#1
I don't know if this is correct place to post but oh well

So as the title suggest, when I play my electric guitar I'm decent and happy with my playing, but as soon as I start playing my acoustic I don't play half as well and get frustrated.

Just wondering if this is normal and/or anybody else has experience this problem.

Thanks in advance

Ps. In case you are wondering I've had my acoustic for roughly six months, but don't play it that much. (Perhaps 10:1 ratio of electric to acoustic)
Last edited by 12wilsonh1 at Dec 15, 2014,
#2
The really important question is why are you unhappy with your acoustic playing?
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#4
The thing about it is that in a lot of ways an acoustic guitar and electric guitars are almost two different instruments in terms of many aspects of technique. Things that work well on one might not work as well or may work completely differently on the other.

Think of it as being like the difference between a piano and organ. Even though they should theoretically be played the same way (you just press down keys, right?) in practice this is not the case due to differences in many things such as sustain, dynamic responsiveness, and timbre which require the two to be approached quite differently.

In many ways, these differences are mirrored with acoustic and electric guitar, with the acoustic being analogous to the piano and the electric to the organ. Piano and acoustic sustain a lot less, are more dynamically responsive to your attack (how hard you hit them), and have a harmonically simpler timbre than electric guitar and organ.

These differences mean that the acoustic and piano must keep moving or the sound fades out (as compared to far longer sustain of electrics and organs), but on the other hand they can play more complex chords without sounding messy (particularly compared to distorted electric guitars). On the flip side, this means that it takes more notes and bigger chords to fill out the sound. The electric guitar, due to it's increased level of dynamic compression (again, especially when distorted), does not require such a right hand attack.

Another thing to consider is that acoustic guitars tend to have heavier string gauges (which means physically more string to move and higher tension) as well as slightly higher action to prevent buzzing that results from hitting harder. These factors result in the acoustic guitar being physical more difficult to play, especially at higher speeds.

Those are all some different things to consider.
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#5
Thanks for that, It definitely helped me understand what the issue is. So is there a natural learning curve between the two instruments?
#6
It is a question of what you get used to. - I'm an acoustic player who never feels comfortable on electrics. I think it is important to recognise it as an essentially different instrument, so that you don't end of sounding like an electric guitarist trying to play acoustic, or vice versa. - Though I'm no good a practicing what I preach.

I guess that more acoustic practice is the answer, and choosing songs/styles/genres that suit the instrument.


FWIW, I think anyone who doesn't have this problem has either got a lot of talent/experience or not very good on one or the other.
#7
K thanks, that makes me feel a bit better about my playing and I now know how to work on this issue.
#8
Quote by 12wilsonh1
Thanks for that, It definitely helped me understand what the issue is. So is there a natural learning curve between the two instruments?


There are certain nuances to each instrument that make a slightly different approach necessary. Generally the more sustain and distortion you have on the electric the bigger the difference. A hollow body jazz box with heavy strings is going to play a lot more like an acoustic than a strat played through a Tubescreamer and a Triple Rec with light strings due to the differences in ease of fretting, timbre, and sustain.

It really depends largely on what you are trying to do on each and how you approach them. Playing an acoustic, you put a lot of effort into banging out sound. On a distorted electric, you put that much effort into making sure extra sound doesn't come out.
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#9
I had the same issue as well. Felt so different and unfamiliar compared to my electric. Over time it soo much better. Hope this helps
#10
Quote by theogonia777
...[ ]...In many ways, these differences are mirrored with acoustic and electric guitar, with the acoustic being analogous to the piano and the electric to the organ. Piano and acoustic sustain a lot less, are more dynamically responsive to your attack (how hard you hit them), and have a harmonically simpler timbre than electric guitar and organ....[ ]...
I would argue a small point here, and perhaps a semantic one. Dry vs. dry, the acoustic is harmonically more complex than your basic solid body or even semi acoustic electric. My test condition here would be both guitars played through an acoustic amp, clean. Obviously though, when you junk up the signal chain, and plug into a tube amp, the dynamic changes.
#11
Perfectly normal, I am horrible on spanish acoistic (flamenco) guitar and it is mainly lack of practice as I used to be a lot better on it compared to electric when I was starting out. Now it is the other way around. Need to practice different things, for starters the way you produce sound is completely different, also the techniques require a lot more finesse to master on acoustic as you don't have the help (compression, eq, amplifiers, etc.) you do on electric. Just work at it, you'll get better, and as already suggested - pick songs that suit the instrument.
#12
Excellent comments. I learned on acoustic and still practice on one most of the time, acoustic is basically more difficult to play due to heavier strings, but with some practice it can help yo0ur playing in general a lot.

Main thing is always remember the 3 P's...

Practice


Practice


Practice
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#13
Quote by Captaincranky
I would argue a small point here, and perhaps a semantic one. Dry vs. dry, the acoustic is harmonically more complex than your basic solid body or even semi acoustic electric. My test condition here would be both guitars played through an acoustic amp, clean. Obviously though, when you junk up the signal chain, and plug into a tube amp, the dynamic changes.


But acoustics guitars are generally played acoustically and electrics are played through an electric amp, so I don't see why playing both through an acoustic amp is at all relative.
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#14
Quote by theogonia777
But acoustics guitars are generally played acoustically and electrics are played through an electric amp, so I don't see why playing both through an acoustic amp is at all relative.
Playing the electric guitar involves adding the harmonic content post facto. Putting the electric guitar through an acoustic amp, (solely to the purpose of increasing the electric's volume), would allow you judge the relative harmonic breadth of the two guitars.

Natively, an acoustic is much more harmonically complex than a dry electric.

After which the discussion must be reworded, "which effect / amplifier combination", offers the best harmonics, or adds the most pleasant harmonics to the electric guitar.
Face it, you can even use a little harmonic "grunge" in an amp you only intend to strum through with an electric.

And isn't that even in one of our member's sigs? "You don't need another guitar, you need a different amp", (or something to that effect).
#15
Right now iam learning on an electric.last summer I had an acoustic and I was not comfy with it.
#16
Quote by Captaincranky
Playing the electric guitar involves adding the harmonic content post facto. Putting the electric guitar through an acoustic amp, (solely to the purpose of increasing the electric's volume), would allow you judge the relative harmonic breadth of the two guitars.

Natively, an acoustic is much more harmonically complex than a dry electric.

After which the discussion must be reworded, "which effect / amplifier combination", offers the best harmonics, or adds the most pleasant harmonics to the electric guitar.
Face it, you can even use a little harmonic "grunge" in an amp you only intend to strum through with an electric.

And isn't that even in one of our member's sigs? "You don't need another guitar, you need a different amp", (or something to that effect).


Why not try and argue that a piano is more harmonically complex than an organ because, without amplification the organ only makes the percussive sound of hitting the keys.
There's no such thing; there never was. Where I am going you cannot follow me now.
#17
I don't know if anyone gave this particular answer, but generally acoustics are much harder to play. Your technique has to be really clean, but it's a good thing because you'll tend to notice a lot of your mistakes. If I were you I'd keep on going with the acoustic it does wonders for your playing! Once you start practicing more on the acoustic your electric will feel easier to play.