Acoustic vs. Electric: 3 Great Tips for Guitar Beginners!

Last Updated on October 29, 2023 by AG

Dive deep with me into one of the classic dilemmas every budding guitarist faces: Should you kick off with an acoustic or go electric from the start?

Probably you’ve got your heart set on playing an electric guitar, right? But everyone keeps telling you to start with the acoustic. Now you are confused.

Let’s unravel this mystery together. We’ll weigh the pros of starting with those unplugged acoustics versus diving straight into electric feels. By the end, you’ll have the clarity to make a choice that’s 100% yours.

Why Some Say Acoustic First

There’s a pretty popular rumor going around that says you should master the acoustic before you even think about an electric guitar. But is there any truth to it?

  • Foundational Skills: Acoustic guitars can be fabulous for learning those foundational chords. It did wonders for me!
  • Raw Sound: With acoustic, what you play is what you get. It teaches you to be raw and authentic.
  • Strength & Technique: Acoustics require a little more finger strength. So it can help you build up those guitar muscles.

But let’s keep it real. Just because it worked for some doesn’t mean it’s the golden rule. 

Electric from the Start? Yes, You Can!

Dreaming of being in a band? Or just love the edgy sound of the electric? Go for it!

  • Versatility: Electric guitars offer a diverse range of tones and sounds. Perfect for those who love to experiment.
  • Easier Play: Generally, electric guitars can be a bit gentler on your fingertips. A plus for the newbies.
  • Immediate Band Vibes: If you’re gearing up for a band, starting electric makes sense.

Oh, and by the way, you don’t need to master acoustic first. Your journey is unique, and so are you! And, music is all about having fun and feeling the music, isn’t it? So choose the guitar that you are going to pick up more often, otherwise, how will you ever master it?

Best of Both Worlds?

Why not both? If your budget allows it, you can have both at home, give each a try. Maybe the acoustic feels right on some days, and on others, you’re all about that electric mood. And if you need to make a decision, visit a store and jam out on both.

I love the sound of an acoustic, so I play it more often than electric. But sometimes if the mood strikes I get out the electric one. Everyone’s journey is unique, just like their style.

It’s all about what feels right in your heart and your hands. Whether you start strumming acoustic guitar in a sunlit room or rocking out on an electric under neon lights, just do it.

For those of you that still are unsure what’s right for you, let’s get into a little more detail about the perks of each.

Why Start with the Acoustic Guitar?

For all of you dreaming about those guitar strings and melodies, let’s shine a light on why some people are all about starting with that unplugged acoustic magic.

1. Get Intimate with the Guitar Anatomy

Both acoustic and electric guitars share a lot in common when it comes to their structure – think of the neck, fretboard, and all the parts in between. Learning on an acoustic can be like getting to know your first love: raw, unfiltered, and authentic. It offers a clearer understanding of the guitar basics, like the differences between frets, the clean positioning of your fingers, and how those small changes impact your tunes. And trust me, this knowledge is golden when you switch to electric or even other string instruments.

2. Expand Your Musical Universe

Or maybe you’re curious about diving into the world of violins or 12-string guitars. Acoustic skills are a foundation that prepares you for so much more. And honestly, versatility is the key to slaying in the music world.

3. All About That Studio Magic

Think about those soulful ballads you love—songs like “Hotel California” by The Eagles. Can you imagine those mellow intros with electric vibes? Sometimes, the pure, raw essence of acoustic is what we crave in a studio, especially for softer or introspective parts.

4. Accompanying Yourself and Songwriting

It can be nice to just pick up your guitar and let the inspiration flow without the need to set it up first. The acoustic guitar is great for accompanying yourself while picking some chords and sometimes that intimacy is great for getting into the mood. Also, if you’re thinking of gifting your child their first guitar, an acoustic might just be the perfect pick. Safety, fun, and a world of learning – a blend every parent dreams of.

Starting with the Electric Guitar: Perks?

If electric is your endgame, why not dive straight in? Why bother adjusting from acoustic when you can slay from day one with electric? Now, let’s talk about why the electric route might be just what you need.

1. Power & Sonic Magic

There sure is something to be said about the fierce energy of a distorted guitar. And that’s just scratching the surface, with the possibility of adding to your signal you can create a musical universe. Loops, a plethora of effects, and more. There are a lot of possibilities to be creative. Amp it up, and tell me there’s a cooler instrument out there. 

2. Sound: Customize, Don’t Compromise

While acoustics have their charm, with electric, the possibilities are endless. Even a budget-friendly model can sound like a dream with the right amp and effects. The right pedals can turn an average guitar into a superstar. So there are a lot of great options out there even if you are on a budget and it is easier to level up than an acoustic. 

3. Comfort & Groove

Let’s chat about comfort. Many swear that electrics are just easier to groove with. Think lower action, slimmer neck, and thinner strings. While acoustics have their varieties, from cute to massive, electrics offer diversity with a sleekness that’s hard to beat.

Electric First? Thoughts & Feels

In the end, there’s no rulebook. If an electric guitar sparks your joy, embrace it. That said, many rockstars out there cherish their acoustic beginnings.

Starting your guitar journey? Consider your budget and feelings. Go into a store, play around. Which guitar calls out to you? Let your heart decide.

For those looking for a good deal, we have an article on beginner electric guitars that offer both style and substance. And if the acoustic vibe is calling, there is an article on great affordable models, too. Check them out, and let your journey begin.

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