Is Piano Harder Than Guitar?

is piano harder than guitar

Do you like the Pirates of the Caribbean theme on guitar or Maroon 5’s Memories on the piano more?

Can you choose the best one? It’s tough, right? I know, both are worth hearing. Well, this is as confusing as deciding if the piano is harder than the guitar.

Every instrument has its uniqueness and flavor. And if the question is about choosing what is harder to play between piano and guitar, then we need to evaluate both instruments.

Similarities Between Piano and Guitar

1. Learning Age

I felt an immense need of discussing this point. Age is not a barrier if you want to learn piano, guitar, or anything. The famous pianist Elton John started learning piano at the age of 3. As per Jennifer Buggos’s Research, older adults (age 60-80) grasp piano theory in less time with self efficacy. In fact, New York University professor Gary Marcus wrote a book on learning guitar at the age of 40.

So, yes, you can learn both instruments at own pace at any age. To learn more about the proper age for guitar classes, go there

2. String Instrument

Piano and guitar both come under the string family. Well, you can see the strings on the guitar, but you might be wondering about the piano’s invisible strings. Yes, the hammers placed at the end of the piano keys hit the strings that generate vibrations. That is where a sound is produced when you play a key.

A guitar has 6 strings, whereas a piano has about 230 strings.

3. Chromatic Instrument

Now, what is Chromatic? Musically, chromatic means using notes apart from a semitone, like C to C# or E to F. The piano and guitar can produce each note of the chromatic scale.

Chromatic scale involves experimentation with all the 12 pitches. Practicing chromatic scales with piano and guitar is one of the best exercises to master both the piano and guitar skills.

The piano and guitar are the instruments with similarities and unique personalities. Both are versatile and something to fall in love with!

So, let’s dive more into knowing both the instruments.

Differences Between Piano and Guitar

The guitar is the coolest instrument and popular among youngsters. Be it a college fest or a ceremony, everyone wants to ace the guitar and impress the audience. Well, it does seem fascinating, but you need the skill to play the guitar. Moreover, it requires skill even to hold the guitar with proper technique.

It would help if you have dexterity to hold the guitar strings and put optimum pressure. Hence, it takes time for the kids to get used to the guitar as compared to the adults. In fact, it is less challenging to learn a song on the guitar than on the piano. 

On the other hand, you don’t have to hold the piano to play it. You just need to play a key to get the sound. It is advisable for 5-10 years old kids to choose piano as their first instrument. The reason is that, they won’t have to juggle between strumming and holding strings. They can just sit, gently press the piano keys, and learn without any rush. If you practice a week, you can easily play a famous song on piano.

Let’s go through the side-by-side comparison of the piano and the guitar to find out which one is harder:

1. Layout

Many people consider layout while choosing an instrument. Layout plays an important role especially in terms of posture.



The piano has a simple layout. You don’t even need to hold it and run here and there, to find the piano keys. The guitar layout might seem a bit complicated with many frets on the fretboard.
You can easily play the chords without any discomfort to fingers. You can sit with a straight back and play for hours. Firstly, you need to hold the guitar with the right posture to play it. Initially, you need to bend a little to see the chords you are playing. This can become habitual and might invite backaches as well.

Based on the layout, Piano is an easier instrument to learn as compared to Guitar.

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2. Maintenance

The durability of the instrument is as crucial as playing it. So while learning an instrument, you must consider how easy it is to maintain.



The Piano needs more space and utmost care. You can’t shift or carry it immediately and wherever you want.  

Pick any safe corner and your guitar can stay there! Also, you can carry it whenever and wherever you want.

Maintaining the body, keys, and strings is very important to prevent them from detuning. The cost of maintenance can go beyond $150 to $200 for multiple repairs and tuning. You still need to maintain the body and strings but the guitar doesn’t consume a lot of space.

Remember, maintaining and taking care of your instrument is a part of playing your instrument. So, if you cannot commit to investing a lot into maintenance, I would advice you pick a guitar.

3. Tuning

Does a detuned instrument sound pleasant to ears? No. A proper tuned pitch makes the instrument sound melodious.



Tuning the piano on your own is a little complex and time-consuming. You can easily tune the guitar on your own within minutes. Yes, it is that easy!
The piano strings have more tension. You need the right tools and a lot of patience. The cost to tune a piano is from $50 to $250. You can use a tuner app to tune your guitar. Experts can tune it even without the tuner, just with ear training and experience.

Tuning a piano is costlier than a guitar. Even if one string is out of tune, the pitch can sound unpleasant and wrong. So you will need an expert to do that. That is why some people think, piano is harder than the guitar.

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4. Easiness

Easiness of an instrument comes with consistent practice. But choosing first instrument based on comfort can help you start better.



To learn piano, you need patience. Learning piano scales and chords takes time. Learning piano theory is time-consuming, but necessary at the same time. Playing guitar is also not that easy. It does require patience and skill. But for a beginner, it is easy to learn a few chords, strumming patterns, and you are good to go showing your guitar skills.
It is easier for children to learn and play the piano, as the keys are close to each other. The daily practice and exercises can help you to get used to it. Children have not developed dexterity at an early age, hence they might face sore fingers while pressing the guitar strings. This might lack their interest in learning the guitar.

A detailed study of an instrument is always beneficial. But then, it is up to you, what you want to learn. Choose guitar if you want to learn songs quickly. Else, choose piano to get an in depth theoretical knowledge base.

5. Self-learning

If you do not plan to take any professional classes for music, and want to self-learn, then you should know which one is easier.



Forming chords and creating good composition is challenging. Thus, self-learning can be difficult at an early stage. The guitar can be self-learned. Learning a few chords and strumming patterns is what you need to play your favorite song.
It would be best if you have a good piano teacher who can teach and guide you with the theory. You can play many melodies based on similar chords just with ear training.

Self-learning can work, but it is advisable to learn under the proper guidance of a teacher.

Verdict: Is Piano Harder than Guitar?

Based on the above comparison, one thing is clear, both the instruments have their own beauty, playability, and challenges.

Choose Piano:

  • If you are learning for the first time whether you are a kid or an adult.
  • If you are a child learning to play music for the first time.


Choose Guitar:

  • If you want to learn a few chords than an in depth theory to play your favorite song.
  • If you want an affordable instrument to start your musical journey

What instrument should you play is your choice. You will not regret choosing any of the instruments. Both can give you an amazing musical learning experience.


Should I learn guitar or piano first?

It is up to you what you want to learn first. Again, if you are a kid, you can start with the piano. Learn finger dexterity. Master one skill and then you will be able to learn other instruments as well.

Is guitar better than the piano?

It is indecisive to find out if the guitar is better than the piano and vice versa. Because some musical pieces sound beautiful on the guitar whereas, you can not get over some melodies on the piano. It is just like choosing what is better between the Memories on the piano and the Pirates of the Caribbean theme on guitar.

Check out EnthuZiastic piano classes for a personalized piano learning experience.


Piano and Guitar both instruments are the best. It takes time to get better at guitar and piano as well. You need to acquire skill to master one instrument. You can always try one and learn the other later.

Enroll in a good piano or guitar class to start your musical journey.

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