Are Piano And Guitar Chords Usually The Same For A Song For Solo Artists?

Define Same.

On a piano for instance all C major chords in root position (1 3 5) starting on middle C are the same three notes C E G: now on a guitar there can be a variety that the piano cannot achieve, namely, that though you could play the same C E G, you have many choices for where you play them (which strings you play them on), thus creating differing timbres (nuances to the sound of the notes)

for example:

the ‘Standard’ or ‘Open’ C Major Chord on Guitar

Now if we played the 5th, 3rd, 2nd, and 1st string in this chord it would sound as C G C E.

The same exact notes can be played in the 8th position (starting at the 8th fret) like below by playing the 6th through 2nd strings.

This chord however will have a much different timbre as the strings have a different amount of tension on them then in the lower position of the chord before.

Now back to your initial question of if piano and guitar chords are usually the same for most solo artists: Put simply yes.


Because most solo artists are not as concerned with this side of timbre as they are with providing harmony to their melodies: As in they are using the guitar or piano to support their (or someone else’s) singing, and the singing is center stage: This is not to say it never happens but it’s like writing.

I could use a long list of dramatic words to pontificate my point to the enth degree further drawing closer second by second to my end point of my argument by elaborating with whimsical use of my vocabulary to elicit subtle notes of color and affect in your imagination as I craft an image for you of the story that I am slowly and deliberately unraveling.

Or if that previous sentence seemed a bit long winded to you, I could simply write my point.

The point of language (music) is to get your point across: Most people chose the simplest path.

This answer originally appeared on this Quora question on Guitar.

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