#1
My friend's a beginner to guitar - he's played for a week maybe - and he told me that he only has an acoustic guitar but is thinking of upgrading to an electric one when he has the money. He said that praticising on an acoustic isn't the same as an electric but I told him that in doing so he will be able to play better and stuff.

I told my other friend about my advice that I gave 'friend A' and my other friend - who's my teacher and has three years of guitar experience under his belt - told me that that was the wrong thing to say to him. I figured that because 'friend A's' acoustic guitar has a higher action he should get calluses faster and that it'll make it easier for him when he makes the switch to electric. 'Friend B' said that that was totally wrong and that acoustic is way easier to play than electric.

So, my question is, is my friend wrong or am I wrong? If I was wrong then why? Doesn't going from having to 'press really hard' to 'pressing really lightly' make it easier for my said friend?

Thanks in advance.

Long Story Short: "Playing acoustic and then switching to electric makes playing guitar easier" Bad advice by me or not?
#2
Acoustic is way easier to play than electric? Wha?

I've never heard that before... How many people do you see shredding on acoustics?

Edit: This didn't make much sense.

Long story short, it is alot harder to play an acoustic than an electric.
Last edited by Regression at Nov 14, 2008,
#3
I believe you're right.

It's like resistance training. The harder something is the faster you'll be able to do it without the extra tension.
#4
I'd say to begin with electric. Acoustic has too high action and is more difficult to play: lots of people leave it when they realize that tyey aren't able to do the F chord.
#5
have you ever played electric??...obviously friend b is mildly retarded
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#7
acoustics have high tension strings, so bending will be better for his muscles
bad action on an acoustic, would possibly help finger muscles
the calluses would come either way.


all in all, i dont think it matters, although "hand development" wise, there are prob some perks for going acoustic, although, muscle memory/technique wise, maybe not if hes going to play electric.


i wouldnt say its bad advice, but if he has trouble picking up on how to play the instrument, i would say get an electric, so he (or she i guess) can focus on what hes playing, rather than if its going to work or not.
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#8
Quote by Poglia
I'd say to begin with electric. Acoustic has too high action and is more difficult to play: lots of people leave it when they realize that tyey aren't able to do the F chord.

But if you start with an electric, then when you get on an acoustic, everything will be a whole lot harder. Why not do the hard yards early and get them out of the way?
#9
I first started playing on an acoustic (only a couple of months ago) and personally found it very easy to switch to electric, at least in the way you're talking about, i.e, barre chords which I had found very difficult on the acoustic because my hand wasn't strong enough were no problem on the electric, and generally anything that was a shape my hand found uncomfortable on the acoustic felt better on the electric because I didn't have to press anywhere near as hard on the strings. Because of this, I still do alot of exercises, scales, chord practice on the acoustic because it's harder on my hands, and should ostensibly make them stronger faster, even though I mostly play the electric.

I'd say that, from my experience, it was probably better switching from acoustic to electric than the other way around, although if someone is discouraged by the roughness of the acoustic in the early stages, it might be better to start with an electric and go the other way. I really liked playing, despite the fact that it hurt my fingers and hands after a while, so I did it anyway. But other people might be different.
Last edited by troubletcat at Nov 14, 2008,
#10
it doesn't really matter, I got an electric first then went to acoustic, now I play both 50/50. It didn't really find much difference, only that acoustic is easier to play chords and finger pick with where as an electric is better for playing riffs and leads. Obviously. I'm capable of learning most songs.

Acoustic is harder to start with however teaches you good habits, electric on the other hand is easier, but more annoying and makes you go off track, often new players hide their poor skill with distortion and effects.
#11
You were right. Acoustic is physically harder to play. Your friend is misinformed. Your friend might have meant that it's harder to play electric as in "OMG ELECTRIC GUITAR IS THE U171M4TE", but he'd still be misinformed. Stylistically, both are equally hard to play.
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#13
I started playing electric first. Acoustic was harder and it was a big difference, especially for a beginner. When I got use to playing acoustic, it felt like a breeze going back to playing electric. Now I make sure I play acoustic everyday, even if it's just to keep up my callus...if I just play electric for a while, I get so use to it that my fingers hurt when I play acoustic afterwards.
#14
acoustics are harder to play for a beginner. electrics are hard to play at an advanced level because they are so much more sensitive. you hear every mistake on an electric.
#16
Deffinetly start with acoustic first, its not easier finger wise, but theres less feedback and such to worry about.

The only problem I encountered years ago when I got my first electric, was because of the higher action, and heavier strings on the acoustic, I was pushing down too hard on the electrics strings causing all of my notes to go slightly sharp, but eventually I learned how to swich back and forth with no intonation issues.
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#17
playing acoustic and then switching will help you play faster on electric but its all about preferences everyone plays different instruments because all instruments feel different to different people so your advice from either people is not bad its just their preferences
#18
Consider the style of music too. If your desire is to play rock and blues with a lot of bends, an electric is a better choice.

Both types of guitars have their pros and cons however. I didn't get the impression that he was planning on selling his acoustic to buy an electric. I switch back and forth myself.

This may be rampant speculation on my part, but I have this strange feeling that lots of folks on these boards may have more than one guitar ;-)
#19
I don't think there is a right or wrong answer on this. The electric is designed for a certain style of playing as is the acoustic. One would build more hand strength working on an acoustic, but if you are practicing blues licks I'd think you would want to use an electric.
#20
Okay, thanks for the replies guys. I just wanted to make sure before I correct my friend
#21
yea acoustic is harder to play for a beginner but when he moves on to electric he'll find it easier. i swap acoustic for electric with my teacher every now and then and it just feels very smooth and easy to play after all the 'resistance training' ive been doing on acoustic
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#22
Quote by Poglia
I'd say to begin with electric. Acoustic has too high action and is more difficult to play: lots of people leave it when they realize that tyey aren't able to do the F chord.

My sister gave up because of F. I thought it was just her
#23
Quote by rhettro
I don't think there is a right or wrong answer on this. The electric is designed for a certain style of playing as is the acoustic. One would build more hand strength working on an acoustic, but if you are practicing blues licks I'd think you would want to use an electric.

yeah its all preference...oh and just because you want to practice blues doesnt mean you have to play an electric. my dad plays blues all day, and hardly ever picks up his electrics (PRS Custom 24, Gretsch Chet Atkins SC). **** i play his electrics more then he does.

its ALL preference man. if you wanna learn who gives a **** if its on an accoustic or electric. at least he is deciding to play...period.
#24
Quote by xXMetal-HeadXx
yeah its all preference...oh and just because you want to practice blues doesnt mean you have to play an electric.


There's a preference, but no "have to" in playing guitar. But don't buy a guitar for an exercise routine, buy one because it make the sound you want to hear and the way it feels to your hands.
#25
Personally, I always tell people to start with acoustic.

If they continue, then guitar is for them, and if they wish, they can learn electric.

If they give up... they wouldnt've gotten much furter by starting with electric anyway.
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