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#1
I've been on an acoustic guitar mood for the past few weeks. I was wondering, does playing on acoustic help your electric guitar playing? I'm talking about rhythm and some fast picking like SRV. I'm a huge SRV fan, so maybe I'll start playing his songs on acoustic guitar since it's mostly clean stuff.

But does it make a difference, or you can't mix electric with acoustic techniques? I know they are a bit differently, but personally I find acoustic much more harder, still I like it for the grooves.
#2
I would say yes, if you can play the licks you desire to learn cleanly on an acoustic you won't have any problem playing an electric.
#3
well, acoustic is just less forgiving. when you mess up on an acoustic is obvious. if you throw a lot of distortion on an electric you can be a little more careless. they both have their place. but i do find acoustic harder as well.
#5
MEh

Yes and no.

Your muscles will develop faster given that ur string tension is higher.

But you miss on so much things like tone production and other stuff which makes an electric an electric.

I also see this In Al Di Meola's electric work.

It's good, but you can clearly see he's an acoustic guitar playing, he has sometimes string noise on simple licks, and his bends and vibrato hardly vary much in speed (*width). He also hardly makes use of "semiharmonics" and stuff.

It's best to play electric to learn electric.

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#6
Quote by Freepower
It'll certainly help your acoustic playing...


+ 1


Don't play acoustic to get better at electric. Don't even think of it that way. Play acoustic because you like the way it sounds.

If you practice SRV songs on an electric (and get good at them), you will be no less good than if you practiced them on acoustic.
#7
Acoustic Playing is like Heavy weight lifting...If you go from acoustic to electric you will be a much better electric player...Show me somebody who can shred on electric do anything near that on acoustic..
#8
Quote by gtk4158a
Acoustic Playing is like Heavy weight lifting...If you go from acoustic to electric you will be a much better electric player...Show me somebody who can shred on electric do anything near that on acoustic..



Shred = not better guitarplaying


It's faster guitar playing.

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#9
Quote by gtk4158a
If you go from acoustic to electric you will be a much better electric player


^ Not true. Don't even think of it that way.

Play acoustic because you want to play acoustic music, not to get better at electric.
#10
imo a guitar is a guitar, if you're a good guitarist you should be able to play any type of guitar.. acoustic, electric, classical. Its the same instrument, if you're new to the guitar playing acoustic helps build calices so that you can play for longer periods of time without discomfort. Thats the biggest reason I encourage people to start on an acoustic
#11
Quote by Peaceful Rocker
imo a guitar is a guitar, if you're a good guitarist you should be able to play any type of guitar.. acoustic, electric, classical. Its the same instrument, if you're new to the guitar playing acoustic helps build calices so that you can play for longer periods of time without discomfort. Thats the biggest reason I encourage people to start on an acoustic


The thing is, you will build calluses by playing electric guitar as well.

I generally encourage people to start on the instrument that is most appropriate for the type of music the would like to play. In some cases it's acoustic, but for others it's electric.

The "acoustic makes you better at electric" concept is a common myth/misconception.

It's true that after playing acoustic, an electric will feel "easier" because the strings will be lighter (this, I believe, is what you're talking about), but it won't make you a "better" electric player than if you just played electric.
Last edited by GuitarMunky at Feb 3, 2009,
#12
Quote by Peaceful Rocker
imo a guitar is a guitar, if you're a good guitarist you should be able to play any type of guitar.. acoustic, electric, classical. Its the same instrument, if you're new to the guitar playing acoustic helps build calices so that you can play for longer periods of time without discomfort. Thats the biggest reason I encourage people to start on an acoustic



They are quite different instruments.

Classical guitar employs fingerpicking, tremelo etc.

Flamenco employs rasguedo's

then you have the Andy Mckee way of playing w/e that's called, with the two hand tapping.

On electric guitar you play with a pick generally;

On an electric guitar you have much more tone control options, a totally different vibrato way, bending and harmonics, string noise you have to mute.

There's so much more to a guitar then just speed or comfort when switching between acoustic and electric.

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Last edited by xxdarrenxx at Feb 3, 2009,
#13
Thanks for the answers so far guys.

No, I'm not a starter. I agree that if you want to get good on electric, you should play it. But acoustic guitar kinda needs some supply sometimes to get things going, and that is groove. Playing acoustic is a challenge for me because I want to make things interesting as I go, and it makes me look and think twice when I play something that kinda breaks the rhythm (acoustic is just less forgiving, like someone here said), and I love that, it's a real challenge to keep up the thing. On electric, the range of playing is bigger and this type of situations don't really happen, specially if you have a band behind you.

That said, I think it would be good to us, guitar players, to develop that feeling of not loosing the thing, do it on acoustic and then "transpose" the ability and the feeling to the electric.
#14
Quote by symba05
Thanks for the answers so far guys.

No, I'm not a starter. I agree that if you want to get good on electric, you should play it. But acoustic guitar kinda needs some supply sometimes to get things going, and that is groove. Playing acoustic is a challenge for me because I want to make things interesting as I go, and it makes me look and think twice when I play something that kinda breaks the rhythm (acoustic is just less forgiving, like someone here said), and I love that, it's a real challenge to keep up the thing. On electric, the range of playing is bigger and this type of situations don't really happen, specially if you have a band behind you.

That said, I think it would be good to us, guitar players, to develop that feeling of not loosing the thing, do it on acoustic and then "transpose" the ability and the feeling to the electric.


Your reasons for playing acoustic seem to have little to do with music.....

Quote by symba05
"because I want to make things interesting as I go, and it makes me look and think twice when I play something that kinda breaks the rhythm (acoustic is just less forgiving, like someone here said), and I love that, it's a real challenge to keep up the thing."


I see those as superficial reasons that feed the ego rather than a desire to make music.

play it because you like the sound of it/music produced on it..... and because you like playing that music yourself.
Last edited by GuitarMunky at Feb 3, 2009,
#15
Quote by GuitarMunky

play it because you like the sound of it/music produced on it..... and because you like playing that music yourself.


More than challenges, I love the sound, the music and the character of the acoustic guitar.

Quote by GuitarMunky

Your reasons for playing acoustic seem to have little to do with music.....


I don't know why you say this. I'm talking about technical (and also musical) approach that can develop our music and playing.
Last edited by symba05 at Feb 3, 2009,
#16
Quote by symba05



I don't know why you say this


Because none of your reasons for playing acoustic had anything to do with the way it sounds.
Last edited by GuitarMunky at Feb 3, 2009,
#17
Quote by symba05
I've been on an acoustic guitar mood for the past few weeks. I was wondering, does playing on acoustic help your electric guitar playing? I'm talking about rhythm and some fast picking like SRV. I'm a huge SRV fan, so maybe I'll start playing his songs on acoustic guitar since it's mostly clean stuff.

But does it make a difference, or you can't mix electric with acoustic techniques? I know they are a bit differently, but personally I find acoustic much more harder, still I like it for the grooves.


well i play the same things on both. then again, i use 12's on electric as well as acoustic so string guage and action on both are pretty much the same. so for me, one doesnt really help the other. but i guess if you played acoustic and went to electric it would seem easier....unless you are me. it would build up strength in your fretting hand i supose.

also, i guess if you use overdrive a lot, playing acoustic might help clean up your playing. if you are a little messy on electric, you can more or less hide it. but on acoustic i find you need to be more acourate with picking and fretting or it sounds crappy. so acoustic work could help your electric guitar tone.
#18
i'm going to say that playing acoustic DOES make a better electric player. i did all my practicing on an acoustic and the fact that an acoustic guitar takes 4x the pressure on average means your exerting your fingers more and, just as the weight lifter benefits from lifting heavy weights, your fingers will become stronger because they are working harder.

that being said, there are things about the electric guitar that you need to practice on an electric; controling feedback, getting a good electric tone, and other more micro issues like those.

i do think that, in general, having a good tone has all to do with the way you hold your finger to the string. if you figure out how to have a good tone on an acoustic, chances are when your playing electric and using 1/4 of the pressure to hold the string down, you will be able to do what you want with the string more easily.
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#19
Quote by Takendergib
i'm going to say that playing acoustic DOES make a better electric player. i did all my practicing on an acoustic and the fact that an acoustic guitar takes 4x the pressure on average means your exerting your fingers more and, just as the weight lifter benefits from lifting heavy weights, your fingers will become stronger because they are working harder.

that being said, there are things about the electric guitar that you need to practice on an electric; controling feedback, getting a good electric tone, and other more micro issues like those.

i do think that, in general, having a good tone has all to do with the way you hold your finger to the string. if you figure out how to have a good tone on an acoustic, chances are when your playing electric and using 1/4 of the pressure to hold the string down, you will be able to do what you want with the string more easily.


I disagree, wanna learn electric, then play electric. It might help with finger strength, but you don't need alot of finger strength for electric. Speed and technique comes from coordination.

Django Reinhardt muscle tissue was damaged HEAVILY in a fire, and he still played godly on ACOUSTIC guitar.

It's all about accuracy.

In ur logic, you even need to play something more harder then acoustic to be able to play acoustic better.


TS play electric to develop electric guitar skills.

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Last edited by xxdarrenxx at Feb 4, 2009,
#20
I read a quote somewhere from a guitarist who postulated that "...most young guitarists are pressing the frets too hard...". Not the exact quote but the same message at least.

Pressing a fret on an acoustic guitar is probably not 4 times harder than an electric. I believe that it more is matter of getting used to the tension of the strings. Try to fret a note on your acoustic with the lowest amount of pressure needed to make it sound clear. You'll notice that it really does not take up much more pressure that on an electric.

Just like Darrenxx said, it's all about accuracy and coordination.
#22
I personally am all for this idea.
It makes your fingers strong and it can show you the weaknesses that you need to work on in your playing.
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#23
Playing on an acoustic will promote finger strength in the fretting hand, but care should be taken to learn to control this strength. However, I don't think it "helps" in any other way, if that really helps in the first place. Steel-strung acoustic guitars and electric guitars can be seen as entirely different instruments in terms of their playing mechanics, with varying approaches to picking, muting, etc.

So to answer your question, yes... but no.
#24
^ You will build finger strength just as well on an electric. No offense, but they are not "entirely different instruments", in fact they are very much the same instrument, it's just that acoustics generally have thicker strings and are..... acoustic.


bottom line....... Playing acoustic purely for the sake of getting better at electric is not a sound idea. To play acoustic for this reason is to ignore every aspect of guitar playing other then finger strength. it also ignores the fact that if you play electric, you will develop the necessary strength (and calluses) to play electric.
Last edited by GuitarMunky at Feb 4, 2009,
#25
Some things transfer between the two - others don't. There are a lot of aspects of playing electric that you can't learn by playing acoustic. If you want to be able to play both well, practice on both.

But if you just want to play electric, don't bother with an acoustic.

I play on classical, steel string acoustic and on electric. The techniques are different for each and it normally takes a little time to "get back into the groove" of each one. The playing styles are completely different.
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#26
It can't be doubted that playing on an acoustic will show you your weaknesses in terms of producing a good tone.
A fool is not one who makes a mistake, a fool is one who does not learn from it.
-me HAH!
#27
Quote by Takendergib
It can't be doubted that playing on an acoustic will show you your weaknesses in terms of producing a good tone.


Not any more-so than playing electric.

What it will show you is what you sound like when playing acoustic. (good or bad)
#28
I learned how to play classical (not acoustic) and played it for 4 years up until I learned electric.

When I started on electric I was just as bad as anyone who started with nothing, I just knew more chords and melodies and a bit of technique. If youre just starting, learn both so you can play anything.

Remember its not about how fast you can play, its how broad you can play. People who can shred great but cant even play Kumbaya quite honestly... suck... because theyre being closed minded and not trying to expand themselves as musicians, theyre just trying to be L337 (Elite)...

If anything acoustic is "harder" because you cant drown out your mistakes with a pinch harmonic. Then again you can learn your 1-4-5 chord progressions and ass your way out of almost anything... as long as you know your tonic, dom and sub-dom chords you can fix anything

Please use tags for tabs....
Last edited by Camdon at Feb 5, 2009,
#29
the only true benefit to your electric playing will be that your fingers are a bit stronger, and it's easier for you to bend and control the strings. it might help you compositionally because an acoustic guitar is very raw, so mistakes and wrong notes become easy to spot. lots of great electric players claim to do much of their initial songwriting on an acoustic, because "if it can stand up on a solo acoustic, it's a good song to make electric," or so goes the stereotypical wisdom.

acoustic playing won't help you get better tone out of your electric, and it won't help with your speed on electric any more than practicing on an electric would in the first place.
#30
As Darren said, I think you should play the instrument you mean to keep playing, rather than using one as a means to an end to play the other.

Regarding acoustic being less forgiving - yes and no. For ever mistake hidden by distortion, there is another highlighted by distortion - ie muting problems.

About the whole discussion of increasing finger strength by having to press down harder. Well, you will increase finger strength by doing this, but there is another issue here - accuracy. The point is not to press down hard it's to press down just the right amount, no more no less. So if you are playing an acoustic just to get better at an electric, you'll be heading in the opposite direction and teaching yourself to press down more than you need to (just as bad as not pressing down hard enough).

If you like how an acoustic sounds, play an acoustic. A good acoustic is a beautiful instrument and I'd never discourage someone from playing one. But not as a training aid for playing an electric. If you want to play well with an electric, you should practice on an electric.
#31
Quote by frigginjerk
it might help you compositionally because an acoustic guitar is very raw, so mistakes and wrong notes become easy to spot.


I don't agree with this logic, though I hear it over and over again. The truth is that you can notice mistakes and wrong notes just as easily on electric.

People think since one is "harder" to play that it's somehow a benefit that can be applied to electric. The thing is, it's really only harder in the sense that the strings are thicker and harder to push down at 1st.

So while the strings might feel easier to push down because of having played acoustic 1st, you won't be a "better" electric player because of it. had you just started on electric, you would have no problem pushing the strings down, and would have more experience with things like amps & FX's.

Playing electric is better for playing electric than playing acoustic is.

playing either is good overall.

Quote by se012101
play the instrument you mean to keep playing, rather than using one as a means to an end to play the other.


^ This is the truth and really all that needs to be said.
Last edited by GuitarMunky at Feb 6, 2009,
#32
i play both cause i love both
i would play both it makes u more open to more styles of music which will make u an overall better player



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#33
I'm pretty convinced from my experience that a guitar player who plays both acoustic and electric well is good on electric in part from delevoping the finger dexterity that comes from playing an acoustic.
A fool is not one who makes a mistake, a fool is one who does not learn from it.
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#34
Quote by Takendergib
I'm pretty convinced from my experience that a guitar player who plays both acoustic and electric well is good on electric in part from delevoping the finger dexterity that comes from playing an acoustic.



From my experience as both a player and a teacher I must disagree.

Look at it this way. 2 people play guitar. For the first few years one only plays acoustic, and the other only plays electric.

Assuming they are of the same talent level (and similarly motivated), the one that plays electric well be no less accomplished at playing the electric than the person that played acoustic. If anything the person that played acoustic will have to learn to adjust to things like distortion, other FX, and bending strings when playing electric, where as the person that played electric the whole time already has that experience.


Electric guitar requires the same finger dexterity as acoustic. Playing electric guitar regularly will give you calluses and strengthen your fingers sufficiently enough to play electric.

Play the acoustic to play acoustic, not to get better at electric. Those that say playing acoustic makes you better at electric are spreading a common myth/misconception. It's an understandable assumption, but it is what it is.
Last edited by GuitarMunky at Feb 7, 2009,
#35
I experimented with that, and I practiced some sweeping on my acoustic.

It improved my finger strength, but it didnt prepare me for the ENTIRELY new sense of timing it would require for a lower action.

So,

It depends really.

My things:
Bowes SLx7
Washburn WG587
Washburn X40Pro
Washburn X50
Washburn HM24
Washburn WR150
Laguna LE200s
Arietta Acoustic
First Act
Valveking 112
VHT Deliverance

#36
The timing is the same.



I've taught for a long time and have seen many students make the switch from acoustic to electric. I've found that their experience on acoustic contributes to their overall skills as a guitarist, but it gives them no advantage whatsoever (for playing electric) over the students that started on electric.
#37
Quote by GuitarMunky
The timing is the same.



I've taught for a long time and have seen many students make the switch from acoustic to electric. I've found that their experience on acoustic contributes to their overall skills as a guitarist, but it gives them no advantage whatsoever (for playing electric) over the students that started on electric.


>_<

Sorry, got a bit confused, it was the closest word of choice when I was trying to talk about picking coordinating with your fretting hand, the acoustic is harder because you have to push harder, so the coordination is different than a low actioned electric.

If I'm making sense here.

My things:
Bowes SLx7
Washburn WG587
Washburn X40Pro
Washburn X50
Washburn HM24
Washburn WR150
Laguna LE200s
Arietta Acoustic
First Act
Valveking 112
VHT Deliverance

#38
Quote by valennic
>_<

Sorry, got a bit confused, it was the closest word of choice when I was trying to talk about picking coordinating with your fretting hand, the acoustic is harder because you have to push harder, so the coordination is different than a low actioned electric.

If I'm making sense here.


Yeah, I know what you mean. The coordination is the same though, especially if you have a nice acoustic. My Martin HD28 plays as nice as my Gibson Les Paul. It's actually easier to play then some of my other electrics.

I don't subscribe to the "wax on wax off" method of doing one thing to get good at another. It just doesn't work that way for guitar. it's a cool idea for a movie, and it seems logical, but when it comes to actual practice it really doesn't pan out to be true.

So again, I'll say.... "if your goal is to get good at electric guitar, just play an electric guitar". If you like acoustic guitar based music, and want to play it.... play acoustic.

IMO the best reason to play a particular type of guitar is because it allows you to play the type of music you want to play.
Last edited by GuitarMunky at Feb 7, 2009,
#39
Quote by GuitarMunky
Yeah, I know what you mean. The coordination is the same though, especially if you have a nice acoustic. My Martin HD28 plays as nice as my Gibson Les Paul. It's actually easier to play then some of my other electrics.

I don't subscribe to the "wax on wax off" method of doing one thing to get good at another. It just doesn't work that way for guitar. it's a cool idea for a movie, and it seems logical, but when it comes to actual practice it really doesn't pan out to be true.

So again, I'll say.... "if your goal is to get good at electric guitar, just play an electric guitar". If you like acoustic guitar based music, and want to play it.... play acoustic.

IMO the best reason to play a particular type of guitar is because it allows you to play the type of music you want to play.



Ah....well it's probably just that my acoustic sucks

My things:
Bowes SLx7
Washburn WG587
Washburn X40Pro
Washburn X50
Washburn HM24
Washburn WR150
Laguna LE200s
Arietta Acoustic
First Act
Valveking 112
VHT Deliverance

#40
Yeah, I would agree with most of what you said Munky.

Although, just speaking for myself and the type of music I play, it occassionally feels like a batter on deck swinging with two bats to warm up when I jam on an acoustic before an electric. I think good tone comes from the way you manipulate the string with your finger and seeing as electric strings are A) lighter and B) have a higher action (usually), doing the things I do on an electric on an acoustic makes sure that I have the actual strength require d to do it right, rather than hiding behind effects which I think alot of electric guitar players do.
A fool is not one who makes a mistake, a fool is one who does not learn from it.
-me HAH!
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