Beginners 101 : Electric Guitar Vs Acoustic Guitar

Beginners 101 : Electric Guitar Vs Acoustic Guitar

Acoustic Or Electric - What's Right For You?   
The first step when choosing your first guitar is to decide what kind of guitar you want to play. When you envision yourself rocking out or learning new songs, what do you see yourself holding? If you dream of scorching towers of amps stacks and pyrotechnics, start with an electric. If you see yourself as more of a coffeehouse singer-songwriter, get an acoustic.

Conventional wisdom often points to getting acoustic for starters, but far more important is to get a guitar that will keep you inspired to play. Similarly, while there are plenty of extremely budget-friendly options out there, often it's worth springing for a slightly more expensive guitar as the improved playability will do much to keep you playing more and more.
Genre: The choice can be quickly narrowed if you already know the genre of music you want to play by matching the guitar to the musical style.The sound will be close to what you are envisioning and make playing more enjoyable and likely lead to earlier success.

To help you out on some key tips on what guitar you should buy:
First, ask yourself the question what style of music you want to play?
(A) Do you want to play rock, blues rock or metal? (U2, Metallica, Red Hot Chili Peppers)
(B) Do you want to play singer-songwriters music? (Eagles, John Mayer, Jack Johnson)
(C) Do you want to play classical music? (Andrés Segovia, John Williams, Julian Bream)

  • If you choose (A) buy yourself an electric guitar.
  • If you choose (B) buy a steel string acoustic guitar.
  • If you choose (C) buy a classical guitar.
Deciding which instrument to start with can be pretty simple if you think in terms of style!
So here you go : 
  • If you want to play rock: buy an electric.
  • If you want to play classical: buy a nylon string classical guitar.
  • If you want to play folk: buy a steel string acoustic.
  • However, if you only have a very small budget, don't buy an acoustic.
  • If you are not really sure, get an electric.
Choosing a Guitar: Electric vs. Acoustic
  • It will depend on your learning goals or the types of music you want to be able to play.
  • If you’re wanting to rock out and crank up the distortion, then you’ll obviously want to buy an electric.
  • If you want to be able to strum along to your favorite songs on the radio, then you probably want to buy an acoustic.
  • Learning on acoustic guitar can be cheaper because you only have to worry about buying the guitar and tuner and don’t have to worry about buying an amp, cables, effects, power supplies, etc


Electric Guitar Advantages:

Because strings are generally a lighter gauge (thinner), they are easier on any soreness you might experience in your fingers when you first learn guitar.

Electric guitars are generally the easiest to play: the strings are thinner, the ‘action' is and therefore they are easier to press down. Barre chords on acoustic guitar can be very demanding and require a lot of finger strength. Cheaper acoustic guitars can be very hard to play higher up the fretboard.

Diverse sounds: because a lot of your guitar tone is shaped by your amp or pedals, you’re not locked into one type of sound like you would be with an acoustic guitar
The electric guitar is expandable with amps and hundreds of different pedals for creating great sounds. It is fairly easy to play because of the small neck and light gauge strings. You can also play really quiet if you unplug the guitar. This way you don’t bother anyone, but you can still play.

Volume: with a multi-effects unit and some headphones, you can play as loud as you want without disturbing your neighbors
Note that ‘semi-acoustics' are not really acoustic, they are electric guitars with a semi-hollow body, and so are sometimes confusingly referred to as semi-acoustics. However, they play like electrics.

Acoustic Guitar Advantages
Many teaching purists will passionately recommend new players start with an acoustic. And with good reason. You learn the connection between attack and tone much more quickly with an acoustic. For players who strive to jump into the world singer-songwriter stylings or cozy up next to a campfire, starting with an acoustic is the natural choice.
Potentially cheaper to learn on because you don’t have to worry about a lot of extra equipment.

Extremely PORTABLE
Stylistically versatile: for example, you can still play “rock” songs, even though it won’t sound exactly the same, while also having the option to fingerpick the blues or a classical guitar piece.

A steel string acoustic guitar or a classical guitar doesn’t need amplification. The body of the guitar serves as an amplifier so you are all set with just the guitar. The Steel string guitar sounds great without hassle. Don’t you just love simplicity?

Acoustic w/Steel Strings - our pick as best choice for the first-timer.  The portability and flexibility of musical styles that can be played on an acoustic gives it the edge.  There’s an added benefit: once you can play the steel-stringed acoustic, you can more easily switch to nylon strings or electric guitar.  Unfortunately, that’s because the acoustic’s steel strings are more difficult on your fingers. 

Simply, an electro-acoustic guitar look exactly like an acoustic, and really they are. So what's the added benefit of an electro-acoustic? Electro-Acoustic guitars can be played as any acoustic, but also allow you to plug them into an amplifier, effects pedal and other recording equipment. They're just more versatile - fitted with pickups, a microphone or transducers, it makes them more convenient for live performances
Also note that electro-acoustics are not electric guitars. They are acoustic instruments with electronics fitted so that they can be amplified, but you would not normally need to plug them in to get a good sound out of them.



Beginner nylon-string orcenterssical acoustics are an extremely popular route for first-time players. There are several reasons for this. For one, the smaller bodies of these guitars can be especially inviting for younger players. Nylon string guitars have wider necks with more spacing between each string which can make landing your finger in the right place much easier. Most of all though, the nylon strings themselves are softer and easier to press down, which is one area new guitarists frequently have trouble with. Classical guitars have nylon strings, which are softer than steel strings, and easier to press down. However, the neck is much wider on a classical guitar, which can be a struggle for beginners. The action is likely to be higher, as well. In general, they are softer-toned and don't project as well as a steel string acoustic, which makes for quieter practicing, which could be a consideration.

While nylon string guitaleftre a great choice for beginners, their tone can be a bit limiting when taking the next steps in your progression as a player. For something that covers the sounds of contemporary popular music, a steel string acoustic is far more practical. There may be a slightly longer learning curve to getting your fingering just right, but once mastered, a steel string acoustic can carry you through a wide range of diverse playing styles and musical genres. They are lightweight, small and easier to play, with a mellower sound than traditional acoustic guitars. 

They are also available in even smaller  sizes (1/2 and 1/4) which are perfect for the little ones, too! They're usually cheaper, so perfect for those who just want a casual instrument to play and are perhaps unsure how seriously they'll dedicate themselves to it. Having said that, the more high-end models can be very expensive and are suited for professional musicians, especially those who indeed play classical music! 




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  • Clement Hua
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