I have heard of 1 thing to do to make your music less pianocentric. That is to play other instruments. Thing is my commitment to guitar has always been on and off and while with an acoustic I don't really have to worry about sore fingers, with an electric guitar(which I most often play as I would an acoustic(so no amps, just strumming and plucking with my fingers)) I often don't know until the next day that I played for too long.

And it takes weeks for me to really develop the guitarist callous and be able to play guitar for longer. Also, I find writing for violin to be easier than writing for guitar. Maybe it is because like all my piano practice was classical music.

Yeah, I bet that is at least part of why I find writing for violin easier. I am planning on composing a country song for a trio of piano, guitar, and violin. And like I said the one thing I keep hearing is "Play more instruments. It will get easier as you get more advanced in more instruments."

But if it took me like 6-7 years to be super advanced at the piano and almost another 3 years to be comfortable playing super fast and not hit a tempo wall, I can't imagine how long it would take for me to get to advanced level guitar, especially with my on and off commitment to the guitar and almost constant commitment to the piano. 1 up side of having played the piano first is I can have a wide span between frets which is why I am able to play an open position Bb major chord with ease.

But I don't want to wait until I am better at guitar to compose music involving the guitar. So if I am only beginner level at guitar and thus can't really get into the guitarist mindset, how can I avoid writing music for the guitar that would really be more suited to the piano than anything else(such as close position 7th chords just as an example)?

  • How the heck does a guitarist become piano centric in the first place?
    – user50691
    Jan 7, 2019 at 16:24
  • 1
    Did you not read most of the question? I'm only a beginner guitarist and I am super advanced at the piano. This being super advanced at the piano is most likely why my music turns out pianocentric.
    – Caters
    Jan 7, 2019 at 17:04
  • "Super advanced". What does that mean? Are you driven by technique or sound? Do you think you would be "pianocentric" on the sax or violin?
    – user50691
    Jan 7, 2019 at 17:18
  • Why would close position 7th chords not be suitable on guitar? Unless I misunderstood your last comment.
    – user50691
    Jan 7, 2019 at 17:21
  • @ggcg - Close position 7th chords with the lowest E as the root are unplayable with standard tuning.
    – Dekkadeci
    Jan 9, 2019 at 1:35

3 Answers 3


Look up the scores of idiomatic guitar pieces (Tárrega's a good composer for this--he incorporates advanced guitar-specific techniques into his pieces). Listen to them, too. Do this for several, if not 100+, such pieces. Find trends between them.

Failing that, listen to pieces written for ensembles that include a guitar, and pay specific attention to the guitar part. If you've got the chops and you don't have the sheet music, transcribe the guitar part.

Failing that, listen to guitar solos in arrangements of other pieces. Chances are, the guitar solo was one of the only sections that the arranger made up instead of extracted from music more suited for other instruments, and the solo will be written so it's playable on guitar in a spur-of-the-moment style (i.e. it's more idiomatic for guitar). (This happens to me fairly often for remixes of video game themes.)

Solo guitar transcriptions of other pieces are OK resources to listen to and/or read if you can catch the differences between them and the original pieces. The differences can highlight the limitations of the guitar.

  • I basically haven't done my above tips often enough, which is why I'm currently afraid to write a piece for solo guitar.
    – Dekkadeci
    Jan 6, 2019 at 16:20

as you want to compose a country song it will be sufficient to note the chords for the guitar and if there's a solo you should have trust to the guitarist and give him the liberty to improvise a solo. on the other hand as you are a good pianist you can write a counterpoint with a second tune for the guitar imitating or responding to the motifs of the piano voicing and fill-ins where the piano is resting or holding long notes. here you will find a collection of piano riffs https://www.8notes.com/school/riffs/piano/adele_someone_like_you.asp you don't need to be a guitar player you can just look for guitar riffs and licks:

https://www.guitarhabits.com/top-25-easy-guitar-riffs-and-intros/ https://ch.images.search.yahoo.com/search/images;?p=guitar%20riffs%20for%20beginners


If all else fails (previous answers) listen to an orchestral arrangement or even a band one, then try to create your piece for an orchestra or band (one note per instrument). Then, try to combine the parts, making sure you don't make it impossible to play. If it turns out that way, try to invert the chord (better to have to shift/move a lot than to not be able to play at all).

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