Are you new to playing guitar and unsure which is best: Electric vs Acoustic for Beginners? It’s a popular question we are often asked here at BestMusically.com so let’s dig into it to discover what our in-house experts have to say.
Acoustic guitars are known for their natural, warm sound, and are a popular choice for those who enjoy playing folk, country, or singer-songwriter styles. They are also generally more affordable than electric guitars, as they don’t require additional equipment such as amplifiers or cables. However, acoustic guitars can be more challenging to play because of their thicker strings and higher action, which may require more hand strength, especially for beginners.
Electric guitars offer a wider range of sounds and are more versatile, making them a preferred choice for rock, blues, or jazz musicians. They are generally easier to play because of their thinner strings and lower action, which can be great for beginners.
Electric guitars are often more expensive than acoustic guitars, as they require additional equipment like amplifiers, cables, and effects pedals. Therefore, it’s essential to consider your budget and playing style when choosing between acoustic and electric guitars.
Electric vs Acoustic For Beginners
Playing the guitar is one of the most rewarding hobbies you can have. Not only is it a fun way to express your creativity, but it can also improve your cognitive skills and provide a sense of accomplishment.
However, if you’re just starting, choosing the right type of guitar can be a daunting task. Should you go for an acoustic guitar or an electric guitar? What are the differences between the two, and how will they affect your learning experience?
In this article, we’ll explore the pros and cons of acoustic and electric guitars for beginners. We’ll discuss the fundamental differences between the two types of guitars, including their construction, sound, and playability.
We’ll also outline the advantages and disadvantages of each type of guitar, and provide recommendations based on the beginner’s goals, playing style, and personal preferences.
By the end of this article, I hope you have a better understanding of which type of guitar is best for you.
Let’s get into it!
Differences between acoustic and electric guitars
Acoustic and electric guitars are two different types of instruments that have distinct characteristics. Understanding the differences between the two is crucial when deciding which type of guitar to choose as a beginner. Here are some of the key differences between acoustic and electric guitars:
Acoustic guitars are typically made entirely of wood, with a hollow body that amplifies the sound. They have a larger, rounded body shape and an average weight between 2.5 and 5 pounds (between 1.1 kg and 2.2 kg).
On the other hand, electric guitars are generally made of solid wood or semi-hollow with pickups and electronics to amplify the sound. They have a thinner, flatter body shape with an average weight between 6 and 12 pounds (3 to 5kgs).
Acoustic guitars produce a warm, natural sound that resonates from the guitar’s body. The sound is created by the strings vibrating the guitar’s wooden body, which produces a unique sound that can’t be replicated by any other instrument.
Electric guitars, on the other hand, produce a louder and more versatile sound that can be manipulated with various effects and pedals. The sound is created by the pickups that detect the vibrations of the strings and convert them into an electrical signal, which is then amplified through an external amplifier.
Acoustic guitars have thicker strings and higher action, meaning that the strings are further away from the fretboard. This can make them more challenging to play for beginners who may not have built up finger strength yet.
Electric guitars, on the other hand, typically have thinner strings and lower action, which makes them easier to play and ideal for beginners.
These differences can significantly affect a beginner’s experience with the instrument. For example, a beginner with smaller hands may find it easier to play an electric guitar with a thinner neck and lighter strings.
Alternatively, someone who wants to play in a more traditional setting may prefer the warm, natural sound of an acoustic guitar. It’s important to understand these differences to make an informed decision when choosing which type of guitar to learn.
Advantages and disadvantages of acoustic guitars for beginners
Acoustic guitars are a popular choice for beginners, as they offer a classic and traditional sound that’s easy to recognize. However, they also have some drawbacks that may not be ideal for all beginners.
Here are some of the advantages and disadvantages of learning on an acoustic guitar:
- Portability: Acoustic guitars are often smaller and more lightweight than electric guitars, making them easier to carry around and transport.
- Cost: Acoustic guitars are generally less expensive than electric guitars, making them an affordable option for beginners on a budget.
- Build finger strength: Acoustic guitars have thicker strings and higher action, which can help build finger strength and dexterity.
- No external equipment needed: With an acoustic guitar, you don’t need to invest in additional equipment like amplifiers or pedals to produce sound.
- Harder to play: Acoustic guitars can be more challenging to play due to the thicker strings and higher action.
- Limited sound range: Acoustic guitars have a more limited sound range than electric guitars, which can make them less versatile in certain genres of music.
- Not adjustable: Acoustic guitars are not adjustable like electric guitars. This means that you can’t customize the sound by adjusting the pickups or using different effects.
Factors to consider when choosing an acoustic guitar
When choosing an acoustic guitar as a beginner, there are several factors to consider. These include the size and shape of the guitar, the type of wood used in the construction, and the sound quality.
It’s also important to consider your personal preferences and playing style. For example, if you have smaller hands, you may want to choose a smaller guitar. If you prefer a brighter sound, you may want to choose a guitar with a spruce top.
Overall, acoustic guitars can be a great choice for beginners who want a traditional and affordable option. However, they may not be ideal for those who want to play more complex music or require a wider range of sounds.
Related Article: What is an acoustic electric guitar?
Advantages and disadvantages of electric guitars for beginners
Electric guitars offer a range of sounds and styles, making them a popular choice for beginners who want versatility and customization options. However, they also have some drawbacks that may not be suitable for all beginners.
Here are some of the advantages and disadvantages of learning on an electric guitar:
- Easier to play: Electric guitars have thinner strings and lower action, making them easier to play for beginners who may not have built up finger strength yet.
- Versatility: Electric guitars offer a wide range of sounds and effects that can be customized to suit individual playing styles.
- Adjustable: Electric guitars are adjustable, which means that you can modify the sound by adjusting the pickups or using different effects pedals.
- Headphone options: Many electric guitars have headphone jacks, allowing you to practice without disturbing others.
- Cost: Electric guitars can be more expensive than acoustic guitars, particularly if you need to invest in additional equipment like amplifiers and pedals.
- Portability: Electric guitars are often larger and heavier than acoustic guitars, making them less portable and more challenging to transport.
- External equipment needed: To produce sound on an electric guitar, you need to invest in additional equipment like an amplifier and pedals, which can add to the cost.
Factors to consider when choosing an electric guitar
When choosing an electric guitar as a beginner, there are several factors to consider. These include the type of pickups, the type of wood used in the construction, and the sound quality.
It’s also important to consider your playing style and the type of music you want to play. For example, if you want a classic rock sound, you may want to choose a guitar with humbucker pickups.
Overall, electric guitars can be a great choice for beginners who want versatility and customization options. However, they may not be ideal for those on a budget or who prioritize portability. It’s important to consider your personal preferences and playing style when choosing an electric guitar.
Related Article: Lava Me 2 Electric/Acoustic guitar
Which Guitar is best for beginners?
Deciding which type of guitar is best for beginners ultimately depends on the individual’s goals, playing style, and personal preferences. Both acoustic and electric guitars have their advantages and disadvantages, as outlined in the previous sections. Here’s a summary of the main points:
- Build finger strength
- No external equipment needed
- Harder to play
- Limited sound range
- Not adjustable
Related Article: Why the Yamaha F325D is ideal for beginners
- Easier to play
- Headphone options
- External equipment needed
Realted Article: How do electric guitars work?
For beginners who prioritize affordability and portability, an acoustic guitar may be the best option. Acoustic guitars are also a good choice for those who want to build finger strength and focus on traditional playing styles.
For beginners who prioritize versatility and customization options, an electric guitar may be the best option. Electric guitars are also a good choice for those who want to play a wider range of music styles and want to experiment with different effects.
Ultimately, the best choice for beginners will depend on their individual preferences and goals. It’s important to try out different guitars and consider factors like playing style and sound quality when making a decision.
Additionally, taking lessons or consulting with a guitar instructor can provide valuable guidance in choosing the right guitar for your needs.
When it comes to choosing a guitar as a beginner, there’s no one-size-fits-all answer. Both acoustic and electric guitars have their advantages and disadvantages, and the decision ultimately comes down to personal preferences, goals, and playing style.
In this article, we’ve outlined the fundamental differences between acoustic and electric guitars and discussed the advantages and disadvantages of each type for beginners. We’ve also provided recommendations based on different beginner needs and preferences.
However, it’s important to remember that choosing the right guitar takes time and research. We encourage readers to try out different types of guitars, consult with instructors, and explore online resources to learn more about guitar playing and choosing the right instrument.
At the end of the day, the most important thing is to find a guitar that feels comfortable and enjoyable to play. With time and practice, any beginner can become a skilled guitarist and unlock the many rewards that come with mastering this beautiful instrument.
Is acoustic guitar beginner friendly?
Acoustic guitars can be more challenging to play for beginners due to the thicker strings and larger body, but they can also help build finger strength and offer a more traditional playing experience.
My recommendation is to start with an acoustic guitar.
Is it good to buy an electric guitar for beginners?
Electric guitars can be a good choice for beginners who prioritize versatility and customization options, but they can also be more expensive and require external equipment like an amplifier.
If your goal is to be a rock star, an electric guitar is your best bet.
Is electric guitar easier after learning acoustic?
While there may be some transferable skills between acoustic and electric guitar, the two instruments have distinct differences in terms of playing technique, sound production, and equipment.
It’s not necessarily easier or harder to learn one after the other but your finger dexterity will transfer between the two instruments and make learning how to play an electric somewhat easier and faster.
Should I learn acoustic before electric?
There’s no right or wrong answer to this question. It’s ultimately up to personal preference and goals. Learning acoustic guitar first may help build finger strength and develop a traditional playing style, while learning electric guitar first may offer more versatility and customization options.
Is it easier to learn acoustic or electric first?
Again, there’s no definitive answer to this question. Some beginners may find acoustic guitar more challenging due to the thicker strings and larger body, while others may prefer the versatility and ease of playing an electric guitar. It’s important to try out different instruments and find what works best for you.
What is the average price of a quality acoustic guitar for beginners?
The average price of a quality acoustic guitar for beginners can vary depending on the brand, model, and features, but generally ranges from $100 to $500. Some well-known brands that offer affordable and high-quality acoustic guitars for beginners include Yamaha, Fender, and Epiphone.
What is the average price of a quality electric guitar for beginners?
The average price of a quality electric guitar for beginners can also vary widely but is generally higher than that of an acoustic guitar due to the added cost of an amplifier and other accessories.
Electric guitars for beginners can cost anywhere from $150 to $500 or more. Some popular brands that offer quality electric guitars for beginners include Squier, Epiphone, and Ibanez.
It’s important to note that higher-end models can cost significantly more.
What is the most expensive electric guitar?
One of the most expensive electric guitars ever sold is the “Reach Out to Asia” Fender Stratocaster. It was auctioned for charity in 2005 to raise funds for victims of the 2004 Indian Ocean earthquake and tsunami.
The guitar was signed by 19 legendary musicians, including Eric Clapton, Jimmy Page, David Gilmour, Brian May, Keith Richards, and Paul McCartney, among others.
The “Reach Out to Asia” Fender Stratocaster was sold for a whopping $2.7 million, making it one of the most expensive guitars ever sold.
The most expensive guitar ever sold goes to Dave Gilmour of Pink Floyd, sold at auction through Christie’s. The guitar was Gilmour’s “Black Strat” which sold for US$3.975 million, becoming the most valuable guitar ever sold, privately or at auction. It was purchased by Colts’ owner Jim Irsay.