How Many Instruments Can Lady Gaga Play?

instruments Lady Gaga play lg

The “Princess of Pop”, Lady Gaga, is known for her experimental approach to pop music. And she is a multi-talented artist who can play several instruments. But how many instruments can Lady Gaga play?

Here is what I have discovered:

Lady Gaga can play at least 4 instruments, including the piano (which she is a master at), acoustic guitar, drums, and keytar, which is a keyboard worn around the neck like a guitar.

While she has had formal training in piano lessons, her skills on other instruments are not that impressive.

The piano is Lady Gaga’s favorite, but she also incorporates guitars and other instruments in her acts, although it is not clear how well she can play them. It’s almost like she uses them as a stage prop.

But of course, her shows are quite the extravaganza, and she has a full band that is very talented, allowing her to focus on different aspects of her performance.

Let us see how good she is at playing these instruments:

Is Lady Gaga classically trained?

Lady Gaga is a classically trained singer who completed her training under vocal coach Don Lawrence. Additionally, she is also a classically trained pianist who began taking lessons at age 4 and continued throughout her youth.

Lady Gaga has always been musically inclined.

She developed an interest in music when she was a child and received classical training for piano to complete her knowledge. By the time she was 11, she started playing in bands.

She sang classic rock covers in a band called Mackin Pulsifer and explored the music of Led Zeppelin, Pink Floyd, and Jefferson Airplane.

At 13, she wrote her first piano ballad, “To Love Again”, and met voice teacher Don Lawrence next year.

Lady Gaga told a magazine:

“I was singing to myself in a shop down the street from my house when the store owner, who happened to also be a musician, pulled me aside and slipped a phone number in my hand. He told me his uncle was a highly respected voice teacher who he thought would like to work with me. I called him up and remembered his words, “I work with Grammy Award Winner Christina Aguilera, Bono of U2, Mick Jagger, and as the list got larger, I got more excited.”

At 17, Gaga was among the rare candidates who gained early admission to the New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts, where she studied music and theatre.

Gaga soon withdrew from the university to pursue music full-time.

Can Lady Gaga play guitar?

Lady Gaga can play basic chords on the guitar. But she is not a skilled guitarist. The songs most known for her guitar playing in concert are “Million Reasons” and “A-Yo”. She did play guitar on the studio recording of “A-Yo” as well.

18-year-old Stefani Joanne Angelina Germanotta, aka Lady Gaga, quit school and left her parents’ house to pursue a career in music.

In an agreement with her parents, she was given a year to be signed by a record label, or she would have to return to the university.

Frankie Fredericks, a friend of hers from NYU, became her first manager and helped her book her first paid show. During the summer, she initially began playing piano-heavy solo songs.

But over the years, once she found success, she pushed herself to try guitar playing. So she went ahead and wrote two completely guitar-driven songs called “Million Reasons” and “A-Yo”.

The music video for her 2016 hit Million Reasons showed her playing the guitar. But she isn’t actually credited on guitar for the recording of that song.

However, according to Celebanswers:

“That video isn’t a relevant reflection of her guitar skills. Hillary Lindsey and Mark Ronson were listed as guitar players on this track, so it’s highly likely she just did it for the aesthetics.”

But contrary to this statement, Lady Gaga demonstrated her guitar skills during her 2016 AMA awards and 2017 Joanne World Tour delivering heart-wrenching performances of that song.

Lady Gaga may not be an incredibly skilled guitarist, but videos prove that she can play guitar in the first place. She learned a couple of basic chords, and being a leftie, she played a regular guitar.

Does Lady Gaga play piano on her records with Tony Bennett?

Lady Gaga did not play piano on her records with Tony Bennett. The piano duties on 2014’s album Cheek to Cheek were handled by players Mike Renzi and Tom Ranier. 

And Alex Smith played piano for their live concerts together.

Lady Gaga collaborated with American Singer Tony Bennett for her album Cheek to Cheek, released in 2014 by Columbia and Interscope Records.

And they collaborated again in 2021 on the album Love for Sale.

Bennett and Gaga first met at the Robin Hood Foundation Gala in 2011, and the two later came together to record a rendition of the track “The Lady is a Tramp”.

During this time, both discussed Gaga’s plan to collaborate for a new project which resulted in Cheek to Cheek. When the production began, Tony constantly guided Gaga during the recordings.

According to Gaga, Tony Bennett taught her the subtleties in music which she gravely missed because her life has been noisy.

Here is what Lady Gaga said:

“It’s a lot harder to sing with autotune, in a way, you know? It’s a lot harder to sing with rigid electronic music and lots of spectacles. It can be very difficult because it’s not always extremely natural.”

Wondering to what extent Lady Gaga has used autotune in her music?

Read my recent article to find out how she believed autotune never allowed her to realize her presence. But has she always used it? And does she still use it?

Just click that link to read it on my site.

What instrument did Lady Gaga learn first?

Lady Gaga’s first instrument was the piano, which she began learning at age 4. She continued taking piano lessons throughout her childhood.

Various sources confirm that Lady Gaga’s songwriting process usually starts at the piano. She once told a magazine, “all good music can be played at a piano and still sound like a hit.”

In addition, Lady Gaga also told MTV:

“I am good at piano, so my first instincts are to work so hard at practicing piano. I am a natural musician. That is the first thing I am the greatest at.”

The same can be said about her award-winning track “Shallow” from the movie “A Star Is Born”. While she does not play piano on the recording of that song, she does play piano live when she performs it.

Lady Gaga delivered a fantastic rendition of “Shallow” on piano at the 2019 Oscar awards alongside her co-star Bradley Cooper. She picked up the best award for Best Original Song.

It is no surprise that fame didn’t come easy to Lady Gaga.

She has spent years honing her skills. And a significant part of her memorable performances can be credited to her piano skills.

She has a natural flair for it as it was the first instrument she learned.

How did Lady Gaga learn to play the piano?

Lady Gaga began taking piano lessons at age 4 after her mother discovered she had a natural talent for piano and could hear the music in her head naturally.

According to InStyle, Stefani Germanotta’s (aka Lady Gaga) Mother, Cynthia Germanotta, wanted Stefani to learn piano by ear at home when she was young.

But, according to the singer’s biography written by Paula Johanson, she started taking piano lessons because her mother wanted her to be a cultured woman.

But really, both can be true.

One thing is sure, Lady Gaga’s interest in music grew stronger when her father promised to buy a baby grand piano if she learned how to play Bruce Springsteen’s Thunder Road.

After this, her piano lessons were intense, and sometimes she got emotional while playing classical pieces.

In one instance, Gaga’s teacher tied her wrists together because she was very floppy with her hands as she was moving.

Lady Gaga - Million Reasons Live at AMA's 2016

Conclusion

Born Stefani Joanne Angelina Germanotta, music has always played a significant impact in Lady Gaga’s life.

From early childhood, she showed a keen interest in singing and piano.

She would perform at open mic nights and dive bars as a teenager. While she dedicatedly focused on singing, her mother and father were the first ones to push her interest into learning instruments.

She began learning piano at age 4 and excelled at it.

Later in life, she also developed an interest in playing guitar and even drums. But Lady Gaga never really learned these instruments to the same level she did piano.

As of now, the piano is her go-to instrument.


Photo which requires attribution:

Lady Gaga by Adrian Thomson is licensed under CC2.0 and was cropped, edited, and had a text overlay added.

Jeff Campbell

Hi, I'm Jeff Campbell, a former DJ, music journalist, musician, and music lover. I'm old enough to have seen all the cool bands and young enough to still remember them.

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