Should I Start With Piano or Guitar?

By Billy Jones

There’s a common belief among people, especially parents, which is, if you want to learn how to play a musical instrument, you should start by learning to play piano. The thinking is that the skills acquired can be transferred to any instrument and that learning to play the piano will force one to learn to read music, which will help with other instruments as well. While there are many (transferable) skills to be gained by learning the piano, it’s not necessarily true that starting with piano will better your journey to becoming a drummer, singer, guitar player, or whichever instrument you’d ultimately like to play!

If your dream is to play the guitar, just start with learning guitar! While some of the skills gained by learning piano could help (finger dexterity, music theory, overall music knowledge), those skills can also easily be earned as a beginning guitar player.

There is a common misconception that you must learn to read music (standard notation) to play an instrument. While that is the case with many instruments, it is not the case with the guitar. Guitar tablature or TAB was developed in the 15th Century as a quick, convenient way of writing guitar music.

Here are a few more reasons why you should start playing guitar today!


You can purchase a great starter guitar for $300 or less. Most keyboards in that price range will be underwhelming at best, and you definitely won’t find an acoustic piano for that price!


Pianos are big and heavy, like a piece of furniture, and require professionals to move them safely. Keyboards, while lighter and more portable, are still very large and require a stand, a pedal, and a stool. You can literally carry a guitar in one hand and acoustic guitars don’t require any amplification to be heard.


Pianos must be tuned by a professional, which is expensive, while learning to tune your guitar with a small, portable guitar tuner is a part of becoming a guitar player. Guitars do require annual or semi-annual maintenance (some more than others), but many guitar players learn those skills as a part of their guitar journey as well.

Popularity in Rock, Metal, Blues, and Country

Which instruments are most prominent in your favorite songs? If your favorite band doesn’t have a piano or keyboard player, that sound isn’t what makes you love those songs in the first place. The guitar is a fundamental part of all rock, blues, metal, and country music so chances are your favorite songs include much more guitar than keyboard.

By learning a handful of chords on the guitar, you can be playing some of your favorite songs in no time!

About the author:

Billy Jones is the owner and head guitar instructor at Bones Jones Music in Rockville, Maryland. He started his business in 2011 and has been training successful guitar players ever since. At Bones Jones Music, they offer a modern approach to learning and mastering the guitar!