Piano and Keyboard lessons from Glenn Sutton in Poway and San Diego

Switching From Guitar to Piano

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Going From Fretboard to Keyboard

Once a musician has achieved a certain level of success in their instrument, they may decide it’s time to expand to another instrument. Still other musicians may decide they don’t want to play a particular instrument anymore and wish to try a new one. If you are a guitarist who falls into either of these categories and wishes to try piano, this article is for you. We will review the similarities and differences between these two instruments and how to use what you know about guitar to make the transition easier.

The Similarities and Differences

Obviously, guitar and piano are quite different in many ways. Guitars are much more portable (unless you are switching to an electric piano). The instruments look and play differently. Are there any similarities at all? Actually, there are similarities, but it is in the understanding of chord structure and melody that these similarities lay.

Staff notation is exactly the same for both instruments. If you can already read music, you have a huge advantage over someone who does not. It is highly recommended that you learn notation as you transition from guitar to piano, as there are far fewer tablature books for piano than for guitar. If you don’t read music, however, don’t worry about it at first. Your music instructor will be able to help you, starting with the basics and moving up from there.

Applying Your Knowledge to Your New instrument

As you have already mastered guitar, in part or in full, there are certain expectations you should have. You realize that it is going to take time, discipline, and effort to learn piano, the same attributes you had to apply to guitar training. You will need to start at square one, learning notes, then basic chords, then complex chords. Scales of all kinds will eventually be learned. As you may have learned advanced guitar playing techniques (hammer ons and pull offs, etc) you may learn advanced piano playing techniques. This will all happen in time. Please be patient with yourself, hopefully you were patient when you were learning guitar.

When you were learning guitar, you also learned about proper posture and handling of your guitar to maximize your effectiveness as a player. The same principle applies to piano. Proper posture and positioning of hands is critical to your success as a pianist. Your instructor will help you with it and keep you on the right path.

Once again, it is important to remember to be patient with yourself. As similar as the experience will be, you are a different person than you were when you started your musical journey. You are in a different place, older and (presumably) wiser. When you are starting something new, keep a positive outlook, work hard, and be patient.

Keep Practicing!

Congratulations on taking a new step towards expanding your musical abilities. While the going may be rough at first, know that with some effort, concentration, and work, you can succeed. After all, you have done it before.

For keyboard and piano lessons contact Glenn Sutton at: 619-306-3664.

Services include:

  • Keyboard Lessons
  • Piano Lessons
  • Organ Instruction
  • Electric Guitar Lessons
  • Bass Guitar Lessons
  • Acoustic Guitar Lessons
  • Learning to Write Music
  • Advanced Improv Techniques
  • Performance Techniques



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