Monday, August 12, 2013

Point of Vantage: Guitar vs Piano

This post is inspired by David Hurlin's post Vantage Point where he talks about how drumming on unconventional instruments such as mailboxes can unlock innocent creativity. I would recommend you to read the full post!

This brought to life an idea I've had for a while. In my mind, the guitar is a more creative instrument than the piano. Now, don't get me wrong, pianos are beautiful and great music has been written through playing the piano. However, a piano is linear, whereas a guitar is two dimensional. Each string on a guitar is like a mini piano. In addition to this, a guitar presents all tones as equal since it does not distinguish between black and white keys, whereas a piano tells you which tones you should play for C major and all other keys are played in relation to C major, as far as the black and white piano keys are concerned.

Sure, the piano has potential for grandiose pieces of music since you can use all ten fingers at the same time, whereas with the guitar you only have six strings and five fingers to play with. In my experience though, the guitar has inspired me to create more original music without referring to music theory. When I first started writing "The Sound of Rain" I simply took an open C major chord and moved it down on the fret board three steps. This jumbled all the notes somewhat and when I played the different strings there was a new sound that I really liked and started to play around with.

I also like that my guitar doesn't have marks for the 5th, 7th 9th and 12th fret, because leaving room to make mistakes also means you can find combinations you never would have thought of. As one of my teachers always say, "There are no mistakes, only happy accidents".


  1. The operative word here being pedals, it is clear that all of the guitar player has to do is stomp on the pedal accordingly, to get the particular effect he wants to have. Some guitar effects pedals come with a musical study treadle called a potentiometer. The potentiometer is controlled by rocking the treadle in a backwards and forwards motion.

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