Piano most popular

August 29, 2012, 1:54 PM GMT+0

Are you a guitar hero? Poll: Piano, guitar & sax instruments Britons would most like to play well

The piano, the guitar and the saxophone have come out on top as the three most popular instruments that Britons would like to play well, our poll has found.

Expertise on the black and white keys was significantly favoured, particularly among women, while for men playing the piano and the guitar were valued equally.

Wind instruments managed to scrape in third with just over one in twenty wishing they could play the saxophone, only just winning more support than the drums.

When asked to choose from a list of instruments which one they would most like to be able to play well, the piano came out on top, followed by the guitar and the saxophone.

  • 36% said they'd like to be proficient on the piano, making it the most popular choice from our list of instruments
  • Just under a quarter (23%) say their choice of instrument would be the guitar
  • The saxophone scraped in at third favourite with 6%

When considering the remaining instruments listed ‒ wind, percussion and strings came out equally, with the fourth favourite being the drums at 5%, followed by the violin with 3% and the clarinet with 2%.

Only 1% would choose to play a string instrument like the cello, harp, or banjo.

Less common instruments such as the accordion or the bagpipes each received a 1% share of votes; while 0% said that they'd most like to play the oboe, the tuba, or the xylophone.

Men lean more towards guitar

While piano came out on top overall, significantly more women voted in favour, while men were evenly divided between piano and guitar.

  • 44% women voted piano as the instrument they would most like to play well, while just 28% of men said the same
  • Meanwhile, 29% of men wanted to be great at guitar, compared to 16% of women

There is also a noticeable difference in age, with higher age groups in favour of piano over the guitar, in particular those over the age of 60.

Why is the piano so popular?

Music blog ‘Piano Sage’ claims that the piano is making a comeback, in part inspired by popular Chinese pianist Lang Lang, who is touring Europe and various cities in the United States over the next two months. Gaining in popularity in the UK, Lang took part in a number of high-profile events in the UK this year, including playing at the Queen's Diamond Jubilee concert, and carrying the Olympic flame for a time on the relay's 65th day, as part of its London route into the Stratford Olympic Park.

On a less-starry level, however, piano is also reportedly the most popular instrument in the classical music field, with data from the Associated Board of the Royal Schools of Music revealing the number of piano exam entries to be the highest by a substantial amount compared to other instruments.

See the survey details and full results here