Is it easy to learn acoustic guitar

Acoustic guitar or electric guitar? Start with

Many people are fascinated by the sound of the guitar and at some point decide to learn to play the guitar as well. Often at the beginning the question arises as to which instrument to start with: Electric guitar or acoustic guitar? We have put together some tips on this topic to make your decision easier.

Can you start with an electric guitar?

This question can definitely be answered with “yes”. We will go into the reasons in the next paragraph.

Which is easier to learn: electric guitar or acoustics?

Playing an electric guitar differs from playing an acoustic, classical or western guitar, among others, in the following features:

The fingerboard of an electric guitar is a little narrower and the guitar strings are a little closer to the frets, which makes them sound lighter and it takes less force to push the strings down than on an acoustic guitar.

Due to the distorted sound of an electric guitar, technical imperfections in the way you play it can get lost or masked. What sounds like an advantage turns out to be disadvantageous for learning progress, since errors should be recognized and eliminated as early as possible before they manifest themselves or become more pronounced. Our tip is therefore to play technical exercises with the electric guitar in particular with a clean sound in order to be able to identify inaccuracies as differentiated as possible.

Even beginners are able to create rocking and powerful sounds with little effort with the help of power chords on a distorted electric guitar. With the use of effect pedals, this effect can be increased, so that wide soundscapes and atmospheric soundscapes can be created quickly. So anyone who tends to experiment with new sounds and is musically at home in the field of rock, blues, funk, indie, alternative or metal, an electric guitar is ideally suited.

Differences between acoustic and electric guitars

In addition to the obvious structural and functional differences between electric and acoustic guitars, there are a few things that are often not entirely clear to beginners.

First of all: even if the electric guitar and acoustic guitar are both guitars, they are different instruments. The sound, the feel, the playing behavior, the possible sounds, the type of game and the technology differed in some cases blatantly from each other.

So at the very beginning every budding guitarist should ask himself the following question:

What kind of music do I want to do?

Should it be mainly quieter, accompanying or rhythm-based sounds, or big solos, rock music and distorted sounds? Only when this question has been answered can you proceed to the further selection.

Often, however, beginners are not so committed to a particular style, but want to learn an instrument first. In order to come to a decision here, we have presented you the advantages and disadvantages of the respective instrument shape.

Advantages of an acoustic guitar

The acoustic guitar has several advantages over the electric guitar that will make any electric guitarist want to play an acoustic guitar at some point in their career as well.

flexibility

An acoustic guitar is a complete instrument that does not require any additional components to sound. In contrast to the electric guitar, no amplifiers or effects, cables or speakers are required: all that has to be taken when needed is the guitar.

Natural feedback

An acoustic guitar, like any acoustic instrument, is to a certain extent alive: the top of the guitar vibrates through the strings, the vibrations are transferred to the body of the player, the wood is resonant and sounds without artificial or technical changes - a natural and sublime feeling .

Maintenance costs

If high-quality guitars do not differ in price, be it electric guitars or acoustic guitars, the maintenance costs of the electric guitar are higher. Apart from the power consumption of the amplifier, the different components in the signal chain ensure that consumable parts always have to be replaced, effects are rearranged or procured, etc. With the acoustic guitar, the maintenance costs with strings and care products amount to a few euros per year.

Weaknesses of an acoustic guitar

Acoustic guitars also have disadvantages. We have listed the most important ones below.

Tonal flexibility

Where electric guitars are extremely flexible thanks to effects units, amplifiers, modulations and pickup changes, the sound of an acoustic guitar is linked to the guitar itself. The connection of wood and strings results in a certain, individual sound - and this sound can only be changed to a very limited extent.

volume

To be heard in a band structure is very important for all musicians involved. Therefore, especially the first rehearsals are often louder than necessary. But even with a quieter rehearsal, purely acoustically functioning instruments have a harder time being heard. Even when performing, you have to trick with microphones or other aids.

Playful freedom

Acoustic guitars usually have fewer frets than electric guitars. Due to the design and the wider body, the game in the higher positions is usually a little more difficult than with the electrical relatives.

Acoustic guitar: conclusion

You should start with acoustic guitar if you ...

  • ... want to play flexibly anywhere
  • ... love the sound of the acoustic guitar
  • ... are surrounded by natural materials and "pure" sound
  • ... the running costs of the electric guitar are scared
  • ... the acoustic guitar fits into the context of your own music / band

Advantages of an electric guitar

Electric guitars also offer some advantages over their acoustic relatives. We have put together some important points for you.

Flexibility in sound

While the sound of an acoustic guitar is basically determined by its construction and the woods used, the Sound of an electric guitar far more complex to look at. In addition to the interaction of the components of the guitar, i.e. woods, hardware and pickups, the entire signal chain is also responsible for the final sound. Due to this fact, the sounds of an electric guitar can be changed, distorted and modulated in all directions. The spectrum of possible sounds is extremely extensive.

personalization

In contrast to acoustic guitars, many components of the electric guitar can be easily exchanged and replaced with modified elements. This changes the sound and playability of the guitar without having to make permanent changes. A common example is swapping out the pickups.

durability

Most electric guitars are made as solid body guitars. This construction with a massive body makes the electric guitar much less sensitive to impacts and damage. This is a great advantage, especially for guitarists who often move with their guitar.

volume

The impulse that led to the construction of electrically amplified instruments at all was the insufficient volume of acoustic instruments. Due to the electrical amplification of the sound, there are virtually no volume limits with electric guitars. This is essential, especially in the context of modern bands.

Weaknesses of the electric guitar

In addition to the advantages, there are also disadvantages when playing with the electric guitar:

Necessary equipment

Without the right amplifier, effects pedals and speakers, an electric guitar doesn't sound particularly harmonious. The biggest advantage of the acoustic guitar is the biggest disadvantage of the electric guitar: The equipment required is extensive and expensive. Also the mobility decreases as a result: If you want to play music somewhere else with your guitar, you can't avoid moving all of your equipment - often a mammoth project.

Weight

Anyone who likes to play the guitar while standing quickly comes into contact with the unwieldy weight of the electric guitar. Due to the massive design, the weight of most instruments is between 3-5 kg. This weight comes into its own quickly, especially during long practice or play sessions.

Variety of sounds

Even if it sounds strange: tonal diversity can also be annoying. The constant search for the right sound, the right effect or the right potentiometer setting means that actual practice gets out of sight.

Electric guitar: Conclusion

You should start with the electric guitar if you ...

  • ... have enough space at home for the guitar, amplifier and accessories
  • ... mainly want to play rock music or metal
  • ... want to play in a band with others (as soon as possible)
  • ... enjoy playing with different sounds and effects

Overall conclusion: A or E?

In order to decide which instrument it should be, you have to take particular into account what kind of music you like and what music you want to make yourself. Both instruments have their advantages and disadvantages and can convince with different points. But with a probability bordering on certainty you will have both forms of guitar in the course of your music career anyway. Our tip therefore applies: Concentrate on what you like!

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