Two men playing guitar and piano
Both guitar and piano offer their own unique pros and cons.

Are you struggling to choose between fingerstyle guitar and piano? Here you will discover the pros and cons of each instrument, and decide which is best for you.

Which Is More Difficult, Fingerstyle Guitar or Piano?

It’s been fashionable for quite some time for creators to upload arrangements of animé songs for their instrument. The most popular seem to be piano, violin and guitar. Although coming to an advanced level of playing presents the same difficulty, it is easier to play very easy songs on the piano than on the guitar.

If your objective is to go beyond playing super simple songs on the piano, then it's worth it to look at some pros and cons of each instrument.

Learning to Play Fingerstyle Guitar - Pros and Cons 

Let's first look at some pros and cons of learning fingerstyle guitar.

1. Pro: Fingerstyle Guitar is the best instrument to play beautiful, flowing music.

Fingerstyle guitar allows you to play multiple parts at once, giving your music a more full and rich sound. This can be especially useful if you're playing solo, as it allows you to create the illusion of a full band even if you're just playing by yourself.

2. Con: Fingerstyle Guitar Requires A Lot Of Coordination

Fingerstyle guitar requires intricate finger movements, precise coordination, and dexterity. It involves playing melodies, harmonies, and bass lines simultaneously, using different fingers to pluck or strum the strings.

Girl playing a black guitar
If you find that the piano is too easy to play, you may want to consider fingerstyle guitar.  

To play fingerstyle guitar, you must develop a strong sense of rhythm, finger independence, and the ability to maintain multiple parts simultaneously. Learning fingerstyle guitar requires precise finger control and coordination. 

3. Pro: The Guitar is Versatile

The guitar is a versatile instrument. There is a huge palette of sounds and colours and even percussive effects that you can play on the guitar. With fingerstyle guitar you can incorporate harmonics and techniques such as hammer-ons, pull-offs, and slides to change the timbre of the instrument.

In contrast, the violin and piano are more limited in the changes in timbre. The piano is far more limited in timbre, but makes up with the ability to play more notes.

Girl playing piano
Fingerstyle guitar has many advanced techniques that you can use as a great way to impress your friends.

In addition, there are lots of styles or genres of music you can learn on the guitar, including but not limited to: Classical, ragtime, tango, samba, blues, bluegrass, gospel, pop, new age, flamenco, gypsy, R&B, funk, and heavy metal.  

4. Con: Guitar Arrangements Can Be Hard to Find

Fingerstyle guitarists often need to develop their own arrangements of popular tunes. It's much easier for a piano player to find a book of songs ready to play on the piano, than for the guitar. However, creating your own arrangements for fingerstyle guitar offers a rich and versatile musical experience.

5. Pro: Guitars are Inexpensive and Commonly Found

Many people have a guitar as it is an inexpensive instrument. It's therefore easy to find an adequate guitar to start learning and commence your musical journey. Additionally, guitars are easy to carry around as they are relatively lightweight and not particularly bulky.

6. Con: Guitars Require Regular Maintenance

To get the best sound out of your guitar, you will have to change your guitar strings on a regular basis. Additionally, it's important to monitor the humidity in your home and use a humidifier if the air is particularly dry.

7. Pro: Fingerstyle Guitar is Warm and Intimate

The Guitar is a warm and intimate instrument. If you are somewhat shy like me, you appreciate the intimate sound of the guitar. Compare that to the trumpet: when you blast that instrument, everyone knows you’re playing!

Pros and Cons of learning piano

Playing piano requires practice, patience, and discipline to develop proficiency on the instrument. Let's look at some pros and cons of learning piano vs. guitar.

1. Pro: Learning piano promotes finger independence

Piano playing requires coordination between both hands, much like playing fingerstyle guitar. However, unlike with fingerstyle guitar, each finger creates its own unique sound. This gives you the option to play much more intricate melodies over a wider range than is possible with Fingerstyle Guitar.

2. Con: Learning Piano Requires Knowledge of the Staff

To play piano, you must understand how to read two staffs of music simultaneously. This can be challenging especially if you are sight-reading, as you need to scan a large surface area and also pay attention to where you place your fingers. It's much quicker for a guitar player to learn to read and understand guitar tablature than it is to learn sheet music.

3. Pro: piano playing enhances finger dexterity

Piano technique involves training each finger to play different keys, promoting finger strength and coordination. You must develop finger independence on the piano in order to execute complex arpeggios and chord progressions.

hand on piano keyboard
Precise finger movements and stretches are necessary to play the correct keys on the piano.

4. Con: Piano Playing Requires the Use of Your Feet

Piano technique includes elements such as pedal control, in order to add the correct phrasing and dynamics to your piece of music. This adds further layers of complexity to learning piano.  You can of course opt to not use the piano pedal at all, but this may cause your playing to be a little dry.

5. Pro: Learning Piano Develops Your Knowledge of Music Theory

Playing piano fosters a solid foundation in music theory. Piano players often learn to read both treble and bass clef, and most books for learning music theory are geared towards piano players.

Kids studying guitar
Since the vast majority of theory and harmony textbooks are for piano players, it presents a challenge to adapt the textbooks for guitar players.

It is more difficult for guitarists to gain a comprehensive understanding of harmony, chord progressions, and musical structure without some knowledge of piano. This theoretical knowledge can be beneficial when arranging and composing

6. Con: Acoustic Pianos are large and cumbersome instruments

Have you ever tried moving a piano? Every time I get called to move one of those antique upright pianos, I'm always surprised at the weight. Pianos are heavy instruments constructed of metal and wood, and aren't very easy to move. Grand pianos require specialized services to move them in order to not damage the instrument.

7. Pro: The Piano is Ubiquitous

Pianos are found in every major city on the planet, and not just in music stores. It's common to find public pianos in parks, shopping malls and other heavily frequented areas. Although these instruments may not necessarily be in tune, they can be useful to practice and to impress others with your skills.

8. Con: Electric Pianos Aren't The Same As Acoustic Pianos

Although you can learn the piano with an electric piano with weighted keys, it's not the same as the acoustic instrument. On the other hand, the electric guitar is much more similar to the acoustic guitar, both in terms of construction and in terms of playability.

Does playing piano make it easier to play fingerstyle guitar?

Playing piano can provide certain advantages that may make it easier to learn and play fingerstyle guitar, although the level of impact can vary from person to person.

Learning piano can help you develop a strong sense of rhythm and timing. The piano allows players to see and understand the rhythmic structure of music more explicitly, as both hands are playing different notes simultaneously. This understanding of rhythm can be transferred to fingerstyle guitar, aiding in the coordination required for playing multiple parts simultaneously.

Which Should I Learn, Piano or Guitar?

Ultimately, both instruments present their own unique challenges. The most important part is to commit to learning and mastering either fingerstyle guitar or piano. 

Overall, fingerstyle guitar is an incredibly rewarding instrument to learn, and can open up a whole new world of musical possibilities.

When Should I Learn Fingerstyle Guitar?

Whatever style you choose to play with guitar, you will have to learn the basics of technique. You can start learning fingerstyle guitar straight away, after learning to play some basic chords. I recommend starting with the course Play Fingerstyle Guitar Now!