Guitar Vs Violin – Which Instrument Should You Learn?

Learning to play an instrument for the first time can be extremely exciting and fun. Still, you might not know which instrument you want to play just yet.

In this post, I’ll be narrowing down your options. I’ll talk about the differences between guitars and violins. This way you can choose the instrument that is ideal for you.

Both the violin and the guitar have their pros and cons. Some people might be better suited for guitar vs a violin. Or someone might be more suited for a violin vs a guitar.

Here, though, you’ll be able to find out all about these popular instruments!

Guitar vs Violin – Which Instrument Should You Learn?

So which instrument should you pick up first?

When deciding between these two instruments, there is a lot to consider. However, most of the decision comes down to preference.

Types Of Music

You need to consider which type of music you want to play. Violin and guitars make vastly different types of music. So, this is very important to consider before picking up either instrument.

For instance, the violin is ideal if you want to play an instrument that is more geared to classical types of music.

Violin can be used to play other types of music. But, it will give off a classical vibe as you play. If you are into this type of sound then you might be better off with the violin.

Guitar, on the other hand, can play a lot more different styles.

Level Of Difficulty

Furthermore, consider the level of difficulty. Violin is a hard instrument to learn, and it will take longer to get good at this instrument.

You still have to practice a lot to become good at guitar. However, learning the basics of a guitar is much easier than learning the basics of the violin.

If you have the time, then learning the violin can be rewarding. But, if you want to get good at an instrument more quickly guitar might be for you.

Again, though, choose what you think is best suited to your tastes. And, read on to the next sections to get more information about each instrument before you make a final choice.

Reviewing The Guitar

Video: “Basic Guitar Physics or How the Guitar Really Works”

When deciding to play music, the guitar is chosen by many new musicians. Guitars are versatile and are played all around the world. Of course, there is a level of difficulty present.

Especially if you want to get really good at guitar you need to take the time to learn how to play. However, almost anyone can learn the basics of this instrument and play a few songs.

This is what makes the guitar so popular with people learning music for the first time!

Reviewing the basics, guitars have six strings and can be played with your fingers or a pick. Rhythm and timing are key for this instrument.

But with a metronome and a teacher, you can pick up on these things more easily. The guitar comes in all kinds of fun shapes, sizes, and types. You can also get a beginner guitar for an affordable price.

Guitars can also be bought as an acoustic instrument or as an electric instrument. Acoustic guitars give off a more classical vibe. While electric guitars are plugged into amps.

The types of music you can play with either type of guitar varies wildly. From pop music to country, to rock and even jazz.

Really, the incredible range of ways you can play the guitar makes it one of the best instruments to play!

  • Easier to learn how to play this instrument for beginners
  • Lots of versatility in sound and genres
  • Can buy this instrument for an affordable price
  • Can practice this instrument quietly
  • Plenty of guitar types to choose from
  • Can be hard to pick out which type of guitar style you want to learn
  • Guitars and guitar equipment can get expensive down the line

Reviewing The Violin

Video: “How The Violin Works”

Like the guitar, the violin is another stringed instrument. However, instead of using a pick or your fingers, you primarily use a bow to make music. Violin is usually used to play classical music.

But, it is also used in folk, country, and jazz music. The genre options are not as wide as other instruments. But, you can still make amazing music with this instrument.

Violin has been around for hundreds of years. It has maintained steady popularity over the years all around the world, like the guitar. But, it takes a lot of time to master the basics of the violin.

Unlike a lot of other instruments, you won’t be able to master the basics of the violin right away. In fact, in-person lessons are highly suggested for this instrument.

In terms of violins themselves, these are smaller instruments with some variety. You can get an electric violin, but these types of violins are not as popular. Violins also come in a few different colors and are made from solid woods.

On the whole, good violins can get quite expensive. So you have to be willing to make an investment for this type of instrument.

  • You can create beautiful music with this instrument
  • Violin is easy to carry around
  • Violins creates a lot of different ranges and tones
  • Violin is a well-respected instrument
  • A difficult instrument for new musicians to play
  • Can be very expensive to get a violin
  • Limited genres and sound options

Key Differences Between Violins and Guitars

There are many differences between the guitar and the violin. In this final section, I’ll go over the key difference you should know.

This way you can make a decision about which instrument you want to play!


The Difficulty Level

As I have mentioned throughout this article, the violin can be much harder to play. New musicians will struggle to make a violin sound good without the right technique.

With guitar, though, it is much easier to play a few notes and learn how to play chords well. This really sets these two instruments apart at the outset. It is not that you can’t learn how to play the violin well.

But, at the beginning at least, it will take a lot more time and effort to get good at the violin. In comparison, you can learn guitar a lot faster!


Sound Level

Another thing to consider is the sound level. Both instruments can be quite loud of course. However, the guitar can be played softer or turned down with the use of an amp. Violins do not have this same option.

The bow of a violin creates loud and resounding sounds that are hard to muffle. If you want to practice a lot but live in a quiet neighborhood, this could be a problem.

Since it will take a while before you learn to play well, the loud sounds of the violin could be annoying. Especially to friends, roommates, or family members. So consider this before you go out and get a violin.


Playing These Instruments

The way you play these instruments is fundamentally different, as well. Guitar and violin are both stringed instruments. But guitars have frets while violins do not. Frets help musicians know where to put their fingers to play certain notes.

This is useful for beginners. Unfortunately, violins do not have frets. This is what can make it so hard to learn the violin at first, and what can lead to many beginners’ mistakes.

In addition, the violin has four strings, while the guitar has six strings. How these strings are played differs, as well. Violin strings can be plucked with the fingers.

But, usually, violinists use their bows to string together notes. The bow goes over the strings to produce music. And, it is pretty easy to press into the strings.

Guitarists, on the other hand, use their fingers to pluck together individual notes. Or, they use a pick to strum chords in a rhythmic manner.

It can be harder to press into the thick strings of a guitar. But finger strength builds over time. One style is not better or worse.

But the guitar and the violin require different techniques. And usually, violin techniques are harder to get a handle on.


Learning Resources

You can learn how to play either instrument on your own. However, the resources for learning guitar are much more vast than the violin. You can find countless videos, books, and online tutorials for guitar playing.

And, a lot of these resources are made available for free. There are ways to learn violin online, as well. But, for the most part, you will have to pay money to find good violin resources.

For people who want to save money, the violin might not be ideal in this regard. Not everyone has the time or money for weekly in-person lessons.

The guitar can be self-taught much more easily, especially with all the learning resources available online and for free.


Music Genres

There is no doubt that both instruments have a lot to offer for potential musicians. Still, the violin is not quite as versatile as the guitar.

You can play a lot of different music on the violin. But, on the guitar, you can play even more genres of music. Especially when you are starting out in music, the versatility of the guitar can be helpful. You might not want to stick to one genre at first.

Guitar lets you experiment with your sound. And there are lots of different types of guitars to choose from to create this sound.

Violin is not limited to classical music, as I mentioned before. But, you won’t be able to dip your toes in every genre like you would with a guitar.


The Convenience Level of Each Instrument

Both the guitar and the violin have their own pros and cons. In some aspects, the guitar can be more convenient than the violin. In other instances, the violin can be more convenient than having a guitar.

For instance, the violin is much smaller than most guitars. It is less of a hassle to travel with a violin, and easier to carry this small instrument to lessons or practice sessions.

A guitar, on the other hand, is much heavier and larger. And if you have an electric guitar it can be hard to move your amp and other equipment around.

However, the violin still has its own inconveniences. Violins are not soft instruments. They can be extremely loud, in fact.

If you plan on getting a violin you might need a soundproof room. Or a room that will help lower the amount of noise coming from your instrument.

Guitars are loud instruments, but they are convenient in that you can play them softly. Electric guitars can even be played with headphones or on a lower amp setting.

For people with housemates or neighbors, a guitar might be the more convenient option.

Again, both instruments have their pros and cons. So consider what might be convenient or inconvenient about the instrument you have chosen.


Guitars and violins can help get you started on your musical journey. But, one instrument might be more ideal for you than the other.

In this post, I went over the differences between the guitar vs violin. There are many key differences to be aware of when purchasing these instruments.

Part of this has to do with the difficulty level and versatility of each instrument. The guitar is much easier to play for a beginner than the violin. And the guitar also has more instrument options and genre options than the violin.

Still, this does not take the violin out of the running. The violin is a classical instrument with hundreds of years of history.

It is compact, richly toned, and makes some of the world’s most beautiful music. And, if you can get the basics down, you will acquire a lifelong skillset that can change your life!

Overall, both instruments have things to love and hate about them. But, going over this post, you can see what makes each instrument worth investing in.

Juan Stansbury
Juan Stansbury

I'm Juan Stansbury, author and owner of Homerecordio – your ultimate destination for everything about homerecording. With hands-on experience, courses, workshops, and industry research, I offer tips on selecting the best equipment, and mixing and mastering your recordings to achieve professional-quality results at home. Join me on this journey to explore the world of homerecording and music production.

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