For those of us who play both or have tried both..... compare and contrast the differences and similarities. One easier...harder... or just different and HOW ?????

Bob J
are you more rhythmic or lead?

i'd have to say acoustic is more rhythmic than lead so see if it picks or suits your style.
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acoustic is softer and is many times used solo, mostly with full chords....electric is louder and harder many times, and is hardly ever used alone. most times you need a full band to play electric guitar and make the song sound good. electric is almost always heavier than acoustic. a lot more things...
Quote by RetroGunslinger
this is like comparing a flushing toilet to a hole in the ground
acoustics *can* be alot cheaper too...you dont need 18 pedals, and a giant amp to go with them normally.
electric is smoother, acoustic isnt
acoustic helps you play better in electric,
acoustic is brighter
electric has effects
you dont need a band for acoustic
Err... a lot of answers that were given are only relevant to the poster's preconceptions. Most electric guitar players are not necessarily faster than acoustic guitar players either. For example... http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1TLWzY-Pkuw&feature=related This isnt the best example, but If you really pay attention and realize the kind of speed it takes to change chords and do little riffs in between, you'll appreciate that acoustic guitarists aren't necessarily slower. Their left hand speed might even be faster than a lot of electric guitarists because they have to shape the chords as well as dish them out accurately with their right hands. Electric guitarists just seem faster because they usually dish out single note riffs really fast.

I would say that it's impossible to fully compare the two, but there are some notable things that set them apart. Style, for example, can very the use of the acoustic or electric guitar greatly. If you play something a bit more country... the acoustic guitar usually relies on playing chords and a bit of flatpicking whereas the electric guitar may do more riffing with a slide.

Acoustic guitar playing usually tends to be more based on chord manipulations while electric guitars are more often played based on scales. As stated above, I would also say that acoustic guitars tend to be able to take rhythm parts a bit better than electric guitars. Really though, it does depend on how the guitarists chooses to play each instrument. I feel that playing the acoustic guitar takes a bit more finesse than electric though(but of course i am biased.. being an acoustic guitarist).
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The sound of the acoustic depends on the wood, body type, strings, quality, and age of the guitar.

The sound of an electric guitar depends mostly on the amp and the pickups being used. And that too, could be changed. Pickups could be replaced and you could get a higher quality amp.

Acoustics are easier to get started with, aside from the extra finger strain (which helps you anyway). Why? Electrics have more to them. You need to know which type pickups to use (Seymour Duncans, EMGs, SCNs, etc), a good amp, and pedals. Or else, your "tone" will be trash.

Electrics are also much more customizable. Pickups can be changed, which itself affects your tone. You could put a tremolo in it, too. While on acoustics, all you could do with it is lower the action, file the bridge, put a pickup on it, or whatever. All changes on acoustic mostly increases its playability and comfort. But if your using a laminate body, your sound will be "sub-par" quality, no matter how you modify it. While changing pickups on electrics change your tone dramatically.

Electric guitars also have faster necks. Meaning it's much easier to play faster than you would on an acoustic. So you won't have much of the "OH CRAMPS!!!" on them. Acoustics require much more finger dexterity.

The range of notes you could play are also much much bigger on an electric. You could reach til the 20-24 frets without having much of a stretch. While the acoustics have a bit of a harder time, even with a cutaway, because the body is still preventing your thumb to support your fingers. But, acoustics, unless for tapping and harmonics, aren't used for those high notes most of the time anyways.

Acoustics also sound great by itself, but only because of chords and fingerstyle guitar techniques. Lead guitar on acoustics sound bad by itself anyways. So, there you go. Electrics sound good, as long as you have a backing track or a loop of you playing some chords (or add a regular drum beat and bass track, too) and layering that with lead playing. Playing only chords on electric guitars by itself sounds like there's something missing to my ears.

Both of their sounds are relative to the player. Some people prefer the acoustic tone, while an electric guitar tone has so much variety. It's purely opinion of who says which is better. And since you posted this at the "Acoustic and Classical Guitar" section, expect some bias.

Electric guitars are more confusing to beginners, too. Since there's just so much bells and whistles going on. And it's overwhelming. I'm trying to learn electric guitars myself and am still in the process of finding the perfect gear for the sound I'm after. Acoustic guitars, you could just start with a Dreadnought solid top and laminate back and sides (or solid back and sides, if you have the cash) and you're set to go. Then choosing your second guitar wouldn't be challenging, since an hour's research goes a long way.

It all depends on what sound you're after anyways. Try 'em out at music stores sometimes.

Last edited by ToOYOoT at Aug 18, 2008,