piano because they can manipulate the chords to produce a variety of sounds.

A background in music also makes it easier to transfer common skills to other instruments.

The ability to learn music by listening to songs, read notes and chords, and diligently practice the instrument are all essential skills that can help guitar players learn piano. 

As is the case with the guitar, playing the piano has a wide variety of personal benefits as well. Both instruments will help develop concentration, fine motor, and emotional expression skills. Guitar and piano also offer a source of stress relief (source).   

Advantages to Learning Piano After Guitar

Learning to play the piano after developing a background in music through playing the guitar offers a wide range of advantages. These benefits range from cognitive to emotional to musical abilities and functions.

Musical training helps boost attention and executive functioning skills. Piano players can process the sounds they are hearing and develop automaticity through repeated exposure to both music theory and songs. 

Tracking, processing, and motor functions also benefit from learning more than one instrument.

Learning to play instruments can also enhance one’s quality of life.

Having an active lifestyle and mind, as many musicians do, can help decrease depression symptoms and levels of psychological distress. Playing music also helps to boost one’s self-esteem and positive moods (source). 

Guitar players have often been exposed to a small amount of music theory, but learning the piano will help them comprehend the basics of notes and reading music at a much higher level. 

Instead of guessing at the correct notes, the layout of the piano makes for a more visual representation of how notes relate to chords. 

Continuously practicing the piano will help with your guitar mastery. Playing the piano teaches hand independence, which can be applied to guitar to produce a larger range of sounds and play more exciting pieces. 

Practicing basic piano exercises can help develop speed and accuracy which can clean up the sounds you are producing with the guitar.

Final Thoughts

A background in the guitar can make learning the piano a much quicker and more fulfilling endeavor. The skills you develop as a guitar player can easily transfer to learning piano and make you into a true musician. 

Having a background in both guitar and piano can make learning other instruments much easier as well.

Understanding scales, developing hand coordination, and increasing the agility of fingers are all important skills that will help you quickly pick up other instruments. 

By pursuing something you truly love, you can enjoy all the components of learning more about music.