When it comes to playing guitar, one way to improve your skills is, well, to practice playing guitar.
But if you really want to expand your musical vocabulary, spark your creativity, increase your skills and dexterity and even grasp some advanced theory concepts in an easy-to-comprehend manner, we have an out-of-the-box suggestion for you: trade in that six-string for 88 keys, and sit yourself down in front of a piano.
And if you sign up now at Pianote you can do it with a free one-week trial, with access to their extensive library of informative online lessons from real teachers..
Sound like an unusual path to guitar greatness? That’s the point. But if you doubt that a keyboard can help with your six-string skills, perhaps you’d listen to no less a guitar virtuoso than Eric Johnson, who has called the piano “a beautiful instrument for writing and studying music,” adding that, “when you look at a piano, you can see every note. All 88 keys — the whole spectrum. It’s like laying out a long piece of paper that has all the architectural plans for a building. It’s a great center-point and home base to look at and study music. You can then transfer that perspective to any instrument.”
Such as, for starters, the guitar. With the piano keys laid out in front of you, you can practically “see” bass lines, lead lines and chords, as well as understand how they work together to form melodies and songs. Similarly, learning music theory becomes a more visual endeavor, from observing how notes are grouped together in scales and modes, to building chords and inversions in a linear and easy to comprehend manner.
What’s more, flexing your creative chops on a new instrument pulls you out of your comfort zone and significantly expands your musical palate. Even if you were to sit down at the piano and compose a song using, say, a familiar G-C-D progression, just sounding the chords on a keyboard, with all the various tones, colors and inversions at your fingertips, will lead you to come up with something that sounds entirely unique from what you might play using standard “cowboy chords” on guitar. The same goes for composing melodies and solos, where you won’t be able to rely on go-to licks or positions in your musical expression, and will naturally gravitate toward fresh voicings and progressions.
Finally, learning piano will flat-out help you to build your guitar chops. Playing different notes, chords and rhythms with each hand simultaneously will lead to massive improvements in hand interdependence, while mastering difficult passages with what is traditionally your fretting hand will increase speed and dexterity, as well as finger strength. That’s right – playing piano will make you a better and faster shredder!
So what are you waiting for? Head over to Pianote now and sign up for your free one-week trial. You’ll never look at guitar the same way again!