Acoustic or Electric

guitar lessonsLearning to play guitar

Guitar is one of the more popular musical instruments that people choose to learn.  Almost all popular music features a guitar and aspiring musicians want to learn stuff they already like.  After you’ve made the decision to learn to play guitar you’re next decision is whether to play acoustic or electric. Is it easier to learn to play an electric or acoustic guitar?

Learning to play an acoustic

People opt for the acoustic guitar for a bunch of reason not the least of which is it looks cool.  Acoustic guitars look good just sitting in the corner of your room and they look good while you’re playing them too.  They can be played pretty much anywhere and you don’t have to drag an amplifier behind you to make them sound good.  If you’re lucky enough to be able to sing too an acoustic guitar goes very well with vocals.

If you’re just learning to play, the ability to be able to practice anywhere and hear yourself without an amp makes it much easier.  If you live near neighbors playing acoustic is quieter.  Now  if you want to play in a band, that will raise questions as to whether you will want to pick up electric in the future.

Learning to play an electric guitar

Just like playing an acoustic you’re going to look cool playing an electric guitar too.  However, playing an electric is a little more work.  You’re going to have to plug your electric guitar into an amplifier to hear it.  If you’re worried about noise, and you should be electric guitars can be loud, you can listen to yourself play with headphones.  You can play and practice without waking the neighbors.  That being said an electric with an amp is much louder than an acoustic, but if you want to play in a band, particularly one that has a drummer you will need an electric to get the volume you need.

If you dream of being Keith Richards and playing lead guitar, then electric is better than acoustic.  While learning, the acoustic is great to learn the various chords on but if you’re trying to play lead the sound isn’t rich or loud enough.   Electric allows the notes to be sustained for a longer period of time, making guitar solos sounding fuller and richer.

One big fundamental difference between the two types of guitar is the strength needed to play each instrument.  An acoustic is a little harder to play than an electric, the tension on the strings of the acoustic is tighter than an electric.  You’re going to have sore fingers when you are first learning and that’s a given, but keep on and regular playing will build up strength and it will get easier over time.