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#1
So when I started shopping around for my first guitar a few months ago, I've heard from some people that its easier to start on acoustic. But I got an electric instead. I've only learned very basic things, so would it be easier for me to learn on an acoustic?
#2
no...electrics are definitely easier to start on...

really though it doesn't make much of a difference after like 2 weeks of playing, it just depends on what type of stuff you want to play.
#4
It's better to start on an acoustic because it makes you play with proper posture, builds more finger strength, helps you not lean over and stare at the fretboard while playing, etc. I started on an electric and I turned out fine
#5
main differences is the finger strength required for acoustic so just make sure you do some exercises to build strength and dexterity
#6
It's better to use acustic for practicing IMO, I don't own one yet but plan on it. I've been playing eletric and started on electric. Then pickup up a buddies acustic, and I can't play on it. O.o, but just my 2-5 cents, You can pick the value.
#8
Its all about having both. I know not everyone can run out and get a new guitar at will but its great to have an acoustic and electric.

If the songs you want to learn are based on the electric then you made the right choice. I would still suggest getting an acoustic also if the option ever is available for you. The prices of nice acoustic is great, 200-300 dollars is a great price for the acoustic you can get.

So either way, if you got the guitar that fits your music then you made the right choice.

You will have more fun with an electric.

Are you saying that because of the type of music he plays, or do you really believe that electric is more fun?
epic7734
#9
I mean that owning an electric when you first start out is more interesting. You could mess with different sounds, and amp settings and effects. That's what I meant.
#10
The right guitar to learn on is the one you'll have the most fun with. If you are having fun learning how to play an electric, then you're more likely to stick with it and develop into a good/great player. You can always go buy an acoustic later. In other words, you did the right thing.

However I totally agree with Jackface20's assertion about building finger strength. Electrics are much easier on the fingers than acoustics. I bought a grip master which I work on constantly when I'm not playing. I usually use it while watching TV or for a couple of minutes before playing to warm up my fingers. They're only 13 bucks. Playing lots and lots and lots of scales is a good alternative too
#11
SgtBeavis nails it on the head. ^^^

The answer: It depends. The decision of whether to get an acoustic or electric is largely based on the type of music you want to play and sound you are looking for/prefer. While it's true acoustics require a little bit more finger strength and dexterity, if you can play an electric, you can surely play an acoustic (with a little adjustment and practice). It really boils down to whichever you want to play, if it's an electric, get an electric, an acoustic, get an acoustic. And if you don't know the difference, try them out at your local guitar store.
Last edited by Negative Burn at Sep 16, 2007,
#13
I almost always practice on acoustic, it helps keep the finger strength up and you have to work harder at it, and I always recommend learning on an acoustic. Some good points have also been made though, enjoying what you play makes a big difference too, but I still think acoustic is better overall to learn on. I'll always have at least one acoustic around, no matter how many electrics I have. (8 right now, a lap steel and one old Kingston that needs repair)

As soon as you can afford it, get an acoustic, it can be very interesting to play too. Lots and lots of songs use acoustic, even metal bands use them sometimes. And I learn a lot of electric songs on acoustic, if I can make it sound decent on an acoustic, I can make it sound really good on electric. I always try to warm up before a gig for at least a half hour on acoustic, then when I pick up the electric it's much easier to play and I find I can always do a better job than if I warm up on electric.
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#14
i hear this question a lot.

basically, imo, the best route is always to get the gear that suits ur style of play.

if you like to play acoustic, folk, country, ect, songs then an acoustic is a great way to start.

if you like to play classic rock, light rock, country, you'll probably do best with some sort of single coil guitar and light distortion amp.

if you like to play metal, hard rock, then a humbucker guitar and heavy gain amp will probably be ur best purchase.


yes, they overlap a bit. but in general, getting the guitar and amp that best suit ur style of play will be the biggest and best step towards becoming a well practiced guitar player.

especially in the beginning. nothing else matters much. because form, and finger strength mean nothing, if the guitar sits on it's stand unplayed.
Jenneh

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Last edited by jj1565 at Sep 16, 2007,
#15
i have both, and there's a very big difference between the neck sizes and the fret sizes. The acoustics have bigger frets and wider necks which make you work more, if you start with acoustic you will have an easier time with an electric
#16
^that's just not true.

people have this idea that acoustics make you a super player. able to leap tall frets with a single bound.

if u practice on any guitar, you will build aptitude with that guitar. if you dont practice, you wont.

it's not bad to buy an acoustic, i have more than a few (all with action and neck width by the way), it's just more important to buy a guitar that suits your present needs.
Jenneh

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#17
It would be better to start on a acoustic. The transition to electric is easier than viceversa.

Another reason you shoulda gotten an acoustic is cuz a few years from now, (assuming you've got a cheap electric) you'd probably regret the purchase. The acoustic would be fine even if you got a Yamaha beginners series (F310 for e.g.)
#18
no i seriously thing u should have gotten an accoustic. trust me, i got one and 6 months later i got an electric and u instantly pick up everything from the accoustic to the electric way faster.
#20
I think some people take this a bit far, sure it might have been a bit better in the long run to get an acoustic, but at the end of the day, id much rather play the kind of songs i listen to, on an electric, than practice standard things on an acoustic just to get an easier time down the road on an electric

if you enjoy playing the electric than youll have all the motivation you need to work on technique and finger strength etc anyway, and you enjoy it more because you can play along to your favourite songs
#21
Quote by MetallicSoul92
no i seriously thing u should have gotten an accoustic. trust me, i got one and 6 months later i got an electric and u instantly pick up everything from the accoustic to the electric way faster.

Are you saying you wouldn't of learned the same amount in that amount of time if you would of just started on electric?

Cause the way you say it is sounds like starting on acoustic set you back on learning electric. So my question to you is, do you play both, or do you now only play the electric?

Your answer would make a big difference. If you started with an acoustic cause you wanted to play acoustic, you wanted to play acoustic music then it would make since to start with acoustic.

If you started on an acoustic with the intention of going to electric when you got the chance and pretty much not playing acoustic any more then it seems that you wasted 6 months of training on the wrong instrument.

What i'm getting at is if your style of music is geared towards electric playing thats what you should pick. Sure the things you learn on acoustic transfer over to electric sort of easy but theres no need to make the transfer if you start out on the electric first.

Being good on the acoustic doesn't necessarily mean you are going to be good on electric and vise versa.
epic7734
#22
people have this idea that acoustics make you a super player. able to leap tall frets with a single bound.


Not so, at least from my viewpoint. It is very true that most acoustics are more difficult to play, if for no other reason than the heavier string gauges usually on acoustics. The necks are usually fatter too, I've had hell finding one I can play comfortably. I have to have the slimmest neck I can find, due to a tendon injury, and it's very difficult to find a good slim neck with acoustics, I looked for several years before buying my Takamine. I've played LOTS of acoustics, unless I go grab a Les Paul with a fat neck first thing, electrics are almost always easier to play and faster.

No, playing an acoustic won't make you suddenly able to swap licks with Eric Johnson and show him a thing or two, but every time, without fail I notice it's easier to play on an electric a couple of minutes after I put an acoustic back on the stand. It won't make you a bit better player immediately, but will help you improve in the long run simply because you have to work harder at it, both to play acoustic to begin with and to get a good sound out of it. If you can play a particular part well on an acoustic - clean, accurate and smooth - you will be able to do it better on an electric every time.

It may be even more obvious if done the other way around. Play electric first, then try the same thing on an acoustic. Chances are you might do fine on the electric and find yourself having trouble keeping it smooth and accurate on an acoustic, and having to work harder at it. I do. Those two words WORK HARDER mean you're going to improve if you keep at it.

I'll never back down on this one, I've seen it too many times, practicing on an acoustic always helps you improve on an electric, because it's more difficult to achieve accuracy and play smoothly on an acoustic. It's not magic, but it will help without a doubt. I'll always advise practicing on an acoustic, I do it almost every day and actually would prefer to practice on an electric, it's easier...Same as playing every chance you get with a better player, if it makes you work for it, it will help, you will improve.
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#23
i personally like acoustic.....and i started on one...wen i play an electric it does seem a bit easier to do barre chords and all that...


buy both i suggest you just do what you want....

i still question if i would actually use an electric if i actually bought one..
#24
Quote by Pete
but every time, without fail I notice it's easier to play on an electric a couple of minutes after I put an acoustic back on the stand. It won't make you a bit better player immediately, but will help you improve in the long run simply because you have to work harder at it,


i agree with most of what you say, but i've still seen way too many young students give up on playing because their mom's bought them the wrong guitar, and they just couldnt dedicate themselves to learning a type of music that didnt suit their style in the least.

i am a firm believer in acoustic buying and owning. i just dont feel it has to be the first purchase, as it's often preached.

lastly, i quoted that part because, in all honesty, i learned on an acoustic. my whole style was based on what i learned the first few years, and i had a hell of a time eventually switching over to electric.

im sure you made the transition fine, and it was what was right for you. but there are more than a few guys in the acoustic section, that believe as i do, that acoustic and electric playing styles dont always compliment each other.
Jenneh

Quote by TNfootballfan62
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#25
Acoustics are harder to play than most electrics, that's a fact. Exponentially higher action and larger (and less) frets make them much more difficult to play than the average electric guitar, especially for someone like myself with tiny hands. If you get used to playing on an acoustic, you will be more than used to playing on an electric, that's a given.

I played strictly on an electric for my first four months of playing and, while I was getting pretty good (for the amount of time I had been playing) I couldn't bare to save my life. I got in a cycle of playing a 12-string acoustic on a daily basis (which, on top of being a 12-string meaning it had inherently brutal action, it was acoustic) and a LOT of dead notes later, bam instant barring.
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#26

If you get used to playing on an acoustic, you will be more than used to playing on an electric, that's a given


you cant be serious. you're saying that because something works for you, then it's a given?

also, exponentially higher action? larger frets? really, that's interesting.
you know that you can adjust action and select fret size on your guitars right?
Jenneh

Quote by TNfootballfan62
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#27
I say learn on an acoustic. Master an acoustic and you will own the electric.
#28
Quote by Masonpwiley
I say learn on an acoustic. Master an acoustic and you will own the electric.


Well not really, imo. When i play my acoustic i like to play music more geared towards acoustic, like finger picking and strumming with a little added in lead here and there.

On electric i like to practice lead techniques and all the really interesting things you can do that only an electric can do.

I'm saying is that i look at learning each one with different intentions.

Sure the switch from acoustic to electric isn't that bad, but the time you spend strengthening your fingers, growing callouses and ect, is time you would be learning and improving basic techniques with electric. So again, its all about learning the one that suits you style of playing.
epic7734
#29
I have two electrics and one acoustic. As a guitar fan you should have one of each, otherwise a person starting out should get the guitar that plays the styles of music you are interested in. But I do most of my practicing on the acoustic to build finger strength.
#30
Quote by jj1565
you cant be serious. you're saying that because something works for you, then it's a given?

No, I'm saying due to the nature of an acoustic guitar (and any guitar with higher action and larger frets) and due to the nature of the human body, becoming used to playing on an acoustic would naturally yeild magnified results on an electric.

also, exponentially higher action? larger frets? really, that's interesting.
you know that you can adjust action and select fret size on your guitars right?

When was the last time you did a neck replacement on a one-piece guitar? Action is also inherently higher on an acoustic guitar regardless of your ability to adjust it. They're physically larger and need to be more acoustically capable of volume.
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#31
wow ok, i meant if you are so worried about learning how to play on a guitar with high action, all you would have to do is raise the action on ur electric. maybe add heavier strings for finger strength.
also, just so you know, alot of electrics have jumbo frets. not sure if you know what a large fret is.

there is no validity to your claim that switching from one type of guitar to another "yields magnified results" whatever that is supposed to mean, and it's not easier for everyone. it was easier for you.


also, just so you know, you're talking to someone who has taken many guitar's apart. and adjusting action on an acoustic isnt that hard when you get the hang of it. im sure my martin has lower action than many electrics.
Jenneh

Quote by TNfootballfan62
Jenny needs to sow her wild oats with random Gibsons and Taylors she picks up in bars before she settles down with a PRS.


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#32
I like the insults, they certainly add to the construct of your argument.

I would think that for someone who had never played guitar before -- y'know, the topic at hand -- that buying a guitar that they didn't immediately have to restring and adjust the action on to achieve a desired result would be in their best interests.
While I would suppose this is a very introspective look at guitars, your two most common brands -- the Strat and the Les Paul (and their many, many variations) have a 25.5" scale neck and a 24.75" neck, and have 21 (okay, there are some with 22) and 22 frets, respectively. Now, this is also taking an introspective look at guitars, but the average acoustic guitar does not have 21 or 22 frets, nor does it have a 25.5" or 24.75" scale neck.

So are you trying to tell me that working your muscles harder would NOT yeild greater results?
You still don't seem to have any substantial argument against that claim (other than saying it's not valid without backing it up) other than the obvious fact that it is possible to adjust the action on both acoustic and electric guitars.
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#33
he already bought a guitar.

im glad you think that acoustics have this awesome muscle building power, but u arent correct. you get better as you practice, simple as that.

because if a kid decides not to play the guitar his mom bought him, because he doesnt like to finger james taylor then you cant make him finger james taylor
Jenneh

Quote by TNfootballfan62
Jenny needs to sow her wild oats with random Gibsons and Taylors she picks up in bars before she settles down with a PRS.


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#34
None of this changes the fact that exerting more effort will give better results.
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#35
^why, would you exert more effort, to play a guitar you didnt want in the first place.
(if it's not the one that suits your style of play)


and even if you meant physical pressure. then technique beats power everytime.
And why would you want to learn neck raduis you dont want for that style of play,
And why are you pretending you dont understand my point?
Jenneh

Quote by TNfootballfan62
Jenny needs to sow her wild oats with random Gibsons and Taylors she picks up in bars before she settles down with a PRS.


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#36
Quote by Me2NiK
None of this changes the fact that exerting more effort will give better results.

I switch between acoustic and electric all the time, and i would just like to say that neither require a crazy strong grip. A matter of fact i have to be care full of how much pressure i apply to the strings when i play electric or acoustic.

There is a such thing as over applying pressure to the strings. But why even worry about it when you will build the proper strength for the type of guitar you have.

When was the last time you did a neck replacement on a one-piece guitar? Action is also inherently higher on an acoustic guitar regardless of your ability to adjust it. They're physically larger and need to be more acoustically capable of volume.

There have been many electric guitarist who have been known to hive a high action on their electrics.

So are you trying to tell me that working your muscles harder would NOT yeild greater results?
You still don't seem to have any substantial argument against that claim (other than saying it's not valid without backing it up) other than the obvious fact that it is possible to adjust the action on both acoustic and electric guitars.

How hard are you pressing the strings on your guitar? All the guitarist that i look up to(via, satch, ect..) use only enough pressure to fret the string that is necessary. The whole object of playing efficiently is to use as little force as possible.
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epic7734
#37
Quote by epic7734
Are you saying that because of the type of music he plays, or do you really believe that electric is more fun?


Louder is funner

But seriously if you got a electric because thats what interests you then good job you chose right.
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#38
Quote by Pi3_M4N
i personally like acoustic.....and i started on one...wen i play an electric it does seem a bit easier to do barre chords and all that...


buy both i suggest you just do what you want....

i still question if i would actually use an electric if i actually bought one..


Yeah I agree with you. I play acoustic and electric (I like a wide range of music)
What you said about bar chords, in my opinion, is right. And the things is bar chords sound better on the acoustic, at least for my ears.

Happy playing everyone!
#39
i found it easiest to originally learn to play basics on a nylon strung acoustic, with a big wide neck. fretting the notes was easier, and the strings were further apart so actually playing notes that sounded fairly good was easier.

but that said, as soon as i had been playing a while, i jumped straight in for the electric.

if you've been playing long enough to be fairly comfortable with the guitar, i wouldnt think switching to acoustic would be easier per se, its just nice to have both for when you need em.
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#40
my grandfather whos played for over 30 years, always said that acoustic is better to learn on and master because if u can master acoustic youll probably beast the electric. its easier to play on electric because u dont have to push the strings down so hard into the neck which means sometimes u can play faster if you don't have strong fingers.

EDIT: the biggest thing is, personal prefference, i played my friends electric after learning a bit on my acoustic and was able to do it faster due to the fact that i didnt have to press as hard on the electric.

i play both, but preffer electric due to my musical prefference, but for class i use acoustic
Last edited by Slepnair at Sep 19, 2007,
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