Why is Guitar so difficult to understand?

Why is guitar so difficult?

I have been noticing a trend among some of my recent new students. Several of these students are also piano players. And they have been having a difficult time getting their head around the construction of the guitar. After some pondering, I created this graphic to help illustrate some of the differences between a guitar and a piano. Not sure that it helps, but it does definitely inform!

Piano, brass and woodwind instruments all share a particular characteristic: they are two dimensional. The notes/keys are arranged in a line.

The guitar, however, is a 3 dimensional instrument. It has both X and Y axes. That can seriously complicate one’s understanding of the instrument.

And for a Piano player, wow can it get confusing. A guitar is basically a set of 6 different keyboards, one for each string. But each string / keyboard is offset from the other. So rather than the keyboard tower at Arvada Guitar, which is nicely lined up to facilitate performance…

Arvada Guitar Keyboard Tower

… we end up with a set of 6 keyboards, each staggered like this:
Why is Guitar so difficult to understand?


Wow! No wonder people find the Guitar to be confusing!