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Will learning to play another instrument help me to become a better guitarist?

Is there any studies on transfer effect in musical training? Or does someone have any experiences regarding this? First, let me try to make it clear what I mean by transfer effect. Consider this example:

Ex: Person A has studied alot of mathematics, while person B has spent time studying history. Let person A and B be twins so we dont get genetic factors involved. Then both person A and B wants to study physics. Person A will probably get a firm grasp of physics more easy, because of similarties with math. (it uses alot of math)

Is there such things in music too? I play drums (not played that long, but I am making progress), but I also like melodic instruments like piano, guitar etc ... So after some time, maybe years, will it be more easy for me to learn a second instrument if I want?


1 Answer 1


Yes and no. Whenever you learn an instrument, you're really learning two closely related things: how to make music, and how to make music with your instrument. What I find as I merrily hop from instrument to instrument is that I can envision the sounds that I want to make, but I lack the skill with the instrument to create those sounds.

Moving within a class of instruments (e.g. marimba to vibraphone or piano to other keyboard instruments) is much easier than moving across classes (e.g. piano to snare drum). However, even in the latter case, having developed a general sense of musicality does help focus practice and help you learn faster, despite the lack of shared techniques.

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