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Thread: Need some advice from some music veterans

  1. #1
    Recruit, Pianissimo
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    Need some advice from some music veterans

    Hey guys, this is my first time posting here so if this is in the wrong forum I apologize and would understand if it got moved/deleted but I think this would be the right one!

    Anyways, my question is if I should continue pursuing piano or pick up guitar, the reason I ask this is because I plan on backpacking for at least a few years and living off of anything i can carry in a 'school' backpack. I've taken piano lessons for 2.5 years and struggling to see if I can continue once I hit the road due to the lack of lightweight keyboards (around 1-5 lbs).

    The only thing I managed to find are those rollup pianos but I was told that they aren’t a good long term substitute for a keyboard at all, especially since the keys are flat and not weighted. I also wonder if continuing piano is viable without a piano teacher since a lot of what I’ve gotten from lessons is my teacher catching mistakes/ bad habits and how to correct them.

    Because of all this I was thinking of switching to guitar since they’d be lighter and easier to “wing it” learning wise. My ultimate music goal is to write my own music someday so I was also wondering if that’s still applicable to a guitar? (I’m not too familiar with them but have played around with them)

    Sorry if this came off as long winded and thanks for any help in advance!

  2. #2
    Administrator Krummhorn's Avatar
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    Welcome to the forum whiiz

    Although the guitar is certainly more portable, I am under the impression that you would make more money playing the keyboard. However, the piano, an acoustic one, is hardly portable. The option there is a digital keyboard, but then you need electricity and possibly an amp/speakers.

    I would think in most places you would be traveling, there would be accessibility to pianos along the way. To simply throw away any progress you've made in the 2½ years of lessons completed, would be a great loss, imho. You can continue to practice, but without some tutoring along the way, one tends to 'memorize the mistakes' and then it's much harder to unlearn bad habits later on.

    It's quite the dilemma ... portability versus practicability. Hopefully others will chime in with suggestions.
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  3. #3
    Admiral Maestoso marval's Avatar
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    Hello whiiz

    Welcome to the forum, it sounds as if you are going to have an interesting time.

    I agree with Krummhorn, the guitar would be easier to carry, but as you have already played piano you might want to carry on with that.

    Perhaps you could take a guitar with you, but also find pianos where you go to play. Whatever you decide to do I am sure you will have a great time.


    Margaret

  4. #4
    Duckmeister teddy's Avatar
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    Hello whiz and welcome to the forum. My advice would be to buy a guitar, they are a lovely instrument, but take any opportunity to play the piano. Best of both worlds.

    teddy

  5. #5
    Vice Admiral Virtuoso John Watt's Avatar
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    Yeah! Being transient and planning on recording success, my specialty.
    If you do plan on recording in the future, keys are the way to go, layering it all yourself.
    I'd be thinking about those possible romantic moments on the road, a nice view for example,
    where having a guitar would let you express yourself.

    If you want a piano to riff out on, I hear the Beethoven Museum has a nice one.

  6. #6
    Admiral Honkenwheezenpooferspieler Corno Dolce's Avatar
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    I'm with Krummhorn on this one - But I'll add that I'd hate to have to choose between guitar and piano just because it could be a physical weight issue that will be the deciding factor........
    *If a man wants God to hear his prayer quickly, then before he prays for anything else, even his own soul, when he stands and stretches out his hands towards God, he must pray with all his heart for his enemies. Through this action God will hear everything that he asks* -Abba Zeno-

    *Protagoras: "Truth is subjective. What is true for you, and what is true for me, is true for me. Your opinion is true by virtue of its being your opinion."

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  7. #7
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    Thanks for all the help guys, I've decided to go with guitar and get a portable keyboard to see how well I can stay on top of it. I don't have a guitar yet but my dad said he had a banjo and was wondering what the difference between those two are?

    My goal in music is to write my own melodies/songs someday and was wondering if the banjo was just as versatile or not when compared to a guitar for that? I've also heard banjoes are harder to learn than a guitar, would i be better off buying a guitar instead of the banjo? Thanks again for the help guys, this place was probably the most informative than the other places I've asked music questions!

  8. #8
    Administrator Krummhorn's Avatar
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    I think you've made a good choice, in respect to being able to have portable instruments.

    The Banjo is an interesting instrument ... comes in a variety of configurations: 4, 5 and 6 strings.
    Here's what wikipedia has to say about the Banjo.
    Kh ~~.
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  9. #9
    Recruit, Pianissimo
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    Quote Originally Posted by Krummhorn View Post
    I think you've made a good choice, in respect to being able to have portable instruments.

    The Banjo is an interesting instrument ... comes in a variety of configurations: 4, 5 and 6 strings.
    Here's what wikipedia has to say about the Banjo.
    wow, I thought they were all 6 stringers! I think I'll stick with guitar since after doing some research, it seems like it's THE gateway string instrument for beginners. MY only other question is that the books that help teach guitar come in two different kinds, playing with a pick or with your fingers and was wondering what's recommended for starting out and what each method excels/falls short at? Again thanks for all the help guys! Can't wait to really dig into this!

  10. #10
    Administrator Krummhorn's Avatar
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    I've seen players both 'pick' and 'strum' at times. I think once you build up some calluses on the tips of the fingers, you might not need to pick. Although, I have heard Classical guitar requires picking more than plucking/struming.

    For starting out, maybe using the fingers so that they 'learn' where the strings are (much like how organists toes and heels learn where the pedals are) the best options. I'm only generalizing the very limited knowledge I have of stringed instruments - which may be all hogwash for all I know .
    Kh ~~.
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    Amateur musicians practice until they get it right ...
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    fessional musicians practice until they can't get it wrong ...


  11. #11
    Duckmeister teddy's Avatar
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    Hello whiiz
    It is easyest to learn some cords first. This will allow you to play simple pieces, even with only four cords. Stops you getting bored and giving up. Classical guitar is very rewarding, dont forget this referers to the style of playing not the content. Cut your left hand nails as short as you can but grow your right hand nails a bit as you get a better sound by using the nail rather than the finger tip. This counts whether you are strumming or plucking.

    best of luck

    teddy

  12. #12
    Commander, Assistant Conductor Lusaka_Guitarist's Avatar
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    I agree with Teddy (hello Teddy), you can start with some chords then get to classical guitar. In addition, for a beginner, a nylon string guitar (Classical guitar) is recommended. They are not as loud as steal stringed ones but they are more friendly on your left hand fingers. Also see to it that you get yourself a good guitar method book. All the best!

    Lovemore Nanjaya.

  13. #13
    Duckmeister teddy's Avatar
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    Hi Lovemore. We are waiting for your next post.

    teddy

  14. #14
    Vice Admiral Virtuoso John Watt's Avatar
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    About a banjo: I was sitting in my local music store when a recording country act asked me to fill in,
    and it got me a full-time gig, but I didn't want to play banjo, not being able to use all my equipment either.
    The club owner said customers just seeing my Marshall stack would scare them away.
    But Al, the owner of Thorold Music, won his bet with Walter Ostanek, getting me in his store first.
    How? He told the country singer he'd make a six string banjo I could play left-handed,
    fixing a banjo body to a guitar neck and putting on a pickup. It was fun for a while.
    I was using cigarette pack foil folded up and woven between the strings at the bridge for that effect.

    The banjo is more of a texture instrument, nice to have playing along, but not strong for song all alone.
    I recommend Bela Fleck on banjo, last hearing him on the charts with Nelly Furtado.
    In the sixties, the leader of "The Nitty Gritty Dirt Band" was simply incredible on banjo.

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