Violin Vs. Guitar: Which One Should You Learn First?

Have you ever found yourself wanting to go out and buy that guitar you saw in the thrift store down the street? Maybe you want to put your grandmother's old violin to good use. In a world that is filled with music, it is no surprise that so many of us want to work our way into that world. It is a goal that is rarely easy to fulfill, though. 

Let’s look at the difference between picking up a guitar and a violin, both of which can be great starter instruments that have the potential to be incredibly intricate. These two instruments can lead you in incredibly different directions, it’s just a matter of finding out which path is the right one for you. 

Violin Vs. Guitar: Which One Should You Learn First?

What Are Your Goals?

What Are Your Goals?

There are plenty of reasons to get into learning an instrument, whether you are looking to set your poetry to music, jam with your friends or simply learn a new skill. It is important to define what your goals really are before you go out and purchase an instrument. 

Odds are that you won’t be able to pull out your violin at the local bonfire, and it definitely isn’t going to get you into that Rock band you’ve been dreaming about. On the other end, however, that guitar is much less likely to impress your grandmother, and it is way less likely to land you in an orchestra.

So take a moment to think about your goals and where you want your newfound skills to lead you. Thinking a little more about this can make all the difference. 

Write your goals down, this will help a lot! Here are some ideas:

  1. Develop musical skills and understanding.
  2. Learn to play songs that are meaningful to yourself someone.
  3. To join a band.
  4. Improve dexterity and hand-eye coordination.
  5. Increase focus and concentration.
  6. Foster a sense of accomplishment and satisfaction from learning and playing music.

What Kind of Music Do You Want to Make?

What Kind of Music Do You Want to Make?
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When getting started as a musician, one of the truly important things to consider is the kind of music you want to make. Someone who loves the idea of intricate classical melodies is going to find themselves on a different path from someone whose goal is to learn the intro to AC/DC’s “Thunderstruck”. Both are going to take effort and commitment, but how you do that will be entirely different. 

If you are thinking of taking the more classical direction, you’ve got some options. Both the violin and the guitar can exist easily on classical tracks. The same cannot really be said about the contemporary sound. 

Maybe you want to get into making your own music. At that point you’ll have to keep in mind that Indie guitar songs are much easier to compose than classical violin sonatas. Either way, whatever you’re interested in doing, it is always worth the attempt. Just be aware that some of it might take a little more music theory than the rest of it. 

How Much Do You Want to Practice?

How Much Do You Want to Practice?

One of the notable things about the guitar is that it’s an instrument that virtually everyone can learn. It takes time and commitment to become truly good at it, but just about anyone can learn to strum a few chords. 

It’s suggested that you practice guitar for about 15 minutes a day. (Guitar Gear Finder) Self teaching books are available at most music stores and the internet is filled with tutorials on different techniques, song tutorials, and so much other information. It is truly something that anyone can attempt. 

Violin takes a little more effort, however. With violin, it is suggested to practice around 30 minutes a day for those who are just starting out and 1-2 hours for anyone who is looking to truly commit to the instrument. (Violin Trend)

On top of all of this, a beginner violinist is likely to benefit greatly from a teacher, as much more goes into things like the position of the instrument, holding the bow, finger placement, and several other things that you often don’t ever think about with guitar. (Quora) It is entirely possible to do it on your own, though. 

Thinking about how much you are going to want to commit to an instrument can keep you really interested in working on it. It can also keep you from having an unused guitar sitting in the corner of your living room. 

How Much Do You Want to Spend on An Instrument?

How Much Do You Want to Spend on An Instrument?

The next important thing to think about would be how much you are willing to spend on an instrument, both to purchase and maintain it. A cheap guitar can be picked up almost anywhere, but a beginner violin can be harder to find second hand, and a quality new one can cost upwards of $800. (Midder Music)

You can find a guitar for around $60 at a store like Guitar Center (Guitar Center), and with a little effort could probably find an even cheaper one at a thrift store. Starters range from $50 to $800, depending on how much effort you are looking to put into it, and often this guitar could take you through several years of an artistic career. Many guitarists simply build up collections of the instrument. 

With a violin, things are a little bit different. As you grow as a musician, you move on to more expensive and higher-quality instruments. While it makes sense for a guitarist to play on a beat-up old guitar, a professional violinist is probably not going to be playing on their first violin. 

In the end, both instruments take commitment and passion. If learning the violin sounds like it’s the thing for you, then try it out. The same can be said for the guitar. Whether or not you stick with it is up to you, but few people ever regret picking up a new instrument. 

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