#1
Hello, I have been interested in learning how to play guitar, I have been doing some research on various guitars and equipment, what do you guys think would be easier to learn as a beginner, electric or acoustic? I'm not much of an acoustic person, but if i need to go down the road of acoustic then so be it.

I am also looking for some recommendations on gear setup? What gear is necessary for a beginner?
#2
I play both, and I think electric is a bit easier. Personally, I would advise taking lessons, at least at first.

I didn't- guitar was my third instrument- but I wish I had. When I finally DID spring for lessons, I spent a goodly portion of the first months unlearning some bad habits I had unwittingly fallen into.

You need to figure out what kind of budget you have.

If you go acoustic, I'd look at Yamahas, Seagulls or Ovations. I started with a cheaper acoustic myself, and killed it in a year.

If you do go electric, I'd spend most of that on a guitar that feels good in your hands and that you like the looks of. While quality still matters, it matters a bit less for electrics than it does for acoustics when you're starting off.

Last, instead of an amp, I'd go with something like one of these:

Boss Micro-BR 4 track
http://www.guitarcenter.com/-i1169092.gc

Pocket POD
http://www.guitarcenter.com/Line-6-Pocket-POD-Guitar-Multi-Effects-Processor-104391875-i1173933.gc

Tascam GT-R1
http://www.guitarcenter.com/TASCAM-GT-R1-Portable-Guitar-Bass-Recorder-105125306-i1401677.gc
http://www.guitarcenter.com/TASCAM-DR-1-GT-R1-Accessory-Kit-105020473-i1402140.gc

Korg Pandora Mini
http://www.guitarcenter.com/Korg-Pandora-Mini-PXMINI-Guitar-Multi-Effects-Processor-H70754-i1746466.gc

Korg Px4
http://www.guitarcenter.com/Korg-Pandora-PX4D-Guitar-Multi-Effects-Processor-103381554-i1124641.gc

Korg Px5
http://www.guitarcenter.com/Korg-Pandora-PX5D-Guitar-Multi-Effects-Processor-104821715-i1387080.gc

Here is a visual comparison of (left to right) Tascam, my PX-5 and one of my Px4s to my old Aiwa cassette player:



Only the Tascam has decent acoustic recording capacity. All DO have features like tuners, metronomes, drum synthesizers, and digital amp & pedal modeling.

So with decent headphones, you can rock out like you were playing Texas Stadium. And yes, they are all about the size of an old Walkman.

The ones I own: the Tascam has the external mics, a phrase trainer (loop & slow down stuff for practicing), and takes SD cards. Both it and the PX5 can connect directly to your computer via a USB port. The PX4 is discontinued, but it can still be easily found. It is less powerful than the PX5, but, oddly, the PX5 does not have a belt/strap hook.

The ones I don't own: The Line6 PocketPOD is, I believe, the most popular device like this; the Boss might be the most powerful (and priciest); the Pandora Mini is the smallest (its about the size of a stack of business cards), cheapest, and least powerful.
Sturgeon's 2nd Law, a.k.a. Sturgeon's Revelation: “Ninety percent of everything is crap.”

Why, yes, I am a lawyer- thanks for asking!

Log off and play yer guitar!

Strap on, tune up, rock out!
Last edited by dannyalcatraz at Apr 16, 2013,
#3
Quote by Itscoolbro
Hello, I have been interested in learning how to play guitar, I have been doing some research on various guitars and equipment, what do you guys think would be easier to learn as a beginner, electric or acoustic? I'm not much of an acoustic person, but if i need to go down the road of acoustic then so be it.

I am also looking for some recommendations on gear setup? What gear is necessary for a beginner?


Well you will see a lot of people recommending starting on acoustic for various reasons but seriously, if you will not even be playing the music you like you probably won't stick with it very long. What music do you like? If it's electric guitar music then get an electric!
#4
Obviously all replies are going to be somewhat subjective, but as far as I'm concerned it's far better to start out playing acoustic then switching to electric later.

Acoustics need you to be much more precise than electrics, meaning you develop better all-round technique which will make you a better player in the long run. Everything you learn on an acoustic will be transferable to an electric.

Electric guitars can hide a lot of poor technique which may hinder you once you start to progress, and definitely will hinder you when you do eventually get an acoustic - it will almost be like starting from scratch all over again.

It's also worth bearing in mind that you can get a perfectly good acoustic that will last you several years for well under £100, whereas a decent electric setup (even using the advice above) will cost well over £200 (obviously UK prices, you don't say where you're from but I'm sure the difference will be comparable).
Gibson LP Traditional, LP GT, LP Studio, SG Standard x2
Barber Tone Press > EHX Worm >TC Polytune > EXH Glove > EHX East River Drive > Zoom G3 > TC Spark Mini Booster
EVH 5150 III LBXII
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.
My SoundCloud
#5
I would start with acoustic. I personally find it a little harder to play, but in a good way. A way that holds you accountable for your mistakes. Once you get comfortable around the acoustic switching to electric will be a relative breeze. As far as gear goes, if you go with an acoustic, all you'll really need is a tuner. I would recommend a snark, as they're cheap and convenient.
#6
Quote by dannyalcatraz
I play both, and I think electric is a bit easier. Personally, I would advise taking lessons, at least at first.

I didn't- guitar was my third instrument- but I wish I had. When I finally DID spring for lessons, I spent a goodly portion of the first months unlearning some bad habits I had unwittingly fallen into.

You need to figure out what kind of budget you have.

If you go acoustic, I'd look at Yamahas, Seagulls or Ovations. I started with a cheaper acoustic myself, and killed it in a year.

If you do go electric, I'd spend most of that on a guitar that feels good in your hands and that you like the looks of. While quality still matters, it matters a bit less for electrics than it does for acoustics when you're starting off.

Last, instead of an amp, I'd go with something like one of these:

Boss Micro-BR 4 track
http://www.guitarcenter.com/-i1169092.gc

Pocket POD
http://www.guitarcenter.com/Line-6-Pocket-POD-Guitar-Multi-Effects-Processor-104391875-i1173933.gc

Tascam GT-R1
http://www.guitarcenter.com/TASCAM-GT-R1-Portable-Guitar-Bass-Recorder-105125306-i1401677.gc
http://www.guitarcenter.com/TASCAM-DR-1-GT-R1-Accessory-Kit-105020473-i1402140.gc

Korg Pandora Mini
http://www.guitarcenter.com/Korg-Pandora-Mini-PXMINI-Guitar-Multi-Effects-Processor-H70754-i1746466.gc

Korg Px4
http://www.guitarcenter.com/Korg-Pandora-PX4D-Guitar-Multi-Effects-Processor-103381554-i1124641.gc

Korg Px5
http://www.guitarcenter.com/Korg-Pandora-PX5D-Guitar-Multi-Effects-Processor-104821715-i1387080.gc

Here is a visual comparison of (left to right) Tascam, my PX-5 and one of my Px4s to my old Aiwa cassette player:



Only the Tascam has decent acoustic recording capacity. All DO have features like tuners, metronomes, drum synthesizers, and digital amp & pedal modeling.

So with decent headphones, you can rock out like you were playing Texas Stadium. And yes, they are all about the size of an old Walkman.

The ones I own: the Tascam has the external mics, a phrase trainer (loop & slow down stuff for practicing), and takes SD cards. Both it and the PX5 can connect directly to your computer via a USB port. The PX4 is discontinued, but it can still be easily found. It is less powerful than the PX5, but, oddly, the PX5 does not have a belt/strap hook.

The ones I don't own: The Line6 PocketPOD is, I believe, the most popular device like this; the Boss might be the most powerful (and priciest); the Pandora Mini is the smallest (its about the size of a stack of business cards), cheapest, and least powerful.


My budget is going to be around $400 I think I wanna get a Epiphone SG 400 Cherry. here:http://www.epiphone.com/Products/SG/G-400.aspx
They run for about $300

I appreciate all of the help everyone!
#7
I agree that learning acoustic has intrinsic merit, but as someone else pointed out, if you never intend to play acoustic, starting with it could be counterproductive.
Sturgeon's 2nd Law, a.k.a. Sturgeon's Revelation: “Ninety percent of everything is crap.”

Why, yes, I am a lawyer- thanks for asking!

Log off and play yer guitar!

Strap on, tune up, rock out!
#8
Quote by dannyalcatraz
I agree that learning acoustic has intrinsic merit, but as someone else pointed out, if you never intend to play acoustic, starting with it could be counterproductive.


so what do you think about that guitar i listed?
#9
I think the SG in general is a classic axe for blues, rock, hard rock & metal. It should do you just fine.
Sturgeon's 2nd Law, a.k.a. Sturgeon's Revelation: “Ninety percent of everything is crap.”

Why, yes, I am a lawyer- thanks for asking!

Log off and play yer guitar!

Strap on, tune up, rock out!
#10
Quote by Itscoolbro
Hello, I have been interested in learning how to play guitar, I have been doing some research on various guitars and equipment, what do you guys think would be easier to learn as a beginner, electric or acoustic? I'm not much of an acoustic person, but if i need to go down the road of acoustic then so be it.

I am also looking for some recommendations on gear setup? What gear is necessary for a beginner?


Well, it's not so much about which one is easier as much as it's about what you like to play. If you're not much of an acoustic person, I would recommend going electric just because you will like the music you make more. In technical terms though, an electric is a little easier to play. They are a fair amount heavier than acoustics, but they have fairly small necks and you don't have to press as hard down on a fret to get a clean tone as you would with an acoustic. The main problem with electrics is just cost, as you have to buy an amp, and know how to get good noises out of your amp.

So, if I were you, I would go with an electric.

As for gear for a beginner on an electric, try to get a nice 10-watt practice amp. They're not as expensive, and what you usually pay for in an amp isn't features and noise like a guitar, it's power and volume. So don't waste a ton of money on a Marshall stack if you're gonna be practicing at home. Also get a tuner, an amp cable, and a six-pack of picks you feel comfortable with.
#11
I'd say get both if you can afford it. Pretty good complements to each other. Although you can play accoustic stuff on an electric as well, it doesn't sound as good and vice versa.

From my own experience, learning on electric is not a bad thing at all. Because the necks on electric guitars are usually smaller, if you learn your chords on an electric it's gonna be a piece of shit cake on an accoustic later on. Also the thinner steel strings will train your fingers into killing machines. Finger strength might be an issue though if you decide to go over to accoustic. Although I haven't experienced any and I started out on an electric.

Edit: Be prepared that getting the right sound for an electric guitar is a pain in the ass. Especially if you're not interested in all the technical bullsh*t. If you get a simple amp, it's fine. But the more advanced stuff you get, the harder it gets. So if you find it interesting experimenting with different sounds, then you'll manage it. But if you like me just want to play and couldn't care less about amps, then it's going to be hard.

Also, if you get a cheap electric guitar, a ot of things can go wrong with the different components. I started on a cheap Epiphone and had to replace most of the parts to be able to fully enjoy playing. It's totally fine, but if you want less trouble I'd look for a decent used guitar.
Last edited by MetalMullet at Apr 17, 2013,
#12
Quote by Itscoolbro
My budget is going to be around $400 I think I wanna get a Epiphone SG 400 Cherry. here:http://www.epiphone.com/Products/SG/G-400.aspx
They run for about $300

I appreciate all of the help everyone!


most important is whether you get an acoustic or an electric try out a bunch of guitars from both major brands and others.

i prefer fenders because their necks fit my hand better. on the other hand i know people that swear by gibson because they like the feel of their guitars.

if you know someone who plays take them with you to pick one out. most musicians will jump on the chance to go to a guitar shop and sit for a couple hours trying out gear at someone elses expense.

good thing to remember:

fender and gibson are the two biggest guitar brands

squire and epiphone are the subsidiaries respectively.

other awesome brands that you can afford:

ibanez, esp, yamaha
#13
Itscoolbro...since you made a double post

I'll make one as well

I'd start with electric. Acoustics are bulky and hard to get used to holding properly...at least for me it was.

Of course learning to play electric will include getting an amp as well.

Here's how I started.

Epiphone SG $149.00

Used Marshall mini amp $50

Set of cables $16.99

Pack of picks - Less then $5

3 packs of Ernie ball strings - about $20

Ernie Ball Strap - $8.99

Guitar case - $30.00


Rock out man...always remember "If it sounds good play it"

Be sure to practice finger dexterity exercises they will help you pick up guitar faster and build muscle memory


I see why you did the double post thing though...This is like the only section that isn't dead
#15
Quote by Itscoolbro
Thank you everyone for the help! Now, would it be wise to take lessons?

I never took lesson's out of the 10 years I've been playing. And not to toot my horn, but I'm really good.
I guess it depends on the person.

But just be sure to know the basics: From the pickups, hardware, getting used to holding the guitar pick in a comfortable way, not leaning the guitar on your lap facing up (keep it up right on your knee), strengthen your fret hand, build speed with your picking hand, getting a TUNER, know what overdrive and distortion are (and other effects when you start committing to guitar), not hanging the strap extremely low just to look cool (remember, your trying to learn, it's gonna take time), and overall just getting comfortable with holding the instrument and building your confidence as you get better.

Hope this helps.
Jackson DK-2 [2004 MIJ] (EMG 81/SA)
Jackson RR-3 [2007 MIJ] (EMG 81/60)
Ibanez RG370DX [2009] (EMG 81/60)
Epiphone Les Paul Custom [2004] (EMG 81/85)
Ltd/Esp M-17 7-String [2013] (EMG 81-7 set)
Bugera 333XL 120watt Tube Head, Crate BV412 Cab
Last edited by Chaz-6(sic)6 at Apr 18, 2013,
#16
@ people recommending acoustic:

You don't play an instrument because it's easier/harder to start on it. You play an instrument because you like playing it. So if you like music that mostly uses electric guitars and want to play that music, buy an electric. It's of course good to know how to play acoustic but really, it's not that different. You might need to press the strings a bit harder on acoustic but so what? You'll learn that pretty fast.

It's pretty much the same as if I wanted to start playing the trumpet (I actually play it) and you suggested me to start on tuba because it trains my technique better. But I want to play the trumpet, not the tuba! When you are a beginner, improving your technique as fast as possible isn't the main thing. Beginners usually want to learn some songs first.
Quote by AlanHB
Just remember that there are no boring scales, just boring players.

Gear

Bach Stradivarius 37G
Charvel So Cal
Fender Dimension Bass
Hartke HyDrive 210c
Ibanez BL70
Laney VC30
Tokai TB48
Yamaha FG720S-12
Yamaha P115
#17
But if starting out on a tuba would make you better at trumpet in the longer term, don't you think that would be a better idea?

Like I said in my first post here, all replies are going to be subjective.

Unless you disagree with me, in which case you're wrong
Gibson LP Traditional, LP GT, LP Studio, SG Standard x2
Barber Tone Press > EHX Worm >TC Polytune > EXH Glove > EHX East River Drive > Zoom G3 > TC Spark Mini Booster
EVH 5150 III LBXII
Jet City JCA22H
.
My SoundCloud
#18
Quote by GaryBillington
But if starting out on a tuba would make you better at trumpet in the longer term, don't you think that would be a better idea?

Like I said in my first post here, all replies are going to be subjective.

Unless you disagree with me, in which case you're wrong

No. And I know playing the tuba would improve my technique. But it's not all about technique, it's about music.

And as I said, it's not about how fast I'll get there. It's about enjoying playing the instrument. TS might not enjoy playing acoustic and that doesn't motivate him to play the instrument.

Maybe with the same work you might learn a bit faster if you start on acoustic. But if you don't like playing the acoustic and want to play the electric, you will not be motivated to play and the progress is actually slower. Do what you enjoy to do. I'm sure that somebody who starts on electric can become as good as if he started with acoustic. You can always start playing the acoustic and it doesn't matter if you start on acoustic or electric. You can learn the same things later. In the beginning enjoying playing the instrument is the most important thing. I didn't care about technique when I started, I just wanted to play my favorite songs.

And what makes people think that starting on acoustic will make you so much better player? You can start playing acoustic later if you want. You'll learn exactly the same things but in different order. If it improves your finger strength faster, OK. But you will get the same finger strength but just a bit slower on electric. Also you can change to heavier strings on electric and it becomes a bit harder to press them down. And some people say playing with distortion masks your mistakes. This is also true but you can also play through your clean channel.

But the main point is: TS, do what you want to do. If you want to play the electric, play the electric. And if you want to play the acoustic, play the acoustic.
Quote by AlanHB
Just remember that there are no boring scales, just boring players.

Gear

Bach Stradivarius 37G
Charvel So Cal
Fender Dimension Bass
Hartke HyDrive 210c
Ibanez BL70
Laney VC30
Tokai TB48
Yamaha FG720S-12
Yamaha P115
#19
Wow, you actually took that post quite seriously.

Whatever our opinions, this is all that matters:
Quote by MaggaraMarine
TS, do what you want to do.
Gibson LP Traditional, LP GT, LP Studio, SG Standard x2
Barber Tone Press > EHX Worm >TC Polytune > EXH Glove > EHX East River Drive > Zoom G3 > TC Spark Mini Booster
EVH 5150 III LBXII
Jet City JCA22H
.
My SoundCloud