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  #121  
Old 11-08-2013, 12:06 PM
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Default Re: Which is harder to play drums or guitar?!?!

If you set the word "hard" as a limit to learn and grow in your life, then everything you do will be hard. Donīt crack at first...
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  #122  
Old 11-08-2013, 07:46 PM
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Default Re: Which is harder to play drums or guitar?!?!

My best friend, who is a fine guitarist and has also been my bandmate for over 15 years, says that most guitarists are "frustrated drummers". I don't know what that means.

On the other hand, I started plucking around on the guitar about 7 years ago. I am not even remotely good, but I feel that it has improved my drumming technique and timing. I can write songs now also. Q: what is the last thing a drummer says before he is kicked out of the band? A: "let's try one of my songs."

What is "harder" to play: the one note guitar solo to "Cinnimon Girl", or "Louie Louie" on the drums? I dunno. I think tone, and style is everything. I am no Steve Gadd, and my friend is not exactly Wes Montgomery. But we make a grand noise when jamming. Like Frank Zappa said, "if it sounds bitchin' to you; it's bitchin'."
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  #123  
Old 11-08-2013, 11:09 PM
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Default Re: Which is harder to play drums or guitar?!?!

Not sure which is harder, but drums are cooler.
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  #124  
Old 11-08-2013, 11:18 PM
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Default Re: Which is harder to play drums or guitar?!?!

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Not sure which is harder, but drums are cooler.



Except at the end of the night when you have to pack up.



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  #125  
Old 11-08-2013, 11:56 PM
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Default Re: Which is harder to play drums or guitar?!?!

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My best friend, who is a fine guitarist and has also been my bandmate for over 15 years, says that most guitarists are "frustrated drummers". I don't know what that means.
I've heard that said too. The best guitarists I've played with have been keen to have a go on drums, and they play pretty well too. Good solid beats, nice tone production, good sounding ideas. A whole lot better than my efforts on guitar :(

It's no coincidence that they had great timing as musicians, whatever instrument they played. Timing is everything. (Almost).
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  #126  
Old 11-09-2013, 12:19 AM
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Default Re: Which is harder to play drums or guitar?!?!

Mmm...tricky one! Guitar = two hands plus maybe a foot for electric triggers etc. Whereas drums are four limbs most of the time so...I'd say Drums takes it in the generally harder stakes.

It's more about the difficulty level you have reached and are playing, I think. Surely...

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  #127  
Old 11-09-2013, 01:01 AM
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Default Re: Which is harder to play drums or guitar?!?!

Long time gigging guitarist here (20+ years) that made the full time switch to drums around 2-3 years ago...

The instruments are soooooo different that it's hard to compare. Drums involve things like stamina, intense coordination, efficiency of motion, a very high rhythmic sense, and fast signals going from the brain to parts of the body that require an instant reaction.

Guitar has notes, chords, scales, modes, vibrato, etc...

Just too different...
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  #128  
Old 11-09-2013, 01:04 AM
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Default Re: Which is harder to play drums or guitar?!?!

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Guitar = two hands...
... 10 fingers :)
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  #129  
Old 11-09-2013, 07:02 AM
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Default Re: Which is harder to play drums or guitar?!?!

Guitar requires fine motor coordination in the hands and fingers, much like say, a surgeon. Drums requires large body movements/coordination/reflexes like an athlete has. Some skills like internal rhythm are cross-discipline.

I think it depends on what set of natural skills/reflexes you have.
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  #130  
Old 11-09-2013, 08:31 AM
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Default Re: Which is harder to play drums or guitar?!?!

There is literally no reason to try and determine a "harder" instrument. All that matters is what you express with it.
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  #131  
Old 11-09-2013, 02:12 PM
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Default Re: Which is harder to play drums or guitar?!?!

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Except at the end of the night when you have to pack up.
Good point!

I have played drums for about 13 years, then switched to guitar for about 12, then back to drums again recently.

As far as starting out (IMO), playing your first 4 on the floor, or I-IV-V progression, both are about equal. I don't know why some folks say it's so hard to learn the majors and minors. It's only 14 chords, and once you have them, you can play just about anything (rock or blues, anyway). And if you play barre cords, you can do it all in only 4 shapes (or even 2).

With guitar, I found the rhythm and overall song structure was pretty easy. The chord sequences and resulting sound kind of propelled my memory to which part was next. I found it pretty easy to get rhythm down. Conversely, I had to spend hours and hours working out, and then working on solos. And, as someone already stated, the chops fade quickly for things not getting practiced.

With drums, I find the rhythm of song structure more difficult. Bass beats go here, this bark needs to be there, oh, that verse there's 3 in a row... Without even speaking of fills, I find it's more complicated just getting from one end of a song to the other. Fills are a whole other thing. Every bit as difficult to get precise as guitar solos. Practicing to get rudiments (sadly neglected for so long) and patterns as fluent as I'd get guitar exercises seems pretty comparable as far as time goes.

Comparing the two directly, they each have their own challenges. As a guitar player, I notice if I went off a part, it was not as critical as doing that drumming. If my drumming is loose, the whole band is loose. If the guitar player is loose, well, we have a loose guitar player.

There is the fact that a drummer 'may' not have to deal with deep music theory. On the other hand, as a drummer, I find it far more physically demanding. Beyond question. One of my biggest issues is stamina right now.

As has been pointed out, it's apples to oranges, but then again, maybe I just suck at everything lol.

On a side note, I've been building bands the last 5 years. One reason I switched back to drums was because it is my first love. The other is because it is hard to find good drummers (second only to bass players!), while decent guitar players are a dime a dozen. I don't know what that signifies.
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  #132  
Old 11-09-2013, 03:29 PM
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Default Re: Which is harder to play - drums or guitar?!

It's a mute point really.Context dictates that where you ask that question,and who answers it,and finally,how many answers you get,will give a final consensus to a pointless question.

So,ask that question on Drummerworld,and on,DFO,and you'll likely get different prospectives on the subject.

Ask the same question on a General guitar forum,and on a jazz guitar forum,and again,you'll likely get different prospectives yet again.

This is the same as arguing about who's the best drummer or guitar player.Short answer,......there isn't any.It's all about taste and opinion as to whom YOU think sounds better,to YOU.

But there STILL isn't a worlds single best player,and to even think that's possible is the same kind of youtube poster who will argue about the Travis Barker vs. Joey Jordinson.That person usually employs the standard high school cafateria logic, to a pointless argument.

To me, it's a silly argument.It's comparing two equally difficult instruments .....to play WELL.

I learned 4 different chords,and learned how to tune a guitar in 1 day.I could probably get someone to play a basic rock beat in one day also.But I highly doubt,that I could teach you how to tune a set of drums in 1 day.

Drums were likely ,mankinds first instrument.So maybe we all have some inate knowledge,or instinct about drums.Not so much guitars.The chordophone ,who the guitas is decended from,didn't appear till thousands of years later.

What does that mean in the real world?Precisely ZERO,nothing.

Seeking an answer to this "question" ,is simply self serving,and addresses nothing but personal ego and self worth issues,and is best left as a non -sequitur.

Steve B
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  #133  
Old 11-09-2013, 06:16 PM
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Default Re: Which is harder to play drums or guitar?!?!

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Originally Posted by stellar92010 View Post
Guitar requires fine motor coordination in the hands and fingers, much like say, a surgeon. Drums requires large body movements/coordination/reflexes like an athlete has. Some skills like internal rhythm are cross-discipline.

I think it depends on what set of natural skills/reflexes you have.
That's pretty much what I was trying to say, only better. :)
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  #134  
Old 11-13-2013, 08:24 AM
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Default Re: Which is harder to play - drums or guitar?!

i find after learning one the other comes pretty easy...... i play both... and they complement each other.

I am a way better drummer because i like it more


in the end... practice and dedication... I've logged 1000's of hours on my drums i would guess... and not nearly that many on my guitar........ thus.. I'm better at drums

but drums are cooler!
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  #135  
Old 11-18-2013, 07:57 PM
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Default Re: Which is harder to play - drums or guitar?!

Drums or guitar it all depends which you like the most? Both in their own field are wonderful and gives sounds which touch the inner soul. You can go on beating the drums for hours and same for guitar too. For beginner reading this post if they get interested they can find many institutes where they can learn, other way they can learn them online also. There are many online websites who teaches music online and in your own good time from the comfort of home.
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  #136  
Old 11-19-2013, 07:01 AM
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Default Re: Which is harder to play - drums or guitar?!

I'd say the only real difference that would make drums "harder to play" would be the demanding physical aspect of it and the possibility of soreness and injuries which would not be possible while playing guitar, especially with poor technique, which I assume guitar will forgive more than drums.

More of lists than paragraphs:

I had gotten bursitis for the first time a few days ago from practicing three days in a row and then playing a gig pretty hard for an hour and a half on the fourth day, which is when I actually felt the injury (pretty mild, but it was difficult to move my shoulder). I used to get really bad blisters on my fingers before my technique improved. I've worried about having a stress fracture or at least really bad tendinitis in my legs from smashing my heel too much while using pedals. My calves and forearms have been really sore before.

Double bass seems to take too much dedication to get really good at unless you are fan of metal, and all you're doing is making the bass drum more equal to the other drums and cymbals. Hitting cymbals without causing them to break calls for a special technique (I'm including this because if you break your cymbals too often, you're not gonna be drumming often in bands). Jumping from instrument to instrument on a drum set can be tedious but also has to be very fast, like from a high tom up to the left straight to a floor tom down to the right.

I think this kind of stuff could make drums more difficult than guitar, but I think they're all issues that become nonexistent once you use decent techniques. But, the techniques are only for playing not mastery.

TL;DR-- Waaaahhhh I got a boo-boo and I have/had to learn techniques. :'(
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  #137  
Old 11-19-2013, 10:00 AM
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Default Re: Which is harder to play - drums or guitar?!

In the last 10 years I've learnt to play flute, classical guitar, bass, and now drums. They're very dificult to compare. To some extent they have all been equally hard/easy to pick up to intermediate level but the hardest to play 'well' so far as been the bass guitar. I think it has the biggest gap between 'simple and acceptable' playing and 'really worth listening to' playing. To move from one to the other requires a lot of theory and a lot of inspired practice. It's easy to be boring on the bass, and very difficult to really add something to song (but brilliant when it works well!)

Flute and classical guitar seemed to be a smooth progression from beginner to advanced.

I've only been learnng drums for less than a year and i can play simple rock beats, some more challenging latin grooves etc. but drums require something more physical than most instruments I've looked at. The flute is quite physical with breath control and mouth muscle control, but with drums it's at a whole different level. I have a feeling that the advancement from my beginner level to intermediate and onwards is going to be a really interesting, and difficult, journey.

Of course drums have something few other instruments seem to have - they're just a lot of fun! Don't underestimate how much this can make an instrument seem easier to learn.
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  #138  
Old 11-20-2013, 09:07 PM
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Default Re: Which is harder to play - drums or guitar?!

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In the last 10 years I've learnt to play flute, classical guitar, bass, and now drums. They're very dificult to compare. To some extent they have all been equally hard/easy to pick up to intermediate level but the hardest to play 'well'
I've not read most of this thread for obvious reasons.. it is very long!

But I think this is what it boils down to. Most instruments are fairly easy to get up and started with, but playing it well is a whole other thing. I say this as someone who played the Cornet at school in the school band, started playing the drums at school (20 years ago.. wow.. *shudder*), and started learning to play the piano and violin 2 years ago.

Bar none, violin is the hardest by far to get any kind of decent sound (for me at least), but I love it so I continue anyway. I wish I had started when I was a kid and eventually joined a pro orchestra, but oh well; it's nice to have something to lose myself in now. I'm hopefully taking my grade 3 early 2014.

The rest are all difficult in different ways. Piano is difficult because of the sheer amount of notes you are reading/playing at any one time across all of your fingers, but the note at least always sounds nice when you press the key. I've recently realised how much more difficult it becomes when adding the pedals, and being a drummer does not seem to be helping that!

I find drums is mostly difficult in a physical way in terms of motions and techniques, and speed, though since I've been playing so long my perspective is perhaps a little skewed.

One thing I find in common though is that they all need proper mindful dedicated practice time to improve, and relaxation and control seems to be the key.
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  #139  
Old 11-20-2013, 09:53 PM
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Default Re: Which is harder to play - drums or guitar?!

I don't think you can compare the two but one of the things that is hardest about drumming is playing the tempo just right and keeping the meter even...meaning not speeding up or slowing down, and making it feel good. Musical time....not everyone has it. It's a never ending refining process. Not everyone feels time in the same way. The leader in my trio likes his time on top and relentless most of the time. Me I like it a little less urgent, generally speaking. Depends on the song. In an ideal world, everyone would understand musical time, but in my world, only a small percentage of all musicians truly get it, and even less actually work with a metronome.

I know some really good guitar players who absolutely rely on the drummer to keep them in time and in place.
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  #140  
Old 11-20-2013, 11:24 PM
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Me I like it a little less urgent, generally speaking.
Yes, absolutely agree. listen to Miles Davies - his timing is 'less urgent'. Beautifully relaxed.
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  #141  
Old 11-20-2013, 11:49 PM
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Default Re: Which is harder to play - drums or guitar?!

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I don't think you can compare the two but one of the things that is hardest about drumming is playing the tempo just right and keeping the meter even...meaning not speeding up or slowing down, and making it feel good. Musical time....not everyone has it. It's a never ending refining process. Not everyone feels time in the same way. The leader in my trio likes his time on top and relentless most of the time. Me I like it a little less urgent, generally speaking. Depends on the song. In an ideal world, everyone would understand musical time, but in my world, only a small percentage of all musicians truly get it, and even less actually work with a metronome.

I know some really good guitar players who absolutely rely on the drummer to keep them in time and in place.
I hear that.. At a band practise not too long ago, I said at the end of the song "the time didn't feel good in that one" (I just couldn't get it to feel good, like someone was pulling or pushing against me or maybe I was having an off night). One of the members said something along the lines of "it was the right speed, what else is there" or something to that effect. I just could not get it across that the time could feel a certain way depending on how its played.
This person is very into electronic sequenced (quantized) music and I find it very hard to get across certain musical ideas to them unless it is technically specific... Nice guy but musically we are like chalk and cheese... The word "groove" does not compute...
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  #142  
Old 11-23-2013, 11:59 PM
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Default Re: Which is harder to play - drums or guitar?!

I think they are both pretty challenging...I started guitar at age 13 in 1976; I started drumming in 2009 at age 46.

It was harder to learn new songs back when I started guitar because we did not have all the videos online to watch how people did things. so from that perspective, I would say any instrument is easy toi decipher what is going on at least.

Physically, I had a very difficult time learning barre chords on guitar and overcoming the muscle memory part...and on drums, I've had at least as hard a time getting my right foot to have the control and speed I would like...and that is an ongoing hurdle..

Getting independence on drums is something that takes time to train yourself and can be frustrating due to the patience factor, but I would not say it is hard. Learning new songs on drums is, in my opinion, infinitely easier than guitar because there are less options, no chords and less tonal issues.

The real challenging part on guitar is to learn the scales and modes and effortlessly apply them in an improvisational way....and also rhythmically interesting way and in time fashion.

I would say in terms of mastery, it has been harder to get to a competent or gig "ready" level on guitar than on drums.

Finally, learning drums has been more fun than learning guitar and it should be a pre-requisite for all musicians because you really get a sense of time, time division, how certain rhythms feel and how to apply them....this is the shortcoming of many many many guitarists who think they are good....their timing, rhythm and vibrato are the indicators...even our friends on youtube who show their sweep arpeggios and lightning fast licks...if you pay attention to the feel, vibrato and rhythm....compounded by how 97% of them stop on the G-string blues box major or minor third, pull it up a half step to the mixolydian tone and then resolve on the root...terrible.

i wish I would have started on drums...I would be a much better overall musician than I am.
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  #143  
Old 11-24-2013, 07:03 AM
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Default Re: Which is harder to play drums or guitar?!?!

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Yeah, well I learned Smoke On The Water in one day, too.

I don't think it means anything that you can pick out a beat or a riff in a day.

I also think it's utterly meaningless to ask such a question. No offense, but it's just as DSCRAPRE said.

Is it harder to be an astronaut or a monk? See where this logic takes you? They're apples and oranges.
I disagree. Trying to determine which is more difficult is not the same as comparing them to one another. They do not have to be comparable to discuss which is more difficult to master. For example which is more difficult to master: driving F1 or boiling eggs?

Just because they are apples/oranges doesn't affect the conversation since we're not really comparing them to eachother.

Also, the reason you can't determine which is more difficult between astronaut and monk is because it requires technical skill to be an astronaut, but it requires something totally different to be a monk. Guitar and drums both require technical skill. Therefore we can logically debate the difficulty in mastering each of them.

When discussing difficulty, I think first it depends on whether we mean ordinary music, or extremely complex music which tests your skill to the max. And of course, the person in question would have to be equally potentially capable on both instruments to determine which is more difficult. For either instrument I believe the most dificulty is in playing in odd time signatures.

l've played guitar and drums many years, and when I watch the best drummers in jazz, prog, or metal play I am blown away yet I can mostly discern what they are doing even though I can't play it. I'm less able to do this with the best guitar players. This tells me that guitar might be the more difficult. How much so, who can say?

I have to say though, that pushing limb separation to the extreme has to be one of the most difficult excercise in all of music.
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