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Are guitars inherently more expressive than Keyboards?

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  • Are guitars inherently more expressive than Keyboards?

    Got the idea for this topic from an editorial by Paul White in Sound on Sound magazine. I won't prejudice your thinking by quoting what he said...but does the ability to massage strings on a guitar beat being able hit keys on a keyboard? Or maybe a sax is even more expressive than both...

    Any opnions?
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  • #2
    Originally posted by Anderton
    does the ability to massage strings on a guitar beat being able hit keys on a keyboard?


    yes. Any other question ?
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    • #3
      Seems like a good time to pop up from the keys forum and chime in... I think it really, really depends on who's playing the guitar and keyboard, respectively. You could say that the guitar is maybe inherently more expressive, since a guitar doesn't require hours of programming. But with some good synth programming and decent use of aftertouch, mod wheel, control pedal and maybe breath control, combined with excellent playing technique, I would say keyboards can be as expressive as an any "analog" instrument if you get the drift...
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      • #4
        No.

        How expressive either instrument is will depend on the talent of the person playing it.

        I have been told that I can be equally expressive on my guitar or my organ.
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        • #5
          Guitars are more expressive.

          If a child hits a key it sounds the same as Jan Hammer hitting a key.

          That's not true of a guitar
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          • #6
            Or Richard Clayderman
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            • #7
              Depends on who's behind it, but often guitars are easier to express emotions as you can bend strings etc...but that's coming from a guitarist
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              • #8
                A big greasy Hammond with a leslie attached in the hands of a master can floor me every time.

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                • #9
                  To me, each instrument has its own virtues and limitations. For the ability to play both accompaniment and melody at the same time, it's hard to beat a keyboard, although it's possible to do on guitar, it's arguably more difficult.

                  Wind instruments, although expressive, lack the ability to play chords (unless you're talking bagpipes or harmonicas)

                  Everything's a tradeoff...(shrug)
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                  • #10
                    As a guitarist, I can state unequivocably that I've never seen a guitar or a keyboard be expressive in the slightest. In fact, I think I would have been spooked if they began expressing anything. Probably something like, "Get OUT!!", or the like, right?

                    And, yes, it does sound different if a child hits Richard Clayderman, than if it is done by a classically trained adult.
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                    • #11
                      Depends how old the child is, and how much he weighs.
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                      • #12
                        For me it's always gonna seem a guitar is more expressive. However now at this point in time I'm spending much less time playing guitar and more and more with keyboards I'm intrigued at how expressive one can get with a keyboard. Guitar expressive and keyboard expressive are two different realms.
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                        • #13
                          No, they just are basic to pop music and define that genre best.
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                          • #14
                            guitars offer more direct control over the timbral qualities of a single note.

                            that only entails "more expressive" in a limited sense.

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                            • #15
                              Depends on the player; depends on the listener.

                              Being a guitar player, my initial reaction was "sure, guitar's definitely the more expressive of the two." Mainly because of the directness of the instrument. Your fingers are touching the strings DIRECTLY and you can do things like impart vibrato, bends and things which are tougher (or at least require some advance preparation) on keyboard instruments.

                              But then I think about this friend of mine who is a concert pianist. When she plays something like Tchaikovsky's Concerto #1 and I just instantly crap my pants. That is so unbelieveably expressive to me, even though it's the expression of someone else's music.

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