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How difficult is playing piano or guitar? When should I start learning how to play the piano or guitar?

It is one common question that most people ask. Just like everything else in life, playing piano or guitar will take one some commitment, effort and time. Natural ability helps a lot, but how easy one gets determined by the amount of time one commits.

The good news is that with sometime in the bank, one should start gaining traction faster. There is no reason why one should fail to begin playing the simple tunes by setting clear goals and having a structured approach to their piano or guitar learning.

Some people easily get discouraged by failing to note the progress they expected or because their fingers seem to fumble all over the place. For sure, it will look like that for some time.  Back to the question, how easy is it to learn piano and guitar? Where should you start and what should you set your sights on?

First, let me start by testifying that I have seen both young kids and older start to succeed in learning to play both piano and guitar. So, it’s difficult to tell which between piano and guitar is more comfortable to digest. That’s a debate of another day. In case you decide to learn how to play the piano, and it is the first time you are making such a decision, you will always be curious to see how you will be able to implement what you have learned on the piano towards the guitar.

In this article, we will be discussing what makes learning piano and guitar easier and the reasons why they are the best first instrument to learn.

The Pop Culture Call

Unfortunately, most of the young kids do prefer learning guitar over piano due to the coolness factor. From digital gaming to music videos, guitars do appear as occupying a much higher spot in the pop culture.  For sure, we are not interested in discouraging your child’s interest since every child is different. We doubt if any child’s interests should be based on what will happen.

For example, if I were a parent, I would consider exposing my kids to pianist’s videos including rock and pop artists like Elton John and Billy Joel to ensure that my kid will accept the piano as a cool instrument and not just the guitar.

Technical Divide

From the fundamental technical standpoint, pianos are considered to be excellent instruments to play. Despite seeing several children being successful in playing guitar when they are at a young age, I have also seen a number of them getting frustrated due to some difficulties they encounter when they try playing guitar.

All you are required to do to produce sound on a piano is press a key. However, on a guitar, you will have to get a string and pick and push the line down with the other fingers. It is similar to trying to do two or three things at the same time. Playing the piano is less complicated than the guitar.

We are speaking about starting to learn. The fact is after you are through with the first years of learning and being handling more complex and advanced materials, it will never matter what type of instrument you are playing. However, at the start especially for the younger kids, it is much more difficult to execute even the most basic moves on the guitar than on a piano.

Most kids are also interested in learning how to sound like rock and pop stars on the guitar. However, for them to start sounding like that, they have to learn lead techniques and chords which can at times be difficult for fingers to master. Since it takes a while for one to advance to the skilled level, most children are known to get frustrated and even give up before they get there.  Learning classical guitar is even more difficult.

Here are some of the three essential points for the most straightforward path to get you going.

  • Ensure you commit small practice time regularly. That is enough to help you get things moving but not much to get you frustrated.
  • Set attainable targets. It is vital that you give yourself achievable and clear goals like being in a position to play a simple time within the first week.
  • Get a friend or a teacher to take you through the basics.

Reasons Why Piano and Guitar Are the Best First Instrument to Learn

There is a general tendency for many people to consider taking piano or guitar as their first instruments when learning to play music. It is not surprising that the guitar and piano are the most played musical instruments in the world.

It begs the question, between guitar and piano, which instruments will you prefer to learn first? What makes piano a superior musical instrument to learn for the upcoming and future songwriters?

  • Accessibility

Majority of the musical instruments are known to require a high level of skill and several practicing hours to produce great sound.  Some people can take years of practice before they are capable of creating a tone they will be happy having.

However, on the piano, one needs to press a key, and the sound will come out the same way it was designed. The simplicity that comes with creating sound means that any person is capable of making great sounds when they first start playing the piano.

  • Reading Music

Due to the simplicity that comes with sound production on piano, the beginners can immediately begin to focus on learning how to read notation. The piano is considered to be of the instruments that will need the performer to read two staves at a go in two different clefs. Learning how to read bass clef and treble at the same time does lay a foundation of skill that makes shifting to another instrument easier in music development.

  • Music Theory

Piano’s visual layout makes it easy for any student to contextualize the music theory and get to know the music design patterns. The lower notes are located on the left side of the keyboard while the higher notes are located on the left side of the keyboard matching the musical staff layout.  The black and white keys pattern simplifies the keys to relationship understanding. It explains why most of the great composers like Bach, Mozart, and Beethoven were keyboard players.

  • Neurological Benefits

Piano requires one to use all their ten fingers and both hands in carrying out complex tasks. Learning to play the piano does develop great motor skills and excellent hand-eye coordination. Pianist will quickly learn on how to control the minute muscles of their hands simultaneously while keeping their eyes on the music pages.  Learning piano is regarded as a significant health benefit since it can help reduce cognitive impairment and dementia. This is according to the International Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease.

  • Upkeep and Tuning

A professional will only have to tune a piano once or twice a year. However, other types of musical instruments will need to be tuned every time before practice and performance.  It explains why the piano is considered as the most approachable instrument one should start on since it is always ready to be played.

  • Online Piano Lesson

In case you are worried about your practice location, schedule or wallet, online piano lessons can be of great help to you. For example, with the online piano, you will be in a position to learn to play the piano at any time from any location provided you have access to the internet. However, what sets us apart is that we not only focus on playing the piano but also reading music.  Whenever you are playing online piano, you can always watch highlight notes as you play along.


Most music teachers do agree that piano is a comprehensive musical instrument for learning music. Piano music comprises of both the bass and treble clef while guitar uses only the treble clef, melody and chords.

Majority of the college level music programs are known to require all the music students to learn some piano even if they prioritize other musical instruments. The piano offers a more comprehensive understanding of how music operates. Most of the college students focusing on different types of tools are known to have at one point regretted on why they did not learn to play the piano while young.

Since it is much easier to learn the piano from the initial stages and since it is a more practical tool, it is advisable for one to start learning how to play the piano while still young. They can always add the guitar later on. When a child approaches his or her teens, they do tend to grow with a keen interest in pop culture. However, when they take piano while still young, they will always be better prepared when they decide to double in the contemporary guitar later on.

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2 April 2019
Great article and thanks for sharing. Food for thought in making a decision.


28 March 2019
Learning how to play piano will offer your child with great challenges, rich rewards and lifetime enjoyments. The key to success when it comes to playing piano is getting the right teacher to lead and inspire your child especially when they are starting out. Any good piano teacher will be able to help your child learn the right technique, keep them motivated, inspire them to venture outside their comfort zone and develop as a player. Read More Here https://www.expatchoice.asia/things-do/how-choose-best-piano-teacher-your-child