#1
I've been playing classical and steel string acoustic guitars for around 6 years and playing weekly shows, and I feel so comfortable with my Fender Dreadnaught it's like a part of me now. But a while back I aqcuired a beautiful Dan Electro, my baby Danielle...and I feel like a total awkward virgin. Things just aren't going very smoothly. It's hard to explain what's wrong but it's a struggling relationship. So I was wondering if there are any books on the subject or a series of video lessons online or any tips you fellers can give me. Mucho gracias!
#2
What style/genres to you play on acoustic, and what would you like to play on electric? I finally took up electric about 20 years ago, after about 30 years of playing acoustic and intermittent unsuccessful attempts at electric. I have never really come to grips with the difference in note dynamics - attack and sustain, so I only play slide on electrics.

You might do better than me, if only because six years isn't that long to get entrenched in one particular instrument. The things that really handicapped me were related to my failure to appreciate the importance of pickups and amps. I have found that I'm highly sensitive to differences in string-to-string output from electrics, so all my pickups have adjustable poles. I'm also picky about the clean sound coming out of the amp, and I'm sure that both of these things are related to my experience with acoustic guitars. Maybe you are having the same problems? The lipstick pickups in your Dan might not be helping, FWIW, I like P90s. They have adjustable pole pieces to get the string-to-string balance where I want it, and a tone that I find compatible with my acoustic expectations - through a decent amp!
#3
Are you looking to do mainly chords or mainly single note lead stuff? What exactly are you struggling with? It's the same instrument. How are you approaching it differently that you need help with?
#4
Quote by griptape
It's the same instrument.

Both have six strings tuned to the same pitches (usually), yes, but really they might as well be apples and oranges. There is a lot of overlap for sure but acoustics and electrics accomplish vastly different things. Especially for soneone like the TS who has played one almost exclusively until recently, I can understand there being some difficulty in trying to pick up the other.

I know it's hard for you to explain what might be wrong, but it's also hard for us to explain how exactly to help you when we don't have much to go on. Is it possible for you to maybe provide some recordings of your playing on both so we can compare? Otherwise the only things I can suggest are just to keep playing to get used to the feel of the electric, maybe you just haven'g gotten used to being able to play notes without needing as much force from your fingers?
#5
I play Classical, acoustic and electric. I consider them all to be different instruments.

1) Playing in tune : The main difference between Classical/Acoustic Guitars and Electric guitars is that it is much more difficult to play "in tune" on electric than on the others. Usually electric's are strung with much lighter strings ( to allow for bending etc.) and this makes them much more susceptible to variations in hand pressure. The first thing to learn when transitioning to electric is to lighten up your touch or get heavier strings if that's impossible. There is a major learning curve here and it is normal for it to take some time.

2) Open Strings and chord voicings: Open strings react differently on electric than on the others. You will sometimes want to opt for different chord voicings that make dampening the strings easier and generally rely less on open strings and open chord voicings than you would on acoustic or classical.

3) String dampening - you need to be more vigilant on electric, especially if you're playing with overdrive or distortion. It helps to practice while amplified to get a good hold on this.

4) Grip - if you're playing fingerstyle it helps to alter your grip when on electric - the classical approach is awkward due to the smaller distances between the strings and the constant need for palm muting-dampening. I play much differently on electric than on Classical.

5) bends and vibratos - this is an art in of itself - you don't really need to deal with this on Acoustic and Classical, but on electric it's vital. There will be a very large learning curve here.

5) sound : understanding amps and effects and getting a good tone are not easy on electric. Spend a lot of time reading up and researching this. The basic rule is that a decent guitar and a good tube amp will get you most of the way. However, reverb is a huge part of almost all electric tones and you need to familiarize yourself with that and the other effects, like delay, overdrive's etc.
#6
I can get some recordings over the next couple days most likely. I play lead almost exclusively, and have been told that I sound like an electric player on my acoustic. I'd say the styles I play are rock, jazz, folk, country, and blues. To put more power and presence into my melodies when there is a singer and rhythm guitarist I often harmonize the simpler melodies into 2 or 3 note "chords." Then when I get time to shine, like a solo, I play faster, single note melodies with bends and vibrato and double/triple stops on notes/moments in need of emphasis. I just don't feel like my usual techniques are working right on the electric. It's hard to avoid hitting open strings or unwanted notes when playing faster, shreddier, and more intricate stuff. I also have NO idea what I'm doing when it comes to adjusting my tone.
#7
Quote by reverb66
I play Classical, acoustic and electric. I consider them all to be different instruments.

1) Playing in tune : The main difference between Classical/Acoustic Guitars and Electric guitars is that it is much more difficult to play "in tune" on electric than on the others. Usually electric's are strung with much lighter strings ( to allow for bending etc.) and this makes them much more susceptible to variations in hand pressure. The first thing to learn when transitioning to electric is to lighten up your touch or get heavier strings if that's impossible. There is a major learning curve here and it is normal for it to take some time.

2) Open Strings and chord voicings: Open strings react differently on electric than on the others. You will sometimes want to opt for different chord voicings that make dampening the strings easier and generally rely less on open strings and open chord voicings than you would on acoustic or classical.

3) String dampening - you need to be more vigilant on electric, especially if you're playing with overdrive or distortion. It helps to practice while amplified to get a good hold on this.

4) Grip - if you're playing fingerstyle it helps to alter your grip when on electric - the classical approach is awkward due to the smaller distances between the strings and the constant need for palm muting-dampening. I play much differently on electric than on Classical.

5) bends and vibratos - this is an art in of itself - you don't really need to deal with this on Acoustic and Classical, but on electric it's vital. There will be a very large learning curve here.

5) sound : understanding amps and effects and getting a good tone are not easy on electric. Spend a lot of time reading up and researching this. The basic rule is that a decent guitar and a good tube amp will get you most of the way. However, reverb is a huge part of almost all electric tones and you need to familiarize yourself with that and the other effects, like delay, overdrive's etc.


Thanks, this covers most of my troubles, and as Thall said I think I use way too much force with my left hand on an electric
#8
it's all about touch. electric requiers a much lighter touch than acoustic so can be tough to convert. i play mostly electric and sound like shit on an acoustic. pretty much found that my very light touch on an electric doesn't translate well to acoustic. same goes with strums etc. acoustic players are used to having to generate volume with their picking and strumming. not the same on electric. the necks tend to be different and that takes some getting used to. throw in distortion and the acoustic guy is often totally lost.

i agree that electric is a different beast despite being a guitar.