What instrument should I learn theory on; Piano or Guitar?

Finally decided im going to learn some music theory but after some serious thought into it I have stumped myself on which instrument to learn it on. Ill say one thing - one of the reasons I got into computer music is because I was sick of the physicality; I just wanted to compose without having limitations of how many instruments/notes I can play at once with the 2 hands and 10 fingers I got. I’ve played guitar for over 10 years and have composed extensively on it. I also play a little piano.

Thoughts - Guitar has a lot of different positions for the same chord which at one angle can be inspiring because you have different fundamental frequencies for the same chords but at another angle seems distracting/gimmicky toward just composing music OUTSIDE of sound production (bare with me). Where as with piano it’s all laid out in front of you and corresponds to the frequency chart in a nice easy linear way (which for dyslexic people like me; is quite peachy).

Now I’m not saying Im never going to play one if I learn the other, because I believe the more instruments you play; the more different ways you can connect to writing music, but…


  1. Since I’ve already composed extensively, it may benefit me to understand what the hell I’ve been doing all these years

  2. Since in Ableton it shows the notes via piano roll, I would know
    which notes im playing on my guitar (which could be complicated since
    guitar is non linear unlike piano)


  1. Once I’ve learned theory, I COULD just FIND the songs I’ve written on
    piano so that way im still connecting to piano using my ear (and
    knowledge of course)

  2. This is one of the biggest ones since in my future im making WAY more
    computer music than instrumentals: can use MIDI (and please don’t
    suggest midi guitars because I REALLY don’t like them!!)

  3. I don’t have to learn all these extra ways of playing the same chord!!

So I guess the question is how fast do I want to get to writing music and which instrument will benefit me the most down the road. Im just not sure which one, it would be cool to learn piano and have a way to actually play the notes into ableton without having to do crazy adjustments to the velocity, but it would also be cool to keep the physicality separate from computer music (not religious about it, but the I value the consistency) which would teach me to get more in touch with writing in a human-played way in a way that doesn’t involve playing an instrument (making small adjustments on the grid so it doesn’t sound so robotic).

~ Your input is appreciated as always ~

Thank you

I would say piano first, then you can actually play what’s in your head with a MIDI controller into your DAW.

That is how I produce. I don’t mouse notes in, I play them live.

I’m a bass player by the way but I studied piano.

I’d say guitar, because then you’ll know both.

music theory is for pussies




then again if u learn scales on guitars u could jam w/ bros in a park or some shit