When you are first starting out playing the guitar, Should you start on the Acoustic or Electric Guitar?
This is a common question that we get all the time from guitarists who are just beginning at their guitar journey.
I’m going to address some myths that so many people say which are just not true. I’m not sure where they are coming from but let’s go through some of the facts so you know whether the acoustic or electric guitar will suit you best when you pick your first guitar.
The big myth about the acoustic guitar being a beginners’ guitar
The big myth, and I often hear this from beginner guitarists is, “it’s better to start on the acoustic guitar, because that’s the one that’s good to learn on. And then you get the electric guitar later.” That is absolutely not true, and for so many reasons. You are much better off starting on an electric guitar because it’s an easier instrument to play in general. Let’s look at the facts:
1) Both on the acoustic guitar or electric guitar when you first start out playing. The big struggles you will have will be your finger strength, your finger tips, your wrist and you may struggle to find the strings as well.
2) The electric guitar is easier because you have thinner strings so it’s easier to press down on them.
3) On the acoustic guitar, you have a big body. So it’s harder to see the frets that you are playing. You have to bend over to see the fretboard and also to see which strings you are playing as well.
Because of these reasons, with an electric guitar, you can handle practising for longer, because your fingers won’t hurt so much, it’s easier to have a better posture. This way you can make more progress early on as you start to gain strength in your fingers and your body learns what to do with the guitar. These things are worth bearing in mind as one of the first things to look at when considering which guitar to start playing with.
Why you might still start with an acoustic guitar instead of electric guitar
Now with all that in mind, it doesn’t necessarily mean you should definitely start with an electric guitar. Sometimes you may still want to start with an acoustic guitar instead, so let’s examine the reasons why:
The style that you want to play
If you only ever want to play acoustic guitar music, such as campfire songs and finger style music, and you don’t have any interests in ever playing the electric guitar. Then you should get an acoustic guitar.
So in this particular case, it is worth starting out on an acoustic guitar instead of an electric guitar. Choose an acoustic guitar that you feel easy and comfortable on.
Yes, it will be slightly harder to play, but the most important thing when you first start playing the guitar is that you buy an instrument that, when you come home from work, you see it sitting there or hanging up and it makes you excited to play it and makes you want to practise. If you do not like the electric guitar, then it won’t get you excited. So definitely get an acoustic guitar.
If you ever to play both styles of music, then start on the electric. For the reasons stated previously.
Do you want to solo and improvise on your acoustic or electric guitar?
If you ever want to do solos and improvisation, play any type of rock music then getting an electric is a great idea because on an electric guitar you have a lot of frets. On the acoustic, the frets often barely go past the 12 fret mark. You also get the body of the guitar restricting you, so then it’s harder to press down the strings. Whereas the electric guitar often goes up to 22 or 24 frets, so you have a lot more freedom and flexibility when it comes up improvisation and playing solos.
Getting both acoustic and electric guitars
I would personally recommend that you get both, if you want to play both at one point. I would start with an electric guitar, set some milestones and buy an acoustic guitar later on.
I find a lot of acoustic guitarists say later on, I fancy playing the electric guitar as well. So if that’s the case, then definitely start on the electric guitar.
The Big message
In conclusion, the big message is, if you can find any reason to start with the electric then start with the electric. If you are completely opposed to it, then start with the acoustic but make sure you find one that you feel comfortable on and that excites you.
The most important thing with playing the guitar is persistence, and carrying on even when you have a bad day or bad week. The biggest limiting factor isn’t the guitar, it’s how much work and practise you put into it.
Are you a beginner guitarist and don’t know where to start? Do you want someone to help you through every step including helping you pick your first guitar so it’s perfect for you? Do you want to be able to play your favourite songs as quickly as possible?
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