Hey all, apologies for asking something that's probably been covered a million times. I could just use some advice right now.

I've been playing for a little over two years now. I bought a book and learned some basic stuff using that, and also went through most of the Justin Guitar Beginner Course (I bought the beginner song book as well).

However, once I got to where I could play most chords I came across cleanly (enough), I just started playing songs I like to listen to. Now most chord changes aren't a problem, most rhythm's aren't a problem, power chords too, and I can play some basic melodies (recently started playing 'My name is Jonas' by Weezer).

I've found that I'd MUCH rather just play around with songs I like to listen to then actually sit down and learn technique, and have not been motivated to look at any of the lessons in my book or Justin in a long time.

So here's where the question comes in:

I currently play on a steel string acoustic Yamaha that I bought about a year ago and like to play it most of the time. However I find myself wishing for an electric a lot. I love alternative music and think it would be fun to play some of these songs on an actual electric instead of trying to make them work on an acoustic.

I feel kind of weird about it though. Like my skill level isn't high enough to justify it.

I have no intentions of ever being in a band; I play strictly for myself. Would I be better off just sticking with my acoustic?

Thanks for any advice.
As someone who's been playing for a long time there's nothing wrong with picking up a guitar you like and that will not only inspire to play & practice, but also grow with you as your style and technique develop. You certainly don't need anyone's approval. Have fun
Quote by Tony Done
If you want to play electric, go for it.

That's pretty much it. Acoustic and electric are actually fairly different to play anyway. So you're never gonna not suck if you don't actually start playing on one
You might have a lot of fun with an electric. I like to pull mine out if I want to play some Green Day or punk music (see what I did there?). I'd recommend borrowing an electric from a friend, if possible. Try it out for a week or two, see if you like it. If not, return the guitar and you've saved some bucks. If you find you like playing electrics, go shopping

If borrowing isn't possible I recommend buying a starter kit from Amazon. The Epiphone or Squier kits should be good enough. They both include amps, tuners, everything you need to get started. You'll get the order quickly. Try the guitar out for a week. If you like it you can keep it or return for a refund (then spend the refund towards a better axe/amp combo). Just say the guitar didn't meet expectations if they need an excuse for the return (but make sure before buying that you can return it later). Also make sure you know their shipping rules...would suck to find out it costs $30 or so to ship it back.

For what it's worth those cheap Epiphones and Squiers are pretty solid guitars, especially for the money.
Last edited by TobusRex at Nov 23, 2015,
Man, thanks for the replies guys! (I may be pushing the boundaries of the technique subforum here)

So here's where I'm actually at at the moment: I've got access to a Mexican Fender Strat that was given to a relative in used but good condition. They played it once years ago and put it away.

They're willing to let me have the guitar, case, amp, etc. for the cost of shipping (basically). If I like it I can keep it, if I don't I can sell or trade it.

I only have two concerns (that are totally newb sorry!). If the guitar sat for that long, what do I need to be concerned about? Neck warp or anything like that?

I've also heard to stay away from floating bridges, how do I know if it's got one?

I'm super stoked about it but a bit concerned about how long it hasn't been used.

Thanks for any help. If this needs to be moved over to the electric subforum, please let me know!
Some people have all the luck! Congrats on having awesome relatives. '

First off, I bet you need new strings. That's the easy part.

I'd look the guitar over carefully and see if I could see any cracks in the neck, headstock, etc. Check to make sure the strap buttons are secure. Verify all the knobs are attached properly and work correctly. Check the action on the guitar all along the neck, see if there is any fret buzzing. Check the intonation of the guitar (it stays tune up the neck).

That's about it, as far as I know. Maybe one of the more experienced guys can think of some other stuff.
A floating bridge in this context is a trem that will go either up or down, and they IMO aren't worth the trouble unless you have a specific use for them. The easiest fix is to deck it - tighten the trem springs until the trem sits firmly in the fully back position (trem up) and you have to use firm pressure to make it move forwards (trem down).

Since the package hasn't cost you a lot I would take it to a tech and get him to check it over and do any necessary set up for your choice of strings.- I use 10-46 Ernie Ball Slinkies, which I would think would be better than 9s if you are used to playing an acoustic.
A floating bridge is a trem that allows you to bend both up and down. If it does have a floating bridge, personally, I'd check to see how much it'd cost to do a full set-up in your area and if you've got guitar friends, ask how friendly/helpful/trustworthy the techs are. For a guitar that's been unused for so long will most definitely need a set-up + string change. While you can learn to do it yourself, for the first time it'll probably help to go to a guitar tech.

But general things to look out for are cracks, neck warping and electronics. And yes, floating trems can be a pain to deal with, especially a set up but it's up to you to decide if it's worth it. Since it's free anyhow, I'd say give it a try and get another one if you ultimately prefer a different guitar.
Cool. I can definitely take it to a tech but if it just comes down to new strings and locking the trem, is it that much harder than changing strings on my acoustic?
Quote by Shinkers
Cool. I can definitely take it to a tech but if it just comes down to new strings and locking the trem, is it that much harder than changing strings on my acoustic?

No, it won't be too difficult.

Read again what the others said, you have to check other stuff. I bet the intonation will be off, the truss rod may have to be adjusted, as well as the action.

It's not difficult to do that stuff, just be careful and look for info on how to do that stuff online. There are lots of good guides, check the stickies on this forum too.

Edit: For some reason I thought this was on the Electric Guitar forum. Well, head over to it and check the sticky threads about setting up the guitar: https://www.ultimate-guitar.com/forum/forumdisplay.php?f=26

For these tasks, I wouldn't take it to a tech myself, but it's up to you.
Last edited by DanyFS at Nov 25, 2015,
Changing strings isn't too bad (can still be a bit tricky for first timers), but it's doing a full set-up that I find to be a pain (intonation, action and bridge angle). If you're lucky, the guitar might still be fairly nicely set-up. But there's a really good thread in this forum somewhere that teaches you how to set one up if you feel like doing it yourself.
Quote by Shinkers
Cool. I can definitely take it to a tech but if it just comes down to new strings and locking the trem, is it that much harder than changing strings on my acoustic?
Well, a "regular" electric string set, has a bit less tension than an "extra light", acoustic set. Either set would affect the rate you would build up strength and callous for the more standard "light" gauge acoustic string set. (.012 to .053).

Obviously, you can wring more different techniques out of an electric such as playing in the second octave, and particularly bends. Only "real men" can bend a full tone out of a .013 e-1 string, to say nothing of the heavier strings below it.

Pete Townshend is one player who writes on an acoustic, and performs the same material with an electric. It must be said, while Pete is one of the best rhythm guitarists ever, his lead work is not at the same level.

Put simply, the acoustic guitar is best at accompanying the human voice, while the electric guitar is best at accompanying the acoustic guitar.

Not everyone can pull off solo performances with an electric. but many people can get others to sing along with their acoustic.

It boils down to this, what would you like to accomplish, or accomplish first?

As for acoustic setup, this will tell you everything you need to know:
Last edited by Captaincranky at Nov 25, 2015,
Sorry guys, not trying keep rehashing the same stuff. I do hear what you all are saying and appreciate the feedback (pun?).

Captaincranky, all I really want to do is be able to play my favorite songs. I have no ambitions to be Jeff Beck, but it's hard to play along with bands like the Smashing Pumpkins on an acoustic. I just like the sound, even if I'm by myself.

FWIW I still plan to play my acoustic as much as I do now.

I will heed ya'll's advice and take it to a tech this first time.