Tom Moon on the NPR Music Blog opens up the discussion about why the piano fell out of favor as the main solo instrument of rock-n-roll. Guitar, of course, is more portable, and it’s easier for the performer to get around on the stage playing the guitar. Although Jerry Lee Lewis does quite a bit of dancing, he still has to remain within arms reach of the keyboard.
But I wonder if piano might require just a little bit more from the performer. Teens pick up guitar and quickly learn to strum a few chords so they can play with their garage band friends, but pianists generally start lessons as children. Elton John and Billy Joel both studied piano from an early age. Billy Joel studied piano with a Juilliard grad (his father was a classical pianist) and Elton John began piano at age 3 and won a junior scholarship to the Royal Academy of Music, London, at age 11! How many boys are taking piano lessons in your neighborhood?