You decided you want to learn guitar and now you wonder: is it better to learn on an acoustic or electric guitar? Despite what many would lead you to believe, it is a little more complicated than “acoustic is best”, or “electric is best”.
To find an answer for this question yourself, let’s begin by learning a little bit about both electric and acoustic guitars, and what makes them different.
Let’s start with acoustic guitars, because most professional musicians agree that starting to learn on a decent acoustic guitar is the way to go:
- An acoustic guitar is a lesser investment
- Acoustic lets you hear the ‘true’ notes. It helps you learn the music faster and you will be able to play be ear quicker
- You can’t ‘cheat’ with sloppy technique masked by distortion, as an acoustic guitar requires that you learn the techniques properly for it to sound right
- You may learn some acoustic-style fingerpicking that you won’t learn on an electric guitar
- While you are learning you wont drive you your family and neighbors mad as it’s not so loud
- You don’t depend on amplifier, cables, adjusts, controls and picks, so you can grab your guitar anytime and take it everywhere, which means you probably will practice more and get better sooner
Learn And Master An Acoustic Guitar Is Harder But You’ll Train Your Ear Better
It is in fact harder to learn an acoustic guitar as it provides more of a challenge to a beginner. An acoustic has generally a much thicker neck, and a higher action (meaning the actual distance between acoustic guitar strings to the acoustic guitar fingerboard is greater than the distance between electric guitar strings and the electric guitar fingerboard). The strings are generally thicker. This means you have to press your fingers down further with an acoustic as opposed to an electric, but that at the same time helps you building strength and dexterity in both hands and you will build your calluses on your fingers faster.
Learning Electric Guitar May Sound Cooler When You Want To Play In A Band
You may think that some music played on an acoustic guitar doesn’t sound as cool as when played with an electric guitar. Electric guitars are fun to play after you’ve learned, but the notes sound different with the electric and it will take you a while to transfer strumming and fingerstyle techniques from the acoustic to the ‘feel’ of an electric guitar . On the acoustic you hear bare bones notes so when you go to play an electric, the notes make more sense and are more recognizable.
If you start out with learning electric guitar, you will be much slower getting used to play an acoustic guitar, because after playing electric you still need more strength for an acoustic, and you don’t develop a number of techniques for obtaining certain sounds that you discover right on the acoustic.
As Long As It Has Six Strings…
Bottom line is – whether you start with an acoustic or electric doesn’t really matter, as long as it has 6 strings – there is no difference between acoustic and electric outside the obvious of the mechanics, and the above mentioned characteristics – they are played in the exact same way.
Remember, the most important is that you keep practicing in order to learn and master your guitar!